Article originally published by Chromacity.
The call ended and a major milestone had been achieved.
Remote installation of the Chromacity OPO in China was a success. This is a remarkable achievement for a young laser manufacturer, and widespread travel disruption during the pandemic only emphasised its strategic importance.
Head of Manufacturing, Bill Handyside, had taken the development of the Chromacity OPO to the next level. Introducing new laser manufacturing processes and techniques has enabled the creation of a truly robust, turnkey optical parametric oscillator capable of being drop-shipped and installed, without the presence of an onsite engineer.
We spoke with Bill about his ambitions to leverage Chromacity’s technical expertise and continuous improvement culture to manufacturer ultrafast lasers capable of competing at the highest level.
“Remote install of the OPO in China has been one of my proudest moments since joining Chromacity last year, but it’s the culmination of a team effort and exceptional development work led by one of the co-founders and technical director, Dr Carl Farrell.”
“During the ten years I’ve worked in laser manufacturing, Chromacity has always been on my watchlist. They’re an ambitious company and one of the fastest growing in the UK.”
“As circumstance would have it, one of the co-founders, Dr Christopher Leburn, was actually my academic supervisor for the final year project of my Physics degree. This project really sparked my interest in lasers and led to an MSc in Photonics and Optoelectronics. Fast-forward a few years and I’m now relishing the challenge of working with both fibre-based and solid-state ultrafast systems at Chromacity!”
“Chromacity is living up to its potential to disrupt the market with next generation femtosecond lasers. A few years ago, I can recall being impressed by the aesthetics and compact footprint of the 1040 system, but it wasn’t until after I’d joined Chromacity that I realised the system’s manufacturing maturity, which is impressive this early in the product lifecycle.”
“This will of course sound somewhat biased, but I was genuinely surprised by the robustness of the opto-mechanical design and the platform in general. Just recently, we shipped a Chromacity 1040 to Australia and the system achieved turnkey factory performance straight out of the box.”
“Like most laser manufacturers, engineers typically carry out all system installations onsite, but the uncertainty of international travel nowadays is challenging this norm. Irrespective of COVID-19, our strategic objective has always been to develop ultrafast lasers which require minimal set-up. This is part of our ongoing commitment towards developing the most reliable and easy-to-use systems in the market.”
“There is a culture of continuous improvement at Chromacity which is centred around our ISO 9001:2015 certified quality management system. This not only places the customer at the centre of everything we do, but we actively encourage company-wide participation. My colleagues are trained auditors and we undertake regular internal ISO audits so everyone can observe how other parts of the business operate and share knowledge.”
“Our recent customer satisfaction survey provides valuable insight and product feedback. Having just joined Chromacity, it was reassuring to learn that results for overall technical specifications received top marks. Initial observations on product performance were supported by high scores in relation to system reliability and usability.“
“It’s these strong technical foundations which have enabled the production team to make significant enhancements to our flagship OPO over a very short period of time.”
“We conducted a mechanical integrity assessment of the Chromacity OPO and introduced system alignment techniques which optimised performance, whilst also decreasing build time. Higher output powers have since been achieved and Signal and Idler beam quality is now greatly improved across the tuning range.”
“These new alignment methods coupled with the optomechanical assembly review, ensure the Chromacity OPO is an inherently stable optical platform. Remote install of our first OPO system in China is testament to this”.
”It’s exciting to be part of this effort to achieve a remote install for an OPO at such an early stage of the manufacturing lifecycle, particularly because this capability amongst the larger laser manufacturers is often out of reach.”