Optical coating is a complex process with critical details that can greatly impact the outcome of a project. Many times, thin film coating knowledge is an understanding of certain variables that is developed over time. Because large portions of the workforce are baby boomers who will retire in the near future, how do you train the incoming coating engineers in a field that simply requires experience?
Optical coating is a high-tech process that requires an incredible commitment to quality, particularly due to the sophistication of the customers’ applications. Mistakes in optical coating are expensive and can have tremendous supply chain consequences. For VisiMax and other coaters, the quality of our coating process is the single most important measure of our success.
Having optical coating work done is often perceived by optics systems designers and fabricators as risky, expensive, and painful – sort of like going to the dentist. But it doesn’t have to be like this. When you establish a relationship with an experienced coating partner the risks within your optics supply chain are mitigated.
For an optical coater, SPIE’s annual Optics + Photonics conference is like a boiled down version of Photonics West—a distillation of everything we want in an optics conference without the hustle and bustle of the magnificent Moscone Center. Photonics West is still a favorite because of its importance to us and our industry, but Optics + Photonics delivers the facetime and prospecting potential that we crave from a high quality trade show.
Managing Risk in Optical Supply Chains
Trusting a single source with your company's entire optical coating needs speaks volumes to partner loyalty. But in an ever-evolving industry that is driven by rapid turnaround, a diversified supply chain is not only a safe business decision but a smart one. Diversification of suppliers opens up business opportunities that single source reliance cannot.