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Thorlabs acquires video measurement company

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Thorlabs has acquired US-based Operations Technology (Optek), a designer and manufacturer of large-format, granite-based video and x-ray dimensional measurement systems. The acquired company will form a new Thorlabs entity called Thorlabs Measurement Systems.

Optek was founded in 1978 to provide optical inspection and measurement machines for the printed circuit board fabrication industry. Its systems are used by machine shops for inspecting precision-machined dimensional components for accuracy as well as for performing metrology and quality assurance in high-tech industries such as electronics, semiconductor, automotive, and medical. 

The company's VideoMic granite-based video systems co-ordinate measurement systems combine the high magnification characteristics of a microscope with the precise measuring capabilities of a micrometer to provide rapid, non-contact measurements with high accuracy. The closed-loop systems are constructed by bonding high-end translation stages directly to the granite slab, thereby leading to a metrology solution that is highly accurate, stable, and repeatable. Depending on the exact model chosen, the VideoMic family is comprised of products capable of measuring envelops ranging from 12 x 12 inch to 50 x 36 inch, all with 8 inches of z-axis travel and one-tenth micron precision. 

Optek also offers the 'world’s first' x-ray-based co-ordinate measurement systems for real-time internal imaging of multilayer circuit boards and other complex electronics. The InnerVision systems can quantify distortions within obstructed internal components so that further fabrication processes may be adjusted and optimized. As with the VideoMic series, these large-format machines offer fast XY positioning at speeds of up to 30 inches per second and precise x-ray-based metrology capabilities. 

The Optek team will remain in Blairstown, New Jersey and form a new Thorlabs entity called Thorlabs Measurement Systems. 'We are excited to add the Optek metrology solutions to our portfolio,' said Ike Jariel, the general manager of the newly formed Thorlabs entity. 'Their video imagers have been employed by our internal quality assurance teams for many years, and hence, we look forward to making these advanced metrology solutions and components available to our customer base.'

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