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Optifab 2019 to Showcase the Latest in Optical Manufacturing

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SPIE Optifab 2019, North America’s largest optical manufacturing conference and exhibition, will be held Oct. 14-17 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center in Rochester, N.Y. This biennial event is organized jointly by SPIE and the American Precision Optics Manufacturers Association (APOMA).


The conference, with co-chairs Jessica DeGroote Nelson of Optimax Systems Inc. and Blair Unger of Rochester Precision Optics, has a technical focus on both classical and advanced optical manufacturing technologies and will feature lectures, poster sessions, and an exhibition, along with courses offered to attendees.

Conference sessions are split into 13 main topics, including advancements in conventional fabrication methods, optical engineering, surface roughness and optical alignment, midspatial frequency and wavefront error, optical coatings, and others.

Optifab 2019 will host a plenary session on Tuesday, Oct. 15, with the theme of “Building Tomorrow’s Workforce Today.” The speakers include James VanKouwenberg of Optimax presenting “Apprenticeship: Precision Optics Manufacturing Technician,” about the growth of apprenticeship in the U.S. as the manufacturing sector works to overcome a technical skills gap. Berndt Zingrebe of Sill Optics GmbH & Co. KG will discuss “Apprenticeship for Optics Workman” and the dual apprenticeship system in Germany that was launched to help young people develop practical training and skills. Alexis Vogt of Monroe Community College will also give a talk.

The event offers attendees a variety of courses to attend. The 15 courses are relevant for researchers and optical manufacturing professionals and are taught by experienced leaders in the industry. Highlights include a two-hour course taught by Vogt titled “Fundamentals of Optical Engineering,” geared toward exhibitors, sales representatives, or marketers. Two brand-new courses for technicians, titled “Introduction to Magnetorheological Finishing” and “Measuring Precision Freeform Optics,” will be led by Paul Dumas of QED Technologies and Scott DeFisher of OptiPro Systems, respectively. Other courses cover topics such as fundamentals of molded optics, optical glass, and surface imperfection specifications.

Special events at SPIE Optifab include an APOMA general meeting, poster sessions, networking receptions, and the SPIE job fair, where students and professionals can network with peers and employers. The fair will be held Oct. 15 and 16 in the exhibition hall.

The conference enables visitors to attend its optical fabrication exhibition from Oct. 15-17, highlighting over 160 companies and showcasing the latest products and innovations in optical manufacturing. The three 2019 exhibition chairs are Jonathan Sydor of Sydor Optics Inc., Justin Mahanna of Universal Photonics Inc., and Michael DeMarco of QED Optics.

Featured technologies at the exhibition include optical fabrication equipment; optical components, materials, and systems; optomechanical components and devices; laser system components; optical thin-film coatings; optical metrology and testing equipment; cleanroom equipment; and software, adhesives, glass, and consumables.

Companies confirmed to attend include: Optimax Systems Inc., Corning Incorporated, FLIR Systems Inc., LaCroix Precision Optics, Santec USA Corp., Thorlabs Inc., and Zaber Technologies Inc.

Photonics Spectra
Oct 2019
FeaturesSPIE OptifabIndustry EventsopticsAPOMA

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