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Start-up spotlight: Molded Plastic Optics

28 Oct 2008

Precision plastic optical components from a US start-up are used in medical, military and consumer applications.

What is the company's core technology and what makes it unique/commercial?
Molded Plastic Optics (MPO) is a new company set up specifically to design, produce and verify moulded plastic optical components for demanding applications.

"Our approach is to provide a comprehensive solution in the design, manufacture and testing of the highest performance components for our customers," Paul Murphy of MPO told optics.org. "We offer optical and mould tool design, rapid prototyping, high-volume production, testing and sub-assembly capabilities."

What products does the company sell?
MPO offers precision plastic optical components including spherical and aspherical lenses, aspheric bonded doublets, non-imaging optics, lens arrays, cylindrical and toroidal lenses, anti-reflective, reflective and protective hard coatings, and opto-mechanical assemblies.

What application areas does the company target?
"Our components are used in a range of sensing, imaging, scanning and detecting applications in the medical, military and consumer sectors," said Murphy.

Military imaging systems such as those found in night-vision devices or weapon's laser range finders are good examples of how the properties of precision plastic optics can combine to offer several key performance advantages, according to Murphy. "A plastic element is approximately 2 to 5 times lighter in weight than the glass equivalent, so replacing a glass element with a plastic element can significantly reduce weight in the system while still providing excellent imaging qualities," he said. "Plastic optics can be designed and manufactured as an aspheric surface, allowing the total element count to be reduced, or have mounting features moulded directly into the optical element."

What were the origins of the company?
"MPO was founded by engineers who previously were actual consumers of plastic optical elements that were employed inside of specific products that they manufactured," said Murphy. "In working with the existing moulding companies in the market place, the founders saw the need for a new moulding company that could provide the complete optimized solution to OEMs, and not just one or two parts of the puzzle."

How is the company funded?
MPO is privately owned, with sufficient capital to operate its facilities and allow further expansion as needed.

Quick facts:
Molded Plastic Optics, LLC
7 Perimeter Road
Manchester, NH 03104
USA

Telephone: 603-669-7800
Fax 603-669-7814
E-mail: info@mpoptics.com
Web: www.mpoptics.com

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