27 Oct 2008
Featuring news from Oerlikon, PerkinElmer, StockerYale, Qioptiq and more.
• Oerlikon is selling its Oerlikon Optics business unit to the unit's management, supported by local private investors. The newly constituted business posts annual sales in the region of CHF35 million ($30 million) and has 160 staff, which will all transfer to the new company. It will trade under the new name of Optics Balzers from January 1, 2009. Watch for further coverage of this story on optics.org.
• Third-quarter revenues for PerkinElmer rose by 16% compared to the same quarter of last year, reaching $505.1 million. The company's Optoelectronics segment saw revenues rise by 13% to $131.7 million for the quarter, indicative of a strong financial position that would enable further investment in attractive markets, according to a company statement.
• Sales of LED systems from StockerYale Ireland rose by 52% year on year and 30% quarter on quarter, and helped boost overall StockerYale profits to $3.5 million for the first fiscal quarter. Revenues for the overall company equalled the prior quarter's record of $8.5 million. Profits benefited from a shift toward sales of higher margin products across the company's range of structured light lasers, LED modules and specialty optical fibres, along with implementation of cost control measures. The company's focus on R&D and biomedical applications would ensure future growth, the company said.
• Applications in electronics, instrumentation, medical and transportation industries will fuel adoption of optical coatings and boost the total market to $7.4 billion by 2012, according to a new report. Developments in the nanotechnology and display sectors will also be significant growth drivers. The US market for optical coatings stands at $2.81 billion, followed by Asia. Between them, these two regions account for 86% of the global market. Sales of transmissive or anti-reflective coatings represent the largest single market segment, with sales estimated at $3 billion in 2008. "Optical Coatings: A Global Strategic Business Report" is published by Global Industry Analysts
• Qioptiq's new facility in Singapore has been officially opened by Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the minister of finance. The facility represents an investment of more than $26 million and employs 800 people. It is expected to support Qioptiq's development of UV optics.
• Candela reported a drop in revenues of 24% to $26.9 million in the first fiscal quarter, down from $35.5 million in the comparable quarter of the previous year. Revenues from lasers and other products fell more steeply, decreasing to $17.2 million from $26.8 million, and the company reported a net loss of $4 million for the quarter, compared with a net income of $187,000 in the corresponding period of last year. The company stated that the results are a reflection of the challenging economic and business conditions in the company's aesthetic laser markets.
• A new facility dedicated to high throughput of low-cost optical coatings has been opened by Iridian Spectral Technologies, a Canadian developer of optical thin-film devices operating in the near infrared. The Ottawa site has been specifically equipped to allow high-volume production and fast turn-around, according to the company, which indicated that production volume at the facility can be more than 8000 parts per day.
• SpecTIR, a US designer of hyperspectral and polarimetric imaging systems, has acquired 18.5% ownership of Specim, Finland. The partnership is in line with the Finnish company's strategy of strengthening its presence in the United States and other international markets, and builds on existing ties between the companies.
• Strong growth in US government contracts boosted third-quarter revenues for FLIR Systems to $276 million, a rise of 45% compared with the equivalent period last year. Operating income rose by a similar percentage to $76.7 million. Revenues across all of the company's government systems businesses rose by 57% to a record $151.7 million, and the company indicated that the market was set to remain robust for the future.
• ProLas, Germany, a developer of transmission laser welding systems, has opened a sales and service office for its plastics welding applications in Seoul, Korea. The office will be coordinated by Young Youl Kim, president and CEO of HanWool Scientific, who coordinates the sales activities of ProLas in the territory.
• Luxtera will contribute its silicon photonics technology to DARPA's Ultraperformance Nanophotonic Intrachip Communications (UNIC) programme, following the signing of a multi-million dollar contract with Sun Microsystems. UNIC is intended to provide the computing industry with low-cost, enhanced high-performance computer systems. Luxtera will supply strategic direction, baseline optoelectronic circuits, tools and device design support for Sun in the production of low-power optical transmitters and receivers.
• Nualight's Vantium Porto LED lighting will be retrofitted into frozen display cases across 111 Tesco stores in Ireland, in a deal worth €1 million ($1.25 million). The food retailer expects to realize a substantial cost saving by replacing environmentally unfriendly fluorescent lighting with the LEDs, according to a Tesco statement. See also optics.org's previous coverage of Nualight along with other photonics companies in the Cork region.