In This Issue
Navitar Acquires Special Optics
Deal Expands Lens Design & Rapid Prototype Capabilities
Navitar (Rochester, NY-based),a globalleader in the design, manufacturer and distribution of precision optics and opto-mechanical assembliesfor the machine vision and digital projection industries announced the acquisition of Special Optics, a privately owned manufacturer of optical assemblies for long range surveillance, laser scanning, laser projection, UV, visible, and infrared applications. The acquisition was effective January 25, 2008.
David Manzi, President of Special Optics explains “the acquisition by Navitar provides us with an expanded range of capabilities to offer our customers. Now, when the rapid prototyping stage has been completed, Navitar’s world leading production facilities can easily accommodate volume production as programs grow. With the design and prototyping strengths of Special Optics combined with the financial strength and production capabilities of Navitar, we can now accommodate anything from custom optical assemblies used in long distance surveillance or unmanned aerial vehicles to over 1,000 units per year for precision lenses used in new biomedical applications.
Spectrum Relocates to New Facility
Workflow, R&D and Equipment Upgrades for Coating Operation
According to Tony Pirera, STF's President and CEO, the new facility offers four times the previous operating space with updated sales offices, manufacturing space and a 3000 sq ft clean room. The new space also allows increased efficiencies, increased quality control and a better manufacturing workflow. Quality control is now done in the clean room for more critical inspections.
The move coincided with significant upgrades in both information technology and manufacturing equipment, including:
"We are also in the process of testing our own proprietary optical monitoring system, designed for increased accuracy and repeatability." said Pirera. "We have also innaugurated a proprietary third generation ION source (IAD) which offers higher current density. The IAD allows Spectrum to coat substrates such as polymers and other temperature sensitive substrates with reduced coating times and faster deliveries."
"Our spectrophotometers have also undergone major upgrades." says Pirera,"The infrared spectrophotometer PE 983 has a new state of the art detector, and computer control using FILMSTAR Measure Suite. New in-house designed attachments for measuring reflectance at various angles are another distinction. In addition, we are now certified and calibrated for testing humidity, temperature and cryogenics to -60 degrees C."
STF, which currently employs 27, has plans to hire more technicians and engineers. Their customer base has expanded to include astronomy, coating large, very complex lenses for major observatories throughout the world, and manufacturing optics for high-end amateur astronomy.
According to Pirera, STF's unique coating capabilities have spanned the gap from very expensive dielectric coating which in years past were too expensive for some markets. Today, STF is coating for the Medical Industry, supplying dielectric mirrors for increase throughput and enhanced image; the Motion Picture Industry, supplying next generation coatings for image improvements and enhancement; and the Military, working on very complex coatings for IR imaging systems.
"STF has been awarded four grants from New York State. One was to help us get our ISO certification, another was to improve our management systems and increase efficiencies; third was a research grant to help us with our proprietary R&D, and the last grant lowered the interest rate on the new facility. Local and New York State economic development officials have been extremely supportive."
Pirera expects ISO certification in March 2008.
As we reported in October, 2007, Spectrum was included in Inc. Magazine's top 5,000 U.S. companies in their 2008 survey. In addition, Pirera is recognized in Strathmore’s WHO’s Who for demonstrated leadership and achievement in the optics industry.
Spectrum Thin Films will host an open house for friends, suppliers and customers on March 7th at 8:00PM.
New Contact Information:
Sydor Instruments Launches New Product
New Grade of Ultrasteep Raman Edge Filters
Semrock introduced a new level of performance into its already popular RazorEdge® family of thin-film optical edge filters for Raman spectroscopy. The unprecedented steepness of the new “E-grade” long-wave-pass edge filters makes it possible to measure Stokes-shifted Raman signals closer to the laser line than ever before.
All RazorEdge Raman filters – broadly stocked for laser wavelengths ranging from 224 to 1064 nm – provide exceptional steepness to allow measurement of signals very close to the blocked laser line with high signal-to-noise ratio. All are made with sophisticated Ion Beam Sputtering for the highest performance and proven reliability. However the new E-grade RazorEdge filters take closeness to an Extreme new level, enabling the most discriminating Raman spectroscopy measurements. Initial offerings of this new grade for popular 532, 633, and 785 nm lasers boast an edge steepness (measured from optical density 6 to 50% transmission) of only 0.2% of the laser wavelength – translating to 1 nm or about 40 cm–1 for a 532 nm edge filter! “These exceptional filters are the result of a happy marriage of customer demand and our continuous technology improvement,” said Dr. Turan Erdogan, CTO of Semrock.
Events and Conferences
OSA Annual Frontiers in Optics 2008
What's Happening Now
Early Bird Contracts were distributed to exhibitors in their booths at Photonics West. They are due by March 7th. Contact SPIE if you did not receive one. If you are a New York Photonics / RRPC member be sure to check the box indicating that you want to exhibit with the New York Cluster.
Early Bird Contract for Optifab 2009 are due this month! See events below.
A Review of the Key Issues Facing Internet Marketers in 2008
"Exploring the Digital Marketing Trends of 2008 and Beyond"
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Small and medium sized businesses like RRPC members have made substantial investments in their internet presence during the past decade. The advisor to companies making these investments is often an advertising or marketing communications firm. Where do the advisors learn about new ways of using this powerful medium? How can you gain insight into where internet marketing is going, what innovators are doing, and what will work for you?
You will learn about current trends and key issues so that you will feel more informed as a decision maker with a budget for marketing using the internet.
The presentation will include:
Presented by Dr. Neil Hair,
There is a $35.00 registration fee to attend.
$25.00 for RRPC & New York Photonics Members.
Download and print the registration form here.
Register by credit card through our calendar here
Optical Society of America - Rochester Section
Student Poster Session/Networking Event
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
University of Rochester
Participating companies so far:
Free Food and Drinks Provided
Local section link here.
Intellectual Property Threat... or Protection?
U.S. House of Representatives Passes Patent Reform; Senate Bill Pending
This past September, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1908, also known as “The Patent Reform Act of 2007.” The Senate version of the bill, S. 1145, is now awaiting further action. If this pending legislation is passed in its present form, it will result in some of the most significant changes in patent law in over 50 years.
The key provisions of the bill are as follows:
Supporters of the bill are primarily very large corporations within the financial services and information technology sectors. Opponents of the bill cover a broad spectrum of businesses, universities, and other organizations, such as the ABA, the AFL-CIO, and the National Association of Patent Practitioners.
If patents are or may someday be a critical asset to your business, you should take some time to study the issues regarding this bill. A more detailed summary of the bill (along with editorial comment on it) by Rochester, NY-based patent agents John Hammond and Robert Gunderman has been published in the February issue of the Rochester Engineer. For a reprint of that article including a link to S. 1145, click here.
STTR 08.A Solicitation has been issued for public release
As a venture capitalist, I was constantly aware of my status as an outside investor who had little daily influence over the companies I invested in. Put another way, I had delegated to management the responsibility for building a successful business. This created a need for me to establish “parallel interest” so that the rewards system encouraged everyone to row together in the same direction.
Venture capitalists are professional investors that typically manage money on behalf of wealthy individuals and institutions. We are focused on generating a financial return for them and our own compensation is heavily weighted towards producing capital gains. My investments are predicated upon achieving a fair financial reward as compensation for the risk associated with investing in a small, early-stage business.
Consequently, I want everyone associated with the company driven by achieving the goals that would produce a healthy return for my investors – and me. VC investments typically take the form of equity. This largely explains why venture capitalists want the management team’s compensation weighted heavily towards stock. Typically, VCs will also encourage equity ownership throughout employee ranks via an option program. So, the VC makes money, the owners make money and we’re all content with our financial outcomes. That’s what I refer to as “parallel interest.”
In a growing organization that raises funds from outside sources, cash is king. Smaller companies often can’t offer compensation packages that match large corporations, but they can offer upside through equity participation. Employee ownership is a solution for a company that needs to pay lower cash compensation and fewer benefits, by offering unlimited future upside.
Most small, growth companies will not raise venture capital, but they can learn from the VC model. Closely held companies owned by individuals who are determined to increase the value of their business may contemplate a variety of ways to align their employee’s interests with their own. If the owners are more determined to generate maximum cash flow, it would behoove them to employ a cash bonus program that is clearly tied to results. (I personally recommend monthly or quarterly payouts and clear communication with employees.)
I have been successful using option programs to recruit and motivate management. This entails delivering a convincing case to the recipients of the future value. With regard to salespeople, however, you may encounter a different set of circumstances. Salespeople have clearer and more immediate goals – generating revenues and, thus, precious cash. For a number of reasons, their compensation will always be more heavily skewed towards cash. But with sales, cash is a direct result of successful performance that is easy to measure. Cash compensation for salespeople is actually consistent with establishing “parallel interest.”
As a business owner, entrepreneur or manager, you have to create a work environment that is exciting and challenging. But never underestimate the importance of understanding business goals and creating compensation systems that align interests throughout the organization.
New York Photonics and the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster are active and growing collaborative organizations. Efforts are under way on joint training events, workforce development, collaborative advertising opportunities, promoting the commercialization of I.P., and the development of our website to further facillitate business development.
Join us! There are advantages to working together, and
we are interested in working with you. Send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2008, Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster, Inc.
New York Photonics and The Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster (RRPC) are not-for-profit organizations founded to promote and enhance the New York State photonics, optics and imaging industry by fostering the cooperation of business, academia and government.