SPIE Optifab readies for a big week in Rochester, with new fall timing

More exhibitors, strong conference, top training courses in international event

03 October 2013
OFB exhibit floor
The busy exhibiton floor provides
opportunities to see new technology
up close; above, a booth demonstration
at SPIE Optifab in 2011.

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA -- SPIE Optifab, the largest optical fabrication event in North America, will return to Rochester, New York, this month with a bigger exhibition than in recent years and technical updates and training on innovative technologies with strong commercial potential. Sponsored by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and APOMA, the American Precision Optics Manufacturers Association, the event will run 14-17 October in the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-New York) will join exhibition chairs James Sydor of Sydor Optics and Richard Nasca Corning Corp. to open the three-day exhibition on Tuesday 15 October.

A strong supporter of the optics industry and the advanced manufacturing capabilities enabled by photonics, Slaughter was on hand last month for a presentation on the National Photonics Initiative (NPI) at the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster annual meeting. The NPI is a collaborative alliance among industry, academia and government seeking to raise awareness of photonics and the field's impact on the economy, jobs and technological advance.

"Optifab is the only place in the world that you can come to hear nearly 100 technical papers on the latest optical fabrication and metrology advancements -- and at the same event, on the exhibition floor you can see the newest and most advanced optical fabrication equipment and metrology instruments," Sydor said. "In today's world economy we have to be aware of the most cost-effective manufacturing techniques to be able to compete globally.  If you are in the optical manufacturing business and not attending Optifab, you are missing the boat."

The 165 exhibiting companies include key industry suppliers such as Mahr Federal, TRIOPTICS, Universal Photonics, Xonox Technology and Zygo Corporation, with displays and demonstrations of optical and optomechanical components, materials, systems and devices, laser system components, optical test and metrology systems, thin-film coatings and more.

Large equipment manufacturers will have a major presence on the exhibit floor as well, with companies including OptoTech Optical Machinery, Schneider Optical Machines, QED Technologies, OptiPro Systems and Satisloh North America providing a close-up look at their latest products.

Approximately 100 technical talks will cover classical and advanced optical manufacturing technologies, on topics such as grinding and polishing, optical fabrication of freeform surfaces, metrology, optical materials, cleaning and coating, optical design, optical engineering, meter-class optics and molded optics.

Two plenary talks -- open to all attendees -- are scheduled:

  • "Disruptive innovation: the story of the first digital camera," by Steven Sasson, Retired, Eastman Kodak
  • "NASA funding for optical fabrication and testing technology development," by Philip Stahl, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

Conference chairs are Julie Bentley of the University of Rochester and Matthias Pfaff of OptoTech Opikmaschinen.

Training opportunities include 12 professional development courses on optical fabrication and manufacturing, aspheric optics, metrology, optomechanics, thin films and other topics. New this year are courses on subcontracting custom optics, and optical materials, fabrication and testing for the optical engineer.

Panel discussions will delve into industry topics including the future of metrology, export control reform and compliance and getting hired.

Conference proceedings will be available for distribution on CD at the event, and published online in the SPIE Digital Library.

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The Society serves more than 235,000 constituents from approximately 155 countries, offering conferences, continuing education, books, journals, and a digital library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional networking, and patent precedent. SPIE provided over $3.2 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2012.

Media contact:
Amy Nelson
Public Relations Manager, SPIE
+1 360 685 5478