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  • Newport Unit to Cut 80 Jobs
Aug 2008
TUCSON, Ariz., Aug. 27, 2008 -- Newport Corp.'s Spectra-Physics facility in Tucson has laid off 29 of its 200 workers and will let about 50 more go through the first quarter of 2009, according to media reports.

The Arizona Daily Star said Spectra-Physics General Manager Scott Dunbar told the paper that the cuts are primarily in assembly, testing and packaging operations, and competitive pressures forced the company to move those operations to a subcontractor in Asia.

Dunbar told the newspaper there are no plans to completely close the facility. "We're very dedicated and remain very committed to Tucson," he was quoted as saying.

Spectra-Physics, acquired by Newport in 2004, makes lasers and laser systems for markets such as life and health science, aerospace and defense.

Tucson's "Optics Valley" has taken several other recent hits as other high tech manufacturers have announced plans to leave. KLA-Tencor, a supplier of metrology and inspection tools to integrated circuit manufacturers, told the newspaper in July it plants to close its Tucson plant and consolidate operations at its Milpitas, Calif., headquarters and in Singapore. Some of the 100 or so employees who worked there in engineering, manufacturing, management, and research and development were offered relocation or a severance package, others will be laid off at the end of October, the newspaper said.

Aurora Optical, a subsidiary of electronics supplier Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc. (MFlex), is closing its Tucson facility and moving operations to MFlex's headquarters in Anaheim, Calif., the Daily Star reported last week.

Aurora makes optical components, flex and photonic modules for electronics, medical applications, automotive optical systems, cell phones and PC cameras, among others.

Aurora spokesman Lasse Glassen told the newspaper that fewer than 40 employees work at Aurora, and some will relocate to other MFlex facilities. Closing the Tucson facility will reportedly save the company $2 million to $3 million a year.

MFlex announced today that it will move its high-mix/low-volume manufacturing from Anaheim and Suzhou, China, to its new facility in Malaysia, leased from its largest shareholder, WBL Corp. Ltd. The 125 or so employees working for Wearnes there will be offered jobs with MFlex, which will begin operations there in December, the company said.

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A two-electrode device with an anode and a cathode that passes current in only one direction. It may be designed as an electron tube or as a semiconductor device.
optical component
One or more optical elements – typically cemented together - in an optical system that are treated as a single group; e.g., a beamsplitter, or a cemented doublet or triplet.
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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