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SPIE Professional April 2009

SPIE Optifab: Manufacturers Seeking Cost-Conscious Solutions

SPIE Optifab in Rochester, NYWith the recent economic downturn, companies are more conscious than ever of tightening their belts and making fabrication and manufacturing more cost-productive. Richard N. Youngworth, director of Optical Engineering at Light Capture Inc., is teaching a course at SPIE Optifab, 11-14 May, that addresses just those issues.

The goal of “Cost-Conscious Tolerancing of Optical Systems,” Youngworth says, “is to give the attendees a strong mindset and methods to most effectively tolerance optical systems.” Topics in the course apply to all volumes of systems being developed, from single systems to millions of units.

Youngworth adds that he has completely revised the course since last year and has made sure the course material is completely up-to-date. “There are now more examples to help students use the material in their day-to-day work.”

James C. Wyant, Robert E. Fischer, and Paul R. Yoder, Jr., will also be teaching courses at Optifab, looking at the proper fabrication, mounting, and testing of optics.

Being more cost-effective and improving efficiency is highlighted throughout SPIE Optifab this year.

On Thursday, 14 May, teams from RAPT Industries (USA) and Cranfield University (UK) will present their research, cost effective fabrication of meter class optics. They will discuss the Reactive Atom Plasma (RAPTM) process, which has demonstrated high material removal rates and elimination of sub-surface damage.

Papers will also be presented on improved polishing processes for fused silica, designing cost-effective systems that incorporate high-precision aspheric optics, and new developments in edging technology.

SPIE Optifab is an international showcase for production of all sizes, from the biggest machines to microfabrication. More than 1700 attendees and 175 exhibitors are expected, with hands-on demonstrations scheduled at the exhibition. The event is co-sponsored by the American Precision Optics Manufacturers Association and held in the Rochester-Ithaca-Corning triangle, an area full of companies involved in high-tech, light-driven technologies, including Xerox, Eastman Kodak, Bausch & Lomb, ITT, and Corning.

For information on SPIE Optifab, including courses, technical program, and registration, which are discounted for SPIE members, go to spie.org/ofb.

DOI: 10.1117/2.4200904.14

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