In This Issue
CVI Announces Another Acquisition
Continued Growth Strategy
A few short months after acquiring Melles Griot, the combined company, CVI Melles Griot has made another acquisition. CVI Melles Griot (CVIMG) announced the acquisition of Coherent Imaging Optics Ltd. (CIOL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Coherent, Inc. CIOL has been a supplier of critical infrared optical components for advanced thermal imaging and other electro-optic systems for over 20 years.
In announcing the consummation of the deal with CIOL, Stuart Schoenmann, Chief Executive Officer of CVI Melles Griot (and former Perkin Elmer Exec) stated, “"This acquisition increases our infrared optics manufacturing capacity, brings us unique coating technologies, and further strengthens our European manufacturing presence."
CVIMG's acquisition strategy has been focused upon expanding its product line, increasing capabilities, and addressing growing market opportunities. According to CVIMG the CIOL acquisition enables the company to meet customer demand with local manufacturing for defense contracts and provides new capabilities to manufacture infrared imaging optics and assemblies.
One industry source suggested that in addition to the CIOL acquisition adding to its IR portfolio, recent acquisitions bring CVIMG's capacity to over 85 coating chambers and 100 CNC polishing and grinding machines worldwide.
CDGM Now Stocking in Rochester
Shorter Lead Times, Says Distributor
CDGM Glass Company USA, established in Rochester in January 2007, has now been selling high quality optical glass at discounted prices to customers in the United States and Canada for over eight months. Until now most of the product has been shipped directly from the factory in China to customers in North America.
CDGM now has inventory of select glasses in Rochester and can now offer 24 hour delivery on select glass types. This inventory will shorten lead times dramatically for customers ordering CDGM product in North America.
Rochester inventory includes glass types to satisfy a wide range of applications. The initial installment of glass in Rochester is the start of a growing local inventory which will soon feature all of the most frequently used glass types among CDGM's 200 technical optical glasses. CDGM USA's inventory includes high index glass types, high dispersion glass types, and common, widely used window glass types
Currently, CDGM USA stocks three high index glass types, H-ZF7LA, H-ZLAF50B, and H-ZLAF53A. These glasses all have refractive indexes greater than 1.8. Applications that require high dispersion glass will appreciate the availability of H-QK3L with Nd of 1.48749 and Vd of 70.44 in widths of 160 mm and thickness of 40 mm.
They are also stocking some of the most widely-used window glass types as well. H-K9L is a widely used technical optical glass for high quality optical components in the visible range. H-K9L is also especially fit for grinding and polishing the material. CDGM melts over 4,000 tons of this BK7 equivalent glass each year. Other common glass types also currently in inventory are H-BAK7 and H-ZF3.
H-K51A is equivalent to Schott's B270-Superwite. H-K51 is an economically priced quality glass, with a high transparency for visible and near infrared light. H-K51 is available as fire-polished sheet glass or as raw strip glass. H-K51A can be mechanically ground and optically polished.
CDGM USA expects to stock about 50 glass types by year end. As a distributor for the largest glass manufacturer in the world, CDGM USA can help local optics manufacturing companies lower their costs and provide them with the edge they need to continue to compete in our highly competitive industry.
To find out more about what is available and to see for yourself how fast delivery can be, contact CDGM USA at (585) 424-0800. The CDGM USA Website is here.
University of Rochester Colloquia Series
Jacobs Lauds Master Opticians
On October 1st many of us had the pleasure of attending a presentation by Steve Jacobs, Senior Scientist at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester. Jacobs, a fellow of both SPIE and OSA, spent the hour shedding light on the role of the master optician at the University of Rochester during the past 75 years.
Jacobs shared a copy of the presentation as a PDF. You can access it here.
The Colloquia Series calendar is here.
Optics on the Web
Check out (and pass along) these great links on YouTube!
New Scale Technologies Open House
Friday, October 19th
RRPC Networking Event: Optipro Annual Technology Open House & Steak-Out!
Friday, October 24th
Lean Manufacturing Overview Session
Tuesday, November 6
Shephard's 16th Annual Night Vision
RRPC Networking Event
Optipro Annual Technology Open House & Steak-Out!
Wednesday, October 24th
News from the Laboratory for Laser Energetics
Veteran LLE Director Re-Upped for Five Years
Robert McCrory has been reappointed director and chief executive officer of the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) and vice provost of the University for five years effective this past March 1. McCrory, professor of mechanical engineering, professor of physics and astronomy, and senior scientist at LLE, first accepted the appointment of director in January 1983 and of vice provost in February 2006. He joined the University in 1976.
“In the same way the Eastman School of Music (part of the University of Rochester) is a gem, LLE is an absolutely unique resource not found at any other American university, which brings us unparalleled recognition,” said Provost Ralph Kuncl. He also noted that LLE reached an important milestone recently in the national physics arena by compressing thermonuclear fuel to more than 500 times liquid density.
“"What makes LLE different is its research into long-term prospects for energy,"” says McCrory, who adds that LLE, as the only large non-federal laboratory with projects in fusion energy research, has produced more than 190 Ph.D. recipients, many of whom have gone on to work in national laboratories. As the National Laser Users’Facility, LLE draws scientists from across the country and overseas to conduct research.
LLE is currently completing a $98 million enhancement to the OMEGA laser, a new system that will produce extremely high peak power laser pulses. “"We have a unique opportunity, as OMEGA EP will be the highest power laser in the world. Secondly, we have a unique capability to conduct implosion experiments on cryogenically filled targets. LLE has the only facility with this capability until the National Ignition Facility becomes operational in 2010,"” says McCrory, referring to the $3.5 billion National Ignition Facility laser system under construction at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif. “"We have an opportunity to do the most advanced work in nuclear fusion of any place on the planet. We have a unique opportunity to do experiments for many years."
RPO Signs New Sales and Marketing Director
Sales Pro Joins RPO
Rochester Precision Optics announced the appointment of Edward Patton as Director of Sales and Marketing. Patton joins RPO from LightPath Technologies Inc. and Geltech Inc., where he served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for over eight years.
Patton began his career in the photonics industry in 1979 and has assumed roles of increasing responsibility in sales, marketing and other executive positions with several companies including Perkin Elmer Optoelectronics, Graseby Optoelectronics and Infrared Industries Inc.
"We are very pleased that Ed has joined the RPO team,"” said William Hurley, President of Rochester Precision Optics. “"His proven track record in growing sales and sales leadership will be key to the success of continuing the record growth of our company."
Inc. 5,000 and New York Photonics
Three Members in the First Inc. 5,000
Joining the Inc. 5,000 this year (a bigger, broader Inc. 500), which looks at "The fastest growing companies in America," are four members of New York Photonics:
The list is ranked according to percentage revenue growth from 2003 through 2006. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by the first week of 2003, and therefore be able to show four full calendar years of sales. Additionally, they had to be U.S.-based, privately held, and independent--not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies--as of December 31, 2006. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) Revenue in 2003 must have been at least $200,000, and revenue in 2006 must have been at least $2 million.
Scale-Up at New Scale
New Location, New Business Unit
New Scale Technologies, Inc. has created a strategic business unit to pursue new opportunities for SQUIGGLE motors and modules in OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) and Industrial markets. The new OEM and Industrial business unit will be headed by Dan Viggiano III, VP and General Manager. Viggiano has been with New Scale since 2003. He was most recently chief operating officer, leading SQUIGGLE motor engineering development and implementing New Scale's $1M manufacturing expansion at its headquarters in Victor, NY. Prior to joining New Scale, Viggiano was a project manager and mechanical engineer at EXFO Burleigh Products Group. He has a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
The OEM and Industrial business unit will develop strategic growth opportunities beyond the mobile phone camera markets developed by the company's Mobacam Business Unit.
"These changes leverage our manufacturing capacity expansion and our success with Mobacam in targeting a specific, high-volume vertical market," said David Henderson, CEO and chief technology officer of New Scale. "The new business unit will focus on building additional vertical markets for our disruptive motor solutions, which offer the smallest possible size and lowest power. Dan has a proven ability to turn customers' needs into unique, market-specific solutions."
New Scale is already working with numerous high-potential OEM customers in vertical markets ranging from electronic locks and medical devices to automotive modules and fuel cells. It has existing customers in additional markets including aerospace, defense and research.
In related news, New Scale announced the addition of Mike Perrotta as Director of Manufacturing. Perrotta has 10 years of high-volume precision manufacturing experience at Eastman Kodak and senior management experience at several entrepreneurial start-ups on the west and east coasts. Perrotta will lead the expansion of motor manufacturing capacity in Victor, NY from 1,000s to 10,000s per month, and support the creation of Asian manufacturing partnerships for higher production volumes.
Keep the Flame Burning
Last month I discussed how a small company’s main advantage over its industry’s Goliaths is its entrepreneurial culture. This presents a challenge for entrepreneurs as they start to enjoy success: how can this cultural advantage be retained as the company grows?
It is no exaggeration to say that entrepreneurs often feel like they confront life-and-death decisions every day. They acquire a mental alertness and toughness, thinking tactically to address short-term concerns. Engrossed with survival, for many it is a challenge to step back and think strategically.
I suggest that the venture capital (VC) model provides a reference point and valuable lessons.
As a VC, I was responsible for investing a pool of money raised from outside investors into numerous businesses. My partners and I assembled a “portfolio” of investments. We always owned a minority interest and never assumed management positions. In each investment, we or another VC investor represented our interests on the board of directors. We forged a partnership with the entrepreneurial team that we funded. Our relationship was made explicit in legal documents. But, as with all contracts, they were mainly intended to be referenced only in the event of a deterioration of results or a significant dispute over direction.
Framing the relationship at the outset was critical. Management solicited our money and represented that they would achieve certain goals by implementing a specific strategy. We may have collaborated to refine the strategy and adjust the goals, but when the investment was made, we were all on the same page – all on the same team.
As a board member, I had no desire to meddle with management. My time was better spent finding good companies to invest in, and providing them with access to my firm's resources. Thus, we and management jointly set strategy and goals. Board meetings for early-stage companies were monthly with plenty of communication taking place on an ad hoc basis in between.
We tried to back the best managers we could find – people who were far better equipped for success in their line of business than we were. We helped supply the proper resources to assure success, namely capital and the firm’s experience and contacts. We knew what the metrics were to determine if the strategic plan was working and the company was achieving success. And, we had mechanisms to share, discuss and review them regularly.
A VC-backed company is not burdened by bureaucracy like many larger ones. The relationship between the investors and the start-up involves clarity of communication, delegation and supporting smart, capable people. All of this happens with a sense of urgency. The small companies we supported typically had a limited time to seize upon a market opportunity.
Few promising companies meet VC investment criteria. This has little to do with a company’s prospects and more to say about the state of the VC industry. Nevertheless, the VC's "monitor, advise, but don't meddle" approach warrants deeper consideration by entrepreneurial managers who seek to recruit, motivate and retain talented people, while maintaining the cultural advantage they start out with as small companies.
Optics companies compete in a global economy. Our region’s companies have moved up the value chain and differentiate their products largely by sophistication and quality. The same regional workforce that allows our companies to remain competitive will respond favorably to the same type of “partnership” culture that the VC seeks to forge with entrepreneurs. Today’s workers are well-educated, savvy individuals who are at their most productive when empowered to achieve their full potential.
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 2007, 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.