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Edmund Optics restructures its manufacturing base

12 Oct 2012

Expansion of Asian plants and restructuring of US facilities seen as crucial for future development.

Edmund Optics (EO) has announced that it will expand its global manufacturing operations in 2013, through expansion and investment at two Asian facilities and an accompanying reorganization of its US operations.

The changes are intended to bolster the company's capabilities and capacity in its core areas, but are particularly targeted at asphere manufacturing and coating operations.

In the US, EO intends to consolidate its Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, manufacturing center into the corporate headquarters in Barrington, New Jersey.

The changes had been mooted since June 2012, when EO indicated its intention to transfer non-coating operations out of Pennsburg to New Jersey, while moving volume aspheric production to its new Singapore plant. Pennsburg was then to focus on development of new coating technologies, along with its previous work on metrology and quality assurance systems. Those plans have now been refined.

"Manufacturing in the United States is a challenging proposition," said Samuel Sadoulet, COO, announcing the consolidation. "It is therefore critical to bring these resources closer to the heart of our engineering operation. Positioning our manufacturing engineers alongside our technical sales, product management, and supply chain teams [in New Jersey] will ultimately deliver a better experience to the customer, with more engineering talent dedicated to every project."

Domestic operations in Barrington will focus on both asphere and coating technology and process development, including the creation of a high precision thin films lab. Sales Director Anthony Artigliere noted that "EO's inventory of over 10 million substrates is located in Barrington, making it the ideal location for quick modification of standard parts for fast-turn customer projects."

At the same time, EO is investing in additional coating and metrology equipment at both its Singapore plant and the facility at Akita, Japan. This will include the relocation of optical metrology equipment from Pennsburg to Asia.

Once this consolidation is complete, EO will have a global manufacturing footprint of 12,700m2 in 2013, which the company said is a 15 percent increase over the figure from 2007.

Award winner
The 2012 Norman Edmund Inspiration Award winner has been named as Tomasz Tkaczyk, Assistant Professor in Bioengineering at Rice University, Texas.

The prize, established by the company in memory of its founder Norman Edmund and selected from the winners of an annual research and innovation competition, recognizes Tkaczyk’s development of optical imaging technologies for the early detection and treatment of infectious diseases and cancer. It comes with an award of $5,000 in EO products.

Research at Tkaczyk’s Modern Optical Instrumentation and Bio-imaging Laboratory at Rice focuses on the development and application of compact, high-performance bio-imaging tools for use as point-of-care diagnostic instruments in various clinical settings.

In particular, Tkaczyk’s efforts are leading to the design and testing of micro-endoscopes to provide real-time cancer detection, along with high-throughput techniques such as super-resolution or hyper-spectral imaging for optical screening devices. The result should be increased sensitivity and specificity for the detection of disease.

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