ROCHESTER, N.Y., March 24, 2006 -- Three photonics companies in Rochester announced today they have formed a strategic partnership to manufacture polymer-based optical products.
Corning Inc. spin-offs Apollo Optical Systems LLC and Rochester Photonics Inc. (RPC) and a subsidiary of Wahl optoparts GmbH of Germany also said they will jointly make light-shaping, microstructured components for the medical, defense, automotive and commercial markets.
Wahl optoparts, a subsidiary of Jenoptik AG, manufactures opto-electronic and optomechanical systems and polymer optical components and has over 200 employees. The company formed a North American subsidiary, Jenoptik Polymer Systems Inc. (JPS), which has been in operation since Jan. 2, 2006. "The JPS office currently provides optical design services and technical support services to our North American customers on behalf of our manufacturing facility in Germany (Wahl Optoparts)," said JPS CEO David W. Davis.
He said JPS has three employees and is currently co-located in Apollo Optical Systems' Rochester facility. "We will eventually have to expand our facility, which we plan on doing in Rochester as we add manufacturing capability," he said.
“Our strategy is to offer North American customers the same complete process chain capabilities that Jenoptik, through Wahl optoparts, offers to the European market. This process chain includes everything from optical design to opto-electronic assembly and packaging.” Davis said. “The alliance with Apollo and RPC Photonics permits us to enter the North American market with the best possible technical team in an ideal location suitable for our anticipated growth.”
Apollo Optical Systems is a provider of optical system design and engineering services, single-point diamond turning and polymer injection molding. RPC Photonics specializes in non-imaging optical design and fabrication of precision optical structured surfaces for display and illumination systems.
“One is always looking for opportunities where the sum is more than the parts,” said G. Michael Morris, CEO of Apollo Optical Systems and RPC. “This alliance provides our customers with an extensive range of optical, mechanical and electronic engineering services, rapid prototyping and high volume optical component and opto-electronic subsystem manufacturing.”
Morris founded RPC in 1989 when he was a professor at the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester. The company developed "groundbreaking work" on diffractive optics technology, according to its Web site. From 1999-2002 the company, under the name Corning Rochester Photonics Corp. (CRPC), was part of Corning and focused on making components for the telecommunications industry. In May 2003, after the telecom bubble burst, RPC was spun off to focus on micro-optical components for displays and illumination. Its primary products include diffusers, microlens arrays and diffractive optical elements and it employs 15.
RPC leases space at its facility in Rochester to Apollo Optical, which was also spun off from CRPC by Morris, in January 2003. The company, which makes diffractive optical components and systems, has 17 employees.
For more information, visit: www.rpcphotonics.com