Archive for December 2012

CEO Round Table Monthly Meetings Continue in 2013

December 26, 2012

The CEO Seminars are generally scheduled for the first Thursday of each month at 3:30 PM.  The seminars for February and May are being skipped as there are out of town trade shows scheduled which will affect attendance.  In addition, we are rotating the venue to to make attendance easier for some folks.  Host sites will be responsible for food and beverages (alcohol is at the discretion of the host company).

WL AgendaAs always it is appreciated if you drop and email to Tom Battley so that we have an accurate head count.

Here are the 2013 dates:

  • Jan. 3rd – JML Optical
  • Feb. 7th – Skip, Photonics West that week
  • Mar. 7th – Sydor Optics
  • Apr. 4th – TOPTICA
  • May 2nd – Skip, Laser Munich that week
  • Jun. 6th – OptiPro
  • Jul. 4th – Skip, National Holiday
  • Aug. 1st – QED Optics
  • Sep. 5th – Sydor Optics
  • Oct. 3rd – Rochester Precision Optics
  • Nov. 7th
  • Dec. 5th

Semrock New Facility Tour

December 19, 2012

RRPC Networking

On Thursday, January 24 Semrock held a tour for local RRPC members of its new high volume manufacturing facility. The new facility is located adjacent to their main building in Rochester, NY where Semrock houses over 120 employees. Rob Beeson, Semrock’s GM stated that this project has been a few years in the making in response to market signals for higher volumes of custom optical filters.
The new facility is laid out with ease of scalability and automation in mind for small filters. While their current facility can handle orders for quantities into the thousands of filters the new high volume facility can more easily handle orders of tens of thousands of filters. Craig Hodgson, Semrock’s Director of Research and Development who gave the tour simply defined Semrock’s secret to success which is to take standard equipment and add better process control in order to make products that others cannot.

Semrock’s Product Line Director, Jim Passalugo concluded that Semrock’s mission is to continue looking into the future for the next technology that can benefit from their products.

3625 Buffalo Road, Suite 6
Rochester, New York 14624

Our hosts:

  • Rob Beeson
  • Turan Erdogan
  • Nick George
  • Craig Hodgson
  • Amanda MacDonald
  • Jim Passalugo
  • Mike Ransford

We understand that some folks have had a hard time finding Semrock in the past,  especially those who rely on GPS. Apparently GPS systems get confused in the neighborhood of Buffalo and Manitou Roads!  The Semrock facility is clearly identified in the map below.  Click on the map to be taken to Google Maps.


At the corner stoplight of Buffalo and Manitou Rds, turn into the office park, follow the road curve around to the back of the park. There will be two buildings mirroring one another. The Semrock entrance is in the right-hand building #3625, furthest door down by the woods.

New Scale rotary piezo motors shine in NASA JPLs’ 2nd-gen fiber positioner for astronomy

December 17, 2012

Researchers at NASA Jet Propulsion Labs (JPL) have successfully tested a second-generation “Cobra” fiber positioner for astronomy, consisting of two rotary piezoelectric SQUIGGLE motors from New Scale Technologies. The second-generation design reduced the number of move iterations required to move an optical fiber to its target position for collecting astronomical data. Design improvements include modification of the hard stops to minimize friction and improve robustness. Details and test results were presented at the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation conference in July in Amsterdam.

A new video of the second-generation Cobra fiber positioner in action is available at

The newly published results highlight JPL’s ongoing development of a spectrograph for the Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. The Prime Focus Spectrograph (PFS) will have 2,394 positioners, each comprising two SQUIGGLE motors in a theta-phi configuration, able to move an optical fiber to within 5 µm of its target position in six move iterations. The dense-packed hex array of positioners with overlapping patrol areas enables 100% coverage of a large area of the sky.

The ability to quickly move fibers to their target position increases observing efficiency: less time spent positioning the fibers after each move of the telescope means that more time is available for data collection. According to the JPL paper:

“The current estimate is it takes 62 seconds to move the telescope and reacquire the new field of targets with 15 minute exposures. This will allow for approximately 45 fields to be observed per night. This will enable large scale surveys aimed at understanding dark energy as part of the Subaru Measurements of Images and Redshifts (SuMIRe) program… The Cobra system is a key aspect of PFS that will enable its unprecedented combination of high-multiplex factor and observing efficiency on the Subaru telescope.”

The full paper (#8450-41) is available from SPIE at

New Scale’s piezoelectric motors met JPL’s key requirements for the Cobra positioner:

  •  Small size, allowing more than 2,000 positioners to fit in a close-packed hex pattern with 8 mm center-to-center spacing
  • High position resolution and the ability to quickly converge on a target position using open-loop positioning
  • High torque to overcome the drag of the optical fiber as it twists during movements, and high holding torque to maintain the target position once reached


December 14, 2012

APPLIED IMAGE Group announced the acquisition of MICROTRONICS Inc, a key USA based “mask maker”. MICROTRONICS manufactures glass masks for the semiconductor, hybrid, MEMS, and electro-optical industries. Masks are primarily used to transfer electro-optical designs from the glass imaged plates (that MICROTRONICS manufactures) to the wafer, which becomes the final microelectronic or electro-optical components themselves. It will operate as a wholly owned division of the APPLIED IMAGE group.

aiplacementAll of the equipment used in the mask manufacturing process, along with customer accounts, have been transfer to APPLIED IMAGE Rochester, NY facility. With the new laser based writing systems, APPLIED IMAGE will be capable of designing, and imaging, to sub-micron geometries with 1/10th micron tolerances. These capabilities will place APPLIED IMAGE at the forefront of the electro-optical and photonic industry. In addition, MICROTRONICS will continue to be a prime “mask making” house providing products and services to the electronic industry, government research systems, and universities throughout the world.

“This is a very exciting acquisition for us at APPLIED IMAGE” said CEO Bruno Glavich. “We are already a prime manufacturer of opto-imaging, calibration standards, optical components, and image evaluation test targets. This new capability will expand our offering significantly including the ability to create hybrid applications for our customers in the MEMS, Electro-Optics, and Bio-Optics fields”.

For more information about MICROTRONICS laser based “mask making” services, please go to

For more information about APPLIED IMAGE unique opto-imaging standards, optical components, and image analysis test targets, please go to

Comment Period for New Export Administration Rules (BIS – EAR)

December 11, 2012

BIS published  proposed rule on Revisions to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) To Make the Commerce Control List (CCL) Clearer. Comments must be received by BIS no later than January 28, 2013.

The proposed rule is here  (downloads a PDF from the Federal Register)

On December 9, 2010, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking entitled Commerce Control List: Revising Descriptions of Items and Foreign Availability as part of the President’s Export Control Reform (ECR) Initiative.  The December 9, 2010 notice sought, among other things, public comments on how descriptions of items controlled on the Commerce Control List (CCL) could be made clearer.  This proposed rule would implement changes identified by BIS and the public that would make the CCL clearer.  This rule would only implement changes that can be made to the CCL without requiring changes to multilateral export control regime guidelines or lists.  However, BIS has identified changes that would require a decision of a multilateral regime to implement.  For those changes, the U.S. Government is developing regime change proposals for consideration by members of those multilateral export control regimes.  BIS will implement those changes in separate rulemakings, if approved by the respective multilateral export control regimes.

Comments must be received by BIS no later than January 28, 2013

CEIS & RRPC cosponsored Workshop on December 17th at the University of Rochester

December 5, 2012

A workshop about the formation of a National Institute for innovation in Photonics and Optics Manufacturing Technology will be held at the University of Rochester on December 17th.  A preliminary agenda is attached.

The proposed Institute will be part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), a $1Billion program announced by the Obama Administration on March 9th to establish 15 Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation across the country.

We feel that an Optics, Photonics and Imaging Institute need to be part of this federal initiative.

Do you?

Seating is limited so please follow the link below to register.

Workshop Details

Workshop about the formation of a National Institute for Innovation in Photonics and Optics Manufacturing Technology

Monday December 17th, 2012
7:30am – 5:00pm
University of Rochester Alumni Center
300 East River Road, Rochester, NY 14627

The University of Rochester and the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster are hosting a workshop on the creation of a National Institute for Innovation in Photonics and Optics Manufacturing Technology (“POMATECH”).  The proposed Institute would be part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) announced by the Obama Administration on March 9th of this year and part of the National Photonics Initiative proposed in the report by the National Academy of Sciences entitled Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for our Nation.

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together leaders from industry, academia, and government to discuss potential areas of focus for POMATECH.  The potential areas identified so far are advanced optics, photonic integrated circuits, opto-electro-mechanical packaging, lasers and materials processing, displays, solid state lighting, integrated imaging systems, and biomedical devices.  Other areas may be proposed at the workshop and not all proposed areas may be carried forward.  We will discuss each of these areas and identify

  1. potential market size
  2. key manufacturing challenges
  3. precompetitive aspects
  4. potential sponsoring companies
  5. potential partnering universities
  6. synergies within the Institute
  7. synergies with the National Photonics Initiative
  8. synergies with other potential NNMI Institutes

We invite you to attend this meeting and share with us your perspectives.  More information on the workshop and the Agenda are available on the Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences web site.

Register for the event here, and select the breakout sessions that most interest you.

For a map to the Alumni Relations Center on East River Rd. at the University of Rochester follow the following link and select the South Campus.   The center is immediately adjacent to the Laboratory for Laser Energetics.

For a list of hotels that are nearby the University, go to

For more information on the event, call or text Paul Ballentine at 585-748-1408 or send an email to

Semrock Ships Millionth Filter

December 5, 2012

Semrock is very proud to announce that they have recently shipped their one millionth filter. Semrock was founded in 2000, but it wasn’t until 2004 that the company decided to apply their hard coated optical filter technology primarily to the biotechnology and optical instrumentation market.  Semrock has seen tremendous growth in those 8 short years with three optical filter product platforms –1) fluorescence instrumentation & microscopy, 2) Raman spectroscopy instrumentation, and 3) laser based analytical instrumentation.

“The entire Semrock team is rightfully very proud of achieving this significant milestone,” said Robert Beeson, General Manager of Semrock. “In the company’s early years, few of us dared to imagine we’d ship over a million of our hard-coated, high-performance optical filters. Through the unbelievable skill and perseverance of all our employees, that amazing number is now a reality. But in typical Semrock style, we’re focusing our thoughts and efforts on future rather than past accomplishments. To that end, we are tremendously excited about the imminent completion of our new high-volume production cell and are confident that it will allow us to ship our second million filters in a much shorter time than it took us to reach the first million. We plan on celebrating that new milestone soon.”