Also Drives Costs Lower as Announced by LightPath Technologies
ORLANDO, FL, USA — / ACCESSWIRE / — LightPath Technologies, Inc., a leading manufacturer of proprietary optical and infrared components and high-level assemblies, announced today its comprehensive production capabilities and global availability for a new line of infrared lenses made of a chalcogenide compound.
This compound is developed and produced internally by LightPath to produce Black Diamond™ glass and marketed as BD6™. LightPath’s new chalcogenide line of infrared lenses is an ideal alternative to products made from Germanium.
LightPath’s BD6™ (As40Se60 chalcogenide glass) is now being produced in high volumes in its Orlando, Florida facility for use in a large number of infrared applications.
In addition to molding, BD6™ material can be fabricated into optical elements via precision diamond turning. A number of optical coating options, including DLC, are available and suitable for varied customer requirements.
“Our work with chalcogenide glass for infrared lenses is state of the art,” said Jim Gaynor, President and Chief Executive Officer of LightPath.
“LightPath is one of the few manufacturers in the world to possess the broad breadth of capabilities, which includes our internally melted glass, our vertically integrated processing, and the different ways in which the glass is transformed at production level quantities into highly technical IR lenses. LightPath has the unique capability with the expertise to perform both diamond turning and precision molding for chalcogenide glass. This enables us to make high-performance lenses of virtually any size.”
Mr. Gaynor continued, “Beyond the performance qualities this product offers to our customers, we have improved control of the supply chain — since we are the supply chain — and may now better regulate the primary cost of materials used in our largest segment of consolidated revenues. We are now actively working with our existing customers to convert them to our own material and have begun a global marketing campaign to introduce our new line of lenses. In turn, as we have previously demonstrated significant demand creation through reduced prices while yielding margin enhancements for our visible optics product lines, we believe a similar course will be defined for our infrared product line.”
LightPath now has significant capacity to make enough high-quality BD6™ glass to meet its forecast demand for precision molded IR lenses.
LightPath’s glass manufacturing and molding capabilities were recently augmented, as part of a vertical integration strategy, which has been driven by the market’s increasing requirement for low-cost infrared optics applications.
Infrared optics is a fast-growing sector of the industrial technology market.
Demand is being experienced for end markets that include infrared imaging security and surveillance cameras, automotive sensors, commercial uses, firefighting and outdoor sporting applications. In its most recent fiscal quarter, LightPath reported that revenues generated by its infrared products surpassed revenue generated by its precision molded optics or visible products.
Revenues generated by the Company’s infrared products was approximately $4.2 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2018, an increase of approximately 10% from the third quarter of fiscal 2017.
This strategic business has contributed to the Company’s growth, with sales generated in Asia, Europe, and the United States. MarketsandMarkets reported the infrared imaging market will grow by 40% from US$5.2 billion in 2018 to US$7.3 billion by 2023.
LightPath has been investing in its manufacturing facilities in Zhenjiang, China, Riga, Latvia and Orlando, Florida to lower the cost of producing infrared products, which will also give the Company redundancies to prevent capacity constraint issues as the infrared business continues to grow.
Offering a talented team of experienced optical designers and engineers, LightPath is able to melt its own glass for IR applications, provide lens design, prototyping, testing, pilot production and high volume precision lens manufacturing services of the highest quality and excellent value.
LightPath is now making production quantities of Black Diamond 6™ (BD6™) chalcogenide glass which is inherently optically athermal in addition to offering great transmission over a very wide range of temperature.
The material has similar target properties to germanium, commonly and increasingly used as a polymerization catalyst and for military, communications, electronics, fiber optics, infrared optics and solar power applications. LightPath continues to develop improved capabilities for its infrared product line that will cover most requirements in the commercial and military high-volume and custom application markets.
Black Diamond 6™ (BD6™) is ideal for use in medium-wave IR (MWIR) and long-wave IR (LWIR) thermal imaging systems and gains acceptance in the marketplace over expensive Germanium optics.
LightPath offers a cost-effective alternative using its in-house manufacturing process for chalcogenide glass.
The raw material of Germanium (chemical element symbol Ge and atomic number 32), the key material historically used in IR lens production, has experienced significant price appreciation over the past few years, with occasional short-term spot price anomalies under a variety of circumstances. Overall production and availability is somewhat limited.
China is recognized as a world leader in the production and consumption of Germanium. As a result, prices for Germanium have increased from approximately $1,500 per kilogram in the first quarter of 2017 to over $2,300 per kilogram in the first quarter of 2018, according to the strategic metals research of Kitco Metals.
This price appreciation and issues surrounding availability of the mineral for production quantities has led LightPath to develop its alternative solution using chalcogenide to make Black DiamondTM glass.
About LightPath Technologies:
LightPath Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: LPTH) is a leading global, vertically integrated provider of optics, photonics and infrared solutions for the industrial, defense, telecommunications, testing and measurement, and medical industries. LightPath designs, manufactures, and distributes proprietary optical and infrared components including molded glass aspheric lenses and assemblies, infrared lenses and thermal imaging assemblies, fused fiber collimators, and gradient index GRADIUM® lenses. LightPath also offers custom optical assemblies, including full engineering design support. The Company is headquartered in Orlando, Florida, with manufacturing and sales offices in Irvington, New York, Riga, Latvia and Zhenjiang and Shanghai, China.
Thru its wholly-owned subsidiary ISP Optics Corporation, LightPath manufactures and offers a full range of infrared products from high-performance MWIR and LWIR lenses and lens assemblies. LightPath’s infrared lens assembly product line includes a thermal lens system used in cooled and uncooled thermal imaging cameras. Manufacturing is performed in-house to provide precision optical components including spherical, aspherical and diffractive coated infrared lenses. LightPath’s optics processes allow it to manufacture its products from all important types of infrared materials and crystals. Manufacturing processes include CNC grinding and CNC polishing, diamond turning, continuous and conventional polishing, optical contacting and advanced coating technologies.
For more information on LightPath and its businesses, visit www.lightpath.com.
This news release includes statements that constitute forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding our ability to expand our presence in certain markets, future sales growth, continuing reductions in cash usage and implementation of new distribution channels. This information may involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, factors detailed by LightPath Technologies, Inc. in its public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required under the federal securities laws and the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission, we do not have any intention or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
At the Company:
Vice President of Corporate Development
407-382-4003 Ext 369
SOURCE: LightPath Technologies, Inc.
Learn more about the properties of this material and optics fabricated from it compared to Germanium optics online on the LightPath website using the links below:
- Applicability of an annealing coefficient for precision glass molding
- Investigation of As40Se60 chalcogenide glass in precision glass
- Comparison of the thermal effects on LWIR optical designs-SPIE
- Investigation of index of refraction changes in chalcogenide glasses
- A Practical Approach to LWIR Wafer Level Optics
- Material Property Qualification for BD-2 Chalcogenide Glass
- Design and fabrication of low-cost thermal imaging optics using
- Using molded chalcogenide glass technology to reduce cost in a compact wide-angle thermal imaging lens
- Advanced manufacturing methods for Chalcogenide molded
- Chalcogenide and Germanium Hybrid Optics