Time to market is critical for our customers, so we offer complete assemblies in as little as four weeks.
Today, the product market is highly competitive. Companies must shorten the product development (PD) cycles for their new and enhanced products to keep their edge against the competition.
At JML Optical, our QuickTurn Optics (QTO) capability enables our customers to receive custom optical components and assemblies with some of the shortest lead times in the industry. As a result, they can prototype, test, and produce their products quicker.
What Is QuickTurn Optics?
QuickTurn Optics is a rapid prototyping initiative that allows the experts at JML Optical to produce custom optics in a fraction of the industry’s normal lead times. While it originally focused on plano and spherical lenses, we have since expanded our prototyping and production capabilities to include aspherical and cylindrical lenses and optical assemblies.
QTO combines a team of experienced opticians, a selection of state-of-the-art equipment, and a range of vertically integrated capabilities. Altogether, these elements allow us to produce and deliver engineered optical components in as little as one week and engineered multi-element assemblies in as little as four weeks from receipt of order.
Why Use QuickTurn Optics?
Our QuickTurn Optics capability is beneficial for customers in a wide range of industries, from aerospace to medical to semiconductor. Whether they need single-element lenses and mirrors or multi-element optical assemblies, they benefit from the following:
- Shorter time to market/turnaround time. Our QuickTurn Optics projects come with a standard lead time of four weeks, depending on product design and material availability. Compared to the lead times offered by other custom optics suppliers, these estimates are much shorter, enabling our customers to have shorter PD cycles and faster time to market, both of which help increase their competitive edge in their respective markets.
- Broader in-house capabilities. We perform all prototyping and production operations in-house, from engineering design to fabrication to thin-film coating to cleanroom assembly to metrology to environmental testing. This enables us to address all customer needs without wasting time and money on outsourcing operations.
- Faster response times. Our ability to produce custom components and assemblies rapidly is ideal for helping customers respond to changes in product demand. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for medical devices and equipment rose. Our rapid prototyping capabilities helped produce components and assemblies for critical optical equipment such as confocal microscopes, microendoscopes, and optical coherence tomography (OCT) systems.
“We have a limited time window to develop, test and deploy new capabilities. Waiting 12 weeks for prototypes and an additional 12 weeks for production quantities simply won’t work in our fast-paced industry. JML Optical delivered 4 prototype lenses in a fraction of the normal lead time, enabling us to meet our deadline for the project.”
“Our business needs to understand designs quickly because if we’re going to fail we need to do it quickly so we can learn from it and make the necessary changes.”
Our goal is to help our customers to be more competitive in any way we can. Increasingly, shortening time-to-market is a critical success factor.
In order to give you the ability to bring new and enhanced products to market even faster we made significant capital and people investments over the past year to build our QuickTurn Optics capability.
How We Do It
- Dedicated manufacturing cells handle key pinch points
- State-of-the-art equipment
- Dedicated & experienced opticians
- Vertical Integration
- Lens Fabrication
- Metal Machining
- Optical design & engineering
- Are there quantity maximums and/or minimums?
As few as 1 piece and, as a general rule, up to 10 pieces can be ordered. Your specific design may allow us to quote more than 10 pieces.
- When does the quoted lead time start?
The quote lead time covers manufacturing, coating, assembly (as appropriate) and testing. It begins on the latter of receipt/acceptance of your purchase order and completion of final design.
- What happens if the committed-to delivery date is not met?
We understand that your schedule is dependent on us meeting our schedule so we only make commitments for which we are highly confident that we can deliver. If there is a delivery slip we will decrease the unit price on a straight-line basis for each week beyond the agreed-to delivery until the price reaches the unit price we quoted for the standard lead time for the same quantity.
- Are there restriction/limitations with regard to glass types?
We will do our best to obtain the glass type your design needs. You will know when we quote if glass availability will be a problem. If glass availability is an issue, we are able to review your design and possibly suggest glass substitutes with better availability.
- What are wavelength restrictions for QuickTurn Optics?
200nm – 2.4µ
- What are the element size restrictions?
As a rule, at least 4mm and up to 150mm outer diameter. But, the details of your specific design may allow us to make a larger diameter optics.
- Is there an allowable maximum number of elements in a multi-element assembly?
6-8 elements is the typical upper limit for the number of elements in an assembly. However, the details of your specific design may allow us to quote an assembly with a greater number of elements.
- What if my design has elements that JML does not currently have the capability to make in-house (e.g. plastic lenses)?
Our current in-house capabilities include spherical, aspheric, plano, coating, metals, etc. but do not yet include plastic lenses. If the design contains elements for which we do not have in-house capability we will partner with another company. Depending on the other company’s workload, we may or may not be able to promise a 4 week delivery. But, you will know this when we provide our quote.
- Are metals for barrels, spacers, etc. restricted to aluminum or can other metals be used?
In addition to aluminum, metals for QuickTurn Optics can also incorporate stainless steel.
- Are there limitations regarding the level or amount of testing e.g. MTF, spectral traces, environmentals, 100% vs. AQL inspection?
In most cases, these requirements will not be an issue. Some environmental tests require days to complete. If your testing or inspection requirements will impact delivery, we will let you know when the quote is provided.
- Is this for new optics only? What if my supplier falls short or is late on a production order?
We want to help our customers in any situation where they face a delivery or lead time challenge.
Rapid Prototypes for Custom Optical Components and Assemblies at JML Optical
If you need custom optics, turn to the experts at JML Optical! Our QuickTurn Optics capability ensures you receive the optical components and assemblies you need for your products when you need them. To learn more about our QTO initiative and how it can benefit your product development operations, download our eBook, “An Introduction to QuickTurn Optics”, or contact us today. To discuss your custom optics needs with one of our team members, request your quote.