Replication of glass

We master the replication of optical components made of glass using various technologies: Pre-cision Glass Molding of infrared optics and conventional glass optics of the highest quality. We produce cost-effective optics by Non-isothermal Glass Molding. For interior design elements made of flat glass, we rely on thin glass forming. We offer a wide range of services from studies to technology transfer.

Replication of polymer

Injection molding, UV nanoimprint, hot embossing or roll-to-roll production are just some of the manufacturing processes in the range of services offered for the production of polymer optics. Our services range from tool production and process development to machine and plant development.

Assembly of optics and optical systems

Another area of expertise at the Fraunhofer IPT is sensor-guided assembly. Whether relativly or actively aligned to each other - we achieve the highest accuracies through dedicated algo-rithms. We master all process steps of assembly, from component feeding and handling to ad-justment as well as joining steps and quality control.

Functionalisation of surfaces

Functional surfaces considerably extend the range of applications for optics. We rely on direct processes such as laser structuring, on indirect processes such as mastering by 2-photon lithog-raphy and on the manufacture of replication tools for transfer or step-and-repeat processes.

Digitalisation of the process chain

Networked and digital process chains ensure efficient processes with pervasive data. Our ser-vices range from the selection of suitable use cases, the development of infrastructures and Digital Twins to model-based optimization with machine learning. To select the most economi-cal solutions, we use the established industry 4.0 audit.

Metrological qualification

By measuring the form, surface and functional properties of tools and optical components, we can ensure high-quality production results using various measuring methods. We offer the development of new measuring technologies and devices, provide information on the application areas of various measuring methods and test components and prototypes within the scope of joint research and development projects.

Optics

Optics from Aachen - Leading in production

In the business unit "Optics", we concentrate our expertise in the production and evaluation of complex optical components and systems. Along the value-added chain, we cover all stages of production - from the design of optical systems to final qualification.

In the interplay of the various fields of technology, we develop individual solutions for the specific requirements of our customers. Our goal is to continuously improve the complex manufacturing processes or to make them possible on an industrial scale in the first place. In the area of conflict between innovation, quality and costs, we thus make a long-term effective contribution to the success of our customers from a wide range of industries.

Smart Optics Production

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Unfortunately, we cannot exhibit at the optics trade fair Optatec this year. However, we have prepared some of our topics for you in the showroom of the virtual trade fair.

Our competencies

Replication of glass

  • Precision glass molding
  • Non-isothermal glass molding
  • Thin glass forming
  • Simulation studies
  • Technology transfer

Replication of polymer

  • Tool making and injection molding
  • UV nanoimprint, hot embossing, Roll-to-Roll
  • Process/machine and plant development

Measurement
technology

  • Wavefront based optical alignment
  • Tomographic optical testing
  • Measurement of tools (form, surface, function)
  • Special measuring systems

Assembly

  • Sensor based precision assembly
  • Automated adjustment (active/passive)
  • Modular plant development
  • Open software architecture
  • Precision Joining

 

Functional surfaces

  • Laser structuring
  • Interference lithography
  • Ultra-precision machining
  • Replication tools 

Digitisation

  • Networking of production systems
  • Digital twin for the process chain
  • Machine Learning
  • Potential checks and road mapping

Industries in focus

Mobility & Transport

© temp-64GTX/stock.adobe.com

Progress in autonomous driving and increasing traffic density place enormous demands on the optical components of our means of transport, such as headlights, sensors and display systems. New optical designs and functionalities hold a variety of unique selling points for the products in such saturated markets. The Fraunhofer IPT develops solutions for attachment lenses of headlight modules, LiDAR and rain sensors, night vision cameras or head-up displays. We manufacture complex free-form surfaces with superimposed microstructures from plastic or glass and assemble them into optical systems of the highest functionality.

Interior Design

© PantherMedia / DVen

Light as a design element increases the sense of well-being and inspires with its functionality. Together with our customers we transform lighting ideas into individual lighting concepts. With the LightGuide technology we can influence the distribution of light in vehicles and rooms almost in any way. In addition to components for targeted light distribution, the Fraunhofer IPT also offers freely formed decorative glass surfaces that impress with their high-quality haptics and functionalised surfaces with structures or perforations.

From the calculation of microstructures for lighting control through the production of a form stamp or roller master to the turnkey production process, we support our customers in implementing their design wishes.

Photonic circuits

© LioniX International BV

We design and build optical components and system solutions for challenging tasks in sensor technology - from individual beam shaping concepts to complex, multi-axis systems for automated coupling systems and the assembly of photodetectors. Our focus is on the efficient replication of chalcogenide glasses for the infrared range and on the coupling of optical fibers for data center communication by micro-optics and their automated, active adjustment.

Laser systems & applications

In laser technology with ever increasing power densities, the beam guidance systems often form the bottleneck. The Fraunhofer IPT is therefore developing optics and lens systems made of new materials with improved geometries as well as the corresponding manufacturing processes. In this way, it is possible to produce more cost-effective overall systems with formed fused silica optics. In addition, we develop the equipment for optics assembly: Passive or active alignment strategies allow high-precision alignment and automated joining of components.

Safety & Security

© B. BOISSONNET/BSIP/stock.adobe.com

Optical components also contribute to technical progress in sensitive social areas. For example, the Fraunhofer IPT has efficient manufacturing processes for infrared transmissive glasses, so-called chalcogenide glasses. Typical applications include security cameras, automotive assistance systems, and thermography in process, construction and environmental technology. Precision molding allows sophisticated materials to be efficiently produced in sophisticated geometries and in large quantities without the need for post-processing. Often the demands on the precision of such systems are extremely high. Here, we also ensure that our customers are optimally served through function-oriented automation of assembly.

Medical technology & visual aids

© PantherMedia / Robert Przybysz

Many people experience the benefits of powerful optics first-hand: Miniaturised optics or fiber optics in endoscopes help in tomographic imaging, while micro-optics are used to adjust the field of view and angle of vision. The Fraunhofer IPT also develops production processes and tools for visual aids - from progressive and contact lenses to intraocular lenses. This allows individual optics to be produced quickly and directly or via a secondary mold made of glass or plastic in the highest quality.