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From the Design Lab to the Factory Floor: How Optics Manufacturers Move Swiftly from Concept to Creation

Apr 27, 2021
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ABOUT THIS WEBINAR
Designing and fabricating optics requires teamwork among many specialists, from materials scientists who research and study the chemical structures of synthetic or composite materials to optical engineers who design precision systems, and the technicians who assemble them. Not only does everyone need to understand their own craft, but in today's environment, they need to share an understanding of the processes and requirements of all the areas along the manufacturing chain to realize success. This understanding is especially pivotal for meeting the growing demand for automation of production processes, and for traceability of individual components and entire systems.

Optics manufacturing started as a craftsmanship. It took years to learn the profession, and outcomes depended heavily on workers' experience and quality of labor. In the 1990s, with the development of CNC-based machines for grinding and polishing spherical optics - and later with aspherics in the 2000s - the manufacturing field began to shift toward automation. The next step in this process, to compensate for the future lack of highly trained people, is introducing robotics.

Where traceability is concerned, the need for it increases in all branches of optics manufacturing. In the example of a small series of specialized objectives built into machines - from applications in ophthalmology to laser material processing - a certain level of performance, repeatability, and length of lifetime are expected. It then becomes vital to understand, in the event of an unexpected outcome, which lenses are included. For serial batches of optics, traceability enables access to statistics on performance outcome versus manufacturing processes, which helps to adjust specifications quickly when needed.

In this webinar, Fuchs addresses every step of the optics manufacturing process, from design and fabrication to distribution and integration. She presents a special focus on the evolution of the value chain and the current needs of today's fields.

***This presentation premiered during the 2021 Photonics Spectra Optics Conference. For information on upcoming Photonics Media events, see our event calendar here.

About the presenter
Dr. Ulrike FuchsDr. Ulrike Fuchs is vice president of strategy and innovation at asphericon GmbH in Germany. She received her Diplom in physics in 2004, and later her Ph.D. in physics in 2009 from Friedrich Schiller University, Jena. She went on to join asphericon as an optical designer in 2010, where she now heads the Applications Department and coordinators all R&D activities and strategic product development. In 2018 Fuchs was the inaugural winner of the Kevin P. Thompson Optical Design Innovator Award from OSA and was elected Fellow of OSA in 2020.

She has authored over 70 publications and has 6 registered patents to her name. She has also served as Associated Editor for Optics Express (2018) and is a frequent keynote speaker and instructor for aspherics and freeform optics.
opticslensesoptical designOptics Manufacturingoptical fabrication
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