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  • CVI Laser Marks 40th Anniversary
Sep 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Sept. 3, 2012 — CVI Laser is marking 40 years of providing thin-film-enabled optical components and subsystems to the semiconductor, life sciences, industrial, aerospace and scientific markets.

The company was founded in Albuquerque in 1972 to support high-energy laser development at Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories. During that decade, CVI entered the research and industrial optics markets, where its notable products included components for bar-code scanners. CVI also published one of the first optical component catalogs during this time.

In the 1980s, CVI entered the medical market with optics for the first laser eye surgery system. CVI-KEOC in South Korea began providing low-cost substrates and opened a local manufacturing site in the Asian marketplace. Significant growth began when CVI entered the semiconductor equipment market with 248-nm KrF optical products.

CVI expanded its Albuquerque facility to its present size, 66,000 sq ft, in the 1990s and was recognized as one of New Mexico's fastest-growing technology companies.

CVI acquired Technical Optics Ltd. on the Isle of Man in the early 2000s. CVI Technical Optics makes large-diameter flat substrates and coated optics for high-energy laser research and can fabricate and coat ultraflat optics up to a diameter of 20 in.

During that era, the company established its second Korean facility, and CVI-KEOC entered the consumer market with DVD optics.

In 2003, NorWest Equity Partners (NEP) acquired the CVI Optics and Assembly divisions (see Norwest Equity Buys CVI Laser Optics Unit). CVI-KEOC opened its third factory to make aspheric products.

In July 2007, NEP acquired Melles Griot, a supplier of photonics products including optical components and systems, lasers and laser measurement instrumentation, and merged it with CVI to establish CVI Melles Griot (see CVI Acquiring Melles Griot).

On June 2011, CVI was acquired by Idex Corp., in the largest acquisition in Idex history (see Idex to Acquire CVI Melles Griot for $400M). CVI joined the new Idex Optics & Photonics platform; other brands in the platform are ATFilms, Melles Griot, Precision Photonics and Semrock.

Along with Melles Griot, CVI operates manufacturing facilities in Albuquerque; Carlsbad, Calif.; Rochester, N.Y.; the Isle of Man and Leicester in the UK; Saitama, Japan; and Seoul, South Korea.

"CVI has built a strong reputation as a supplier of high-quality laser optics and is committed to preserving this legacy moving forward by focusing our efforts on our customers' needs and on what we do best," said Michael J. Cumbo, president of Idex Optics & Photonics.

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