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Business briefs

15 Feb 2008

Featuring news from Trumpf, Planar Systems, Testronic Labs, Thales and more.

• The laser plastic welding and selective laser soldering segments of Fisba Optik have been acquired by Trumpf. The acquisition is said to allow Trumpf to make a wider range of laser system applications available to its customers, and the company plans to offer its own laser systems for laser plastic welding and laser soldering. Fisba Optik specializes in micro-optics for beam formation of laser diodes and custom laser modules, as well as the development of OEM assemblies and custom optronic processing heads.

Planar Systems, a US supplier of specialty display systems, has set up a new in-house facility to provide optical bonding of TFT displays. The new resource and its 2500-square foot clean room facility are intended to enhance the company's capacity for custom bonded services. Optical bonding is claimed to provide increased display rigidity in TFT displays, and Planar has announced that it is enhancing many of its specialized monitors to include this feature.

• An interactive Blu-ray and HD DVD test facility has been established by Testronic Labs, a provider of quality assurance services to the digital media and entertainment industries. The laboratory will provide testing and quality control solutions for Blu-ray (including HDMV, BD-J and BD-LIVE) and HD DVD (including advanced HDi features such as web connectivity) and will be situated adjacent to the Deluxe facility in Burbank, building on existing co-operation between the two companies.

Thales has been awarded a £30 million contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to supply more than 700 of the company's Joint-Target Acquisition Systems to meet the MoD's Surveillance System and Range Finding (SSARF) requirement. The J-TAS equipment combines daylight and thermal vision with eye-safe laser range-finding, embedded military GPS and azimuth angular referencing to allow general surveillance and accurate target location. It is expected to enter service in 2009.

Marlow Industries, a manufacturer of thermoelectric coolers for lasers and other optoelectronic components, has completed the third phase of expansion of its Bridgman element production process at its Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, facility. The changes allow the company to narrow the time zone gap and provide for close interaction with overseas customers, according to a statement. Future plans for the Vietnam plant include the transfer of ceramic processing, new market assembly lines, and an engineering design centre.

Special Optics, a manufacturer of optical assemblies for long range surveillance and laser applications, has been acquired by Navitar. The deal will broaden Navitar's existing offer to military contractors and commercial accounts seeking to outsource optics based assemblies, and Special Optics' rapid prototyping and lens design capabilities will complement Navitar's volume production capacity, according to the companies.

• A licence for the manufacture and marketing of white LEDs with conversion technology has been granted to PerkinElmer by Osram. This technology enables white LEDs to be produced using blue-emitting chips based on indium-gallium nitrite and suitable phosphor converters. Licensing agreements for technology developed by Osram in this field already exist with other companies, including Rohm, Samsung Electro-Mechanics and Citizen.

PPG Industries, a supplier of optical products and specialty materials, has acquired NanoProducts, a US developer of nanoproduct materials and technology. The acquisition strengthens PPG's position in nanoengineered materials, and the company indicated its intention to license nanotechnology solutions in areas outside its existing businesses.


• Andrew Rickman has been named chairman of Kotura, a provider of silicon photonic products. Rickman is regarded as a pioneer in silicon photonics and was co-founder of Bookham. Kotura also announced that it has successfully raised a $10 million Series III round of funding, led by Rickman.

Bookham has appointed Yves LeMaitre as vice president of global sales for the company's telecommunications division and vice president of corporate marketing. LeMaitre will be based in Bookham's headquarters in San Jose.

• Robert Vollmers has become chief operating officer of Linos Photonics, replacing Volker Brockmeyer. Vollmers has also assumed responsibility for strategic development of the other companies in the Qioptiq Group's Optical Systems Division.

• Nicholas Brathwaite has joined the board of Tessera. Braithwaite previously served as chief technology officer at Flextronics, and brings wide experience of the camera module business, electronic system design and manufacturing, as well as expertise in technology acquisitions, according to Tessera.

JPSA has appointed Matt Parker as sales manager (central region). Parker will be responsible for coordinating sales activity of the company's laser and beam delivery systems in the central US territories.

Iridian Spectral TechnologiesLaCroix Precision OpticsCeNing Optics Co LtdPhoton Lines LtdBerkeley Nucleonics CorporationUniverse Kogaku America Inc.ABTech
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