From bright idea to mass production

From imaging in harsh factory environments to illuminating a surgical field, light- and image-based systems enable innovative applications across a variety of industries as diverse as medical, industrial or security and defense.

From imaging in harsh factory environments to illuminating a surgical field, light- and image-based systems enable innovative applications across a variety of industries as diverse as medical, industrial or security and defense.

When developing a new product that needs to stand out from the competition, it’s critical not only to work with the right lighting partner, but to do so early on in the development process. Founded in Germany in 1884, the specialty glass manufacturer SCHOTT gives you access to a global team of experts in fiber optics, optical glass, and lighting and imaging system design who can help turn a bright idea into a manufacturable product.

The SCHOTT Lighting and Imaging team has more than 60 years of experience in developing and producing optical glass fibers. Topped with know-how on fused silica and polymer fibers as well as mechanical, thermal, optical and electronic engineering, the team is a true co-operation partner for designing new solutions. “Our team has a broad knowledge base that allows us to look beyond individual components and find ways to add value to the entire lighting or imaging system,” says Tom Bender, head of project management for SCHOTT Lighting and Imaging. SCHOTT’s global R&D team offers an additional resource in specialty glass and a range of application areas.

Partnering with an expert from the earliest design stages helps ensure that the lighting system is optimized to the fullest extent possible. “We encourage customers to come to us even before they have the design completely worked out,” Bender explains. “At this stage we can guide them to a solution that will make sure the product and lighting system work well together while meeting the specific needs of the application.”

Rather than focusing on individual components, the application consulting process centers on providing a complete lighting system such as an optimized light source and a fiber optic delivery system that work together seamlessly. “This approach not only ensures the most optimal light delivery but is also easier to manufacture and improves the overall system performance and longevity,” says Bender.

Cutting-edge design processes

SCHOTT uses an iterative design process that integrates the latest tools and technology, including virtual models, simulations and 3D-printed physical models. This process, together with the company’s deep understanding of product development, helps make sure that the final product fully meets client expectations and the application requirements.

“Although our approach involves more steps up front, it saves time in the long run because when we do arrive at the end product, it’s right the first time,” says Bender. SCHOTT can also provide fully custom solutions that meet the needs and specifications of OEMs. “Our customers want to differentiate themselves from their competition,” he adds. “We work closely with them to understand their needs and then tailor a solution for their specific applications.”

SCHOTT produces its optical fibers from proprietary glass - for unique customized solutions. Photos: SCHOTT.

Flexible, global production

When the design process is complete and it’s time for production, SCHOTT’s automated processes provide the flexibility to scale up from a few pieces to mass production levels. The company’s highly-skilled workforce provides flexibility in accommodating various needs, even when production requirements change. These skilled technicians can also design and construct optical subassemblies that make manufacturing more efficient.

SCHOTT provides price-competitive, high-volume serial production at independent sites, reducing the risk of supply interruptions. Their ISO class 7/8 cleanroom and ISO 13485-certified production facilities can produce a variety of light solutions or electric assemblies. When working with SCHOTT, you get a global partner with design and development teams in the US and Germany; technical sales representatives around the world; and extended capacities for manufacturing in Mexico and the Czech Republic.

July 8, 2021

Contact

Thomas Bender
Lighting and Imaging
SCHOTT North America, Inc.

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