Archive for December 2015

New York Photonics SME’s Convene for AIM Photonics Update

December 16, 2015

38 representatives from New York Photonics Optics, Photonics and Imaging companies convened on Monday,  December 14th to discuss the role of small and medium-sized businesses (SME’s) in AIM Photonics.  AIM Photonics is one of the key institutes in president Obama’s National Network of Manufacturing Innovation.  Vice President Joe Biden was in Rochester to announce AIM Photonics on July 27th, 2015.

The meeting was hosted by New York Photonics, and included representatives from RIT and the University of Rochester, who both gave presentations.

Several New York Photonics companies signed NDA’s and support letters for the AIM Photonics application and have been looking for a conduit to connect with the Institute.  New York Photonics, New York State’s Photonics industry representation organization for over 15 years,  also signed an NDA and support letter for the AIM application, and has been seeking to connect with the Institute on behalf of New York State’s SME’s as component suppliers, manufacturing experts, R&D centers, optics & photonics education experts and commercialization partners.

Participants at the meeting were enthusiastic about working with AIM going forward on efforts around micro-optics, interposer materials and technologies, sensors and custom devices for specific industries.

>>AIM SME Meeting Presentation<<


Upstate Revitalization Awards: Finger Lakes Region One of Three Winners

December 10, 2015

Western New York’s beautiful Finger Lakes Region, home to the nation’s Optics, Photonics and Imaging (OPI) industry, has won one of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Upstate Revitalization (URI) awards.  The award is worth $500M to the region over the next five years.  The announcement was made at the Governor’s awards ceremony in Albany today, December 10th, 2016.

OPI is one of the three pillars represented in the Finger Lakes Application, along with Agriculture & Food Production and Next Generation Manufacturing Technology.  Vice President Joe Biden has been to Rochester twice in the past two years, recognizing the region’s preeminence in OPI, most recently to announce that Rochester will be the headquarters for AIM Photonics, one of the Obama administration’s National Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation.


Pillars of Strategic Importance in the Finger Lakes


To take a closer look at the Finger Lakes’ winning plan, click here.

Rising from the Ashes

December 4, 2015

Optics Makers Help Each Other Recover After Disasters

We’ve seen it time and again.  We’ve HELPED one another time and again.

It’s one light source this industry would rather not deal with.

Fire has affected at least four Northeast optics manufacturers in recent years, destroying inventory, machines and even entire buildings.

No employees or firefighters were injured in any of the fires, though an electrician suffered severe burns while working on damaged equipment at one fire site several days after the fact. None of the fires was deemed suspicious.

Remarkably, each of the businesses was able to bounce back after the fires, resuming production and shipments within weeks or even days. Solid insurance policies helped make that happen, but business leaders said they also had a lot of help from other companies in the optics industry — many of them small, family-operated enterprises. As each disaster struck, competitors temporarily became allies.

“We call it coopetition” — that is, cooperative competition — said Ron Schulmerich, business development manager at Esco Optics Inc. The New Jersey company recently bought a new facility after fire destroyed its original building last year.

“Our competitors literally helped us stay afloat,” said John O’Herron Jr., general manager of Angstrom Precision Optics Inc. in Rochester, N.Y. His company was burned out of its original building in 2012, and now rents space from another optics manufacturer.

>>Read More Here at<<

G-S PLASTIC OPTICS CEO Cited as Urban Innovator

December 3, 2015

Andy Germanow

“[Andy Germanow is]…like his father and his grandfather were before him, in the manufacturing business. G-S Plastic Optics makes precision components for medical devices, and his metal working operation Tel-Tru makes thermometers and pressure gauges. The other finalists for the Reshaping Rochester 2015 Robert Macon Award turned old buildings into lofts and a hotel, or built new apartments and retail space. The 115-year-old building at 408 St. Paul St. is, as it was, a manufacturing center.”

>>Read More Here<<


Germanow Simon in earlier days

In Memoriam: Our Good Friend

December 2, 2015

The Rochester Optics Community has lost a beloved member of our family.  Rick Nasca died suddenly on Tuesday night, December 2nd.  He was only 57.

Rick spent his entire career at Tropel, and was optical manufacturing / finishing technology leader.  He was passionate about optics education and devoted a great deal of time to MCC’s program on behalf of Corning, recognizing and rewarding students in the industry, and encouraging young people to pursue careers in optics.  He was past president of APOMA (American Precision Optics Manufacturers Association).

Rick leaves behind a wife and two daughters that he adored, a family and friends that will miss him dearly, as well as all of us in the optics community.

Rick’s obituary is here.

SPIE Memorialized Rick Here.

Miss you, buddy.

Richard Nasca
February 14, 1958 – December 2, 2015


Friends gathered on Friday, December 4th to celebrate his life.

Rick’s service was on Saturday, December 5 at  10:00am