Greenlight Optics: Custom Optical Solutions for the Future

Greenlight Optics: Custom Optical Solutions for the Future

CIO VendorMichael O'Keefe, Managing Partner
There are a number of off-the-rack lenses and light fixtures in the market, but when a manufacturer needs specific and purpose-built equipment, Greenlight Optics is the place to go. “Our in-house capability is equipped to handle design and manufacturing and all the steps in between that are required to deliver custom optical solutions,” says Michael O’Keefe, Managing Partner at Greenlight Optics. Bringing 250 years of accretive experience, Greenlight focuses on the complete optical system—including integrated illumination and imaging—to provide turnkey development of new systems for clients in any industry who are looking to build machines that can see.

While off-the-shelf lighting and lenses are perfectly capable for many conventional machine vision applications, there exist a rapidly growing number of areas where custom optics can offer a significant size or performance advantage. These include 3D imaging, robotics, and embedded cameras. Customization is necessary when clients require tight integration of the camera and light source, advanced performance, or when there’s a size constraint such as a 3D sensor on the end of a robot arm. Ultimately, there can exist any number of reasons for why a client may need a custom solution and fortunately, this is where Greenlight Optics truly shines.

They are unique in that they offer a true turnkey solution based on their ability to handle everything in house— from design to fabrication to assembly and testing. Their speed results from the fact that they don’t need to wait for suppliers’ long lead times, as they are capable of fabricating the optical and mechanical components themselves. The combination of these distinctive skills allows them to deliver high-quality custom service at an unprecedented speed and cost.

In many instances, Greenlight Optics has displayed its prowess as a leader in the machine vision industry.

Our in-house capability is equipped to handle design and manufacturing and all the steps in between to deliver custom optical solutions

For companies capturing 3D data of a desired object, one of the most accurate and rapid methods is structured light projection. Greenlight Optics possesses over a decade of experience surrounding DLP and LED/LCOS miniature projectors, including the development of dozens of different projection engine designs. Another specialty is their ability to create custom advanced LED illumination where the project requires a very uniform or precise distribution of light. Their custom illumination solutions control the angle and placement of light so the camera has the proper light to do the job efficiently. Greenlight Optics’ third niche specialization in the optics industry involves the design, diamond turning, and injection molding of precision plastic optics such as freeforms, aspheres, laser collimating lenses, CMOS imaging lenses, integrating tunnels, TIR lenses, and a variety of microlens arrays.

Greenlight Optics has many client success stories that showcase their proficiency in offering customized solutions that exceed expectations. One client, an early autonomous vehicle startup was having difficulty with an off-the-shelf optical system that simply was not reaching performance standards. O’Keefe explains, “Greenlight was brought on board to help. We designed custom transmit-and-receive optics and rapidly delivered working prototype optical modules that exceeded our customer’s expectations. Armed with the new high-performing prototypes, the company received additional funding and formed partnerships in their target industries. The company has moved into pilot production and Greenlight continues to support them with injection molded optics and custom optical assemblies.”

As manufacturing and automation take off, Greenlight Optics remains poised to offer solutions to whatever customization needs the future requires. With a complete range of design and manufacturing capabilities in house, their aim is to offer custom optics to enable advanced vision in a broad array of markets, including robotics, medical equipment, and even UAVs.