Mechanical processing with nanometer precision
Diamond tools, which are used in our equipment, ensure the highest-quality processing of materials of different types. High precision mechanical and electronic components, together with Precitech proprietary CNC control system, provides position accuracy of the tools down to a nanometer level. As a result the high surface smoothness eliminates the need for further processing, which is very important in the production of complex-shaped products, which are not suitable for polishing. It should be noted that we produce machining centers for both rotationally symmetric and freeform applications. The demand for precision freeform processing grows, so about 90% of our customers purchase machines with this options.
In which areas the Precitech equipment is most in demand?
The main market for us is the production of optical components. Our machines are used both in R&D and in industrial production: in manufacturing of mirrors for lasers, infrared optics for night vision systems for military and civil purposes, mold inserts for mass production of optics for smartphones, contact lenses, as well as nano-and microstructured films for LCD screens. Recently demand is growing rapidly for optics for LED devices used in illumination systems for various applications, like automotive industry. In particular, an interesting problem is projecting information on the windshield of the car that requires precision adaptive optics, capable of providing high-quality image despite the errors of the size and shape of the glass. Along with optics, an interesting area of application of our machines is the manufacture of parts for medical implants, like hip joint or knee replacements.
Precitech focuses on precision, technological capabilities and reliability of equipment. Precision is ensured by high-quality mechanics, which is manufactured at our plant in the USA, as well as by the use of special metrology systems. So, form accuracy and shape are controlled by optical interferometry, and the roughness is measured using white light interferometry. Technological capabilities of our equipment allow to use it in advanced fields of science and production. Reliability is achieved by using oil- and air bearings, the granite base and other solutions that minimize mechanical wear. Some of our clients use 30 years old machines, but the equipment is so reliable that they don't see the need in its replacement, although processing technology and metrology have already gone far ahead. Routine maintenance of our machines is the annual replacement of oil and air filters that require a minimum cost.
How do you assess the market for equipment for diamond processing, what are its structure and prospects?
Our company has over 50 years of experience in designing equipment for ultra-precise machining, therefore, we are considered as the most reputable manufacturer in this field. In some countries, e.g. in Germany and Japan the competition from local companies is considerable , but globally we are leaders.
Since 1962 we have installed over 1500 systems worldwide. In Europe there are about 100 machines, about half of which are operated in Germany. While in Asia our equipment is mainly used in the production of consumer electronics, in the Old World the main users are from optical-, laser- and defense industry as well as from universities and research labs. In Russia there are three machines: one in Moscow and two in St. Petersburg. Unfortunately, due to the economic sanctions the work with Russian customers have become more complicated, since our products are subject to export restriction by the US government, due to its special nature. Hopefully this is a temporary phenomenon.
Evaluating the market, we note the development of innovative areas of industry in the Eastern Europe and in Russia. From our side, we will make every effort to provide these areas with the most modern equipment.