Fluorescence microscopy is one area of optics that will be familiar to the layperson, by sight if not by name. The amazing images it produces grace the covers of countless science publications. As well as producing stunning visuals, fluorescence microscopy represents our best hope of breakthroughs in a wide variety of areas, from curing cancer to unlocking the secrets of DNA. Our client manufactures highly specialized laser light sources that made the whole process possible.
The client: Our client manufactures highly specialized laser light sources that make fluorescence microscopy possible.
The challenge: The light sources used optical mount systems supplied by a well-known stock optics provider. Our client was having difficulty assembling the system; the action of tightening the retaining ring was dislodging tiny flakes from the black-anodized aluminium. In a high power laser system, the presence of small specks of dirt is totally unacceptable.
It was impossible to tell which parts were faulty until the system was assembled. This was causing huge production delays, thereby incurring massive costs.
The solution: We discovered two sources contamination. One was a microscopic burr breaking off during assembly, and the other was a powdery deposit left in the thread after anodizing. We produced a batch of components with a proprietary Comar coating and a redesigned thread termination. We identified a cost-saving opportunity, redesigning two separate parts into one, thus reducing the part count.
These measures totally eliminated the particulate problem and reduced thread friction, greatly speeding up the assembly process.