Vancouver-based biophotonics technology company Zecotek Medical Systems Inc. announced it has installed the first in a planned series of four vanadate crystal-growing ovens at its Singapore production facilities. The ovens will be used to grow Zecotek's high-performance rare-earth fine oxide (RFO) vanadate crystals. The final products will also be cut, polished and coated at the plant. Initial purchase orders from major laser OEMs are being processed, with deliveries scheduled for mid-November, the company said. "We are delighted that we are very much on track in our RFO crystal production plan," said A.F. Zerrouk, chairman, president and CEO of Zecotek. "We anticipate a rapid growth in demand for our laser crystals, in particular through the cost and quality advantages of our proprietary growing techniques and patent position." The Zecotek RFO vanadate crystal was developed as a next-generation replacement for YAG (yttrium aluminum garnet) crystals currently used in approximately 60 percent of all laser applications, from medical lasers to high-power industrial laser systems. Zecotek said it expects vanadates to replace most YAG crystals by 2012, when the laser crystal market is projected to reach $106 million.