ORLANDO, FL / ACCESSWIRE / January 19, 2022 / LightPath Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:LPTH) (“LightPath,” the “Company,” or “we”), a leading vertically integrated global manufacturer and integrator of proprietary optical and infrared components and high-level assemblies, today announced the completion of its coating operations expansion at its manufacturing facilities in Europe located in Riga, Latvia. The equipment added to this facility include multiple specialized coating machines at a cost of over a million and a half dollars, and includes both Physical Vapor Deposition coating for anti-reflective coating as well as Chemical Vapor Deposition coatings for protective diamond like carbon (DLC) coating. This expansion follows an initial deployment of machinery in Riga announced a year ago which included coating equipment and other production capacity expansions to accommodate increased demand for infrared (IR) lenses.
Sam Rubin, President and Chief Executive Officer of LightPath, stated, “The expanded coating capacity in Europe is of paramount importance to our overall operations as well as our growth and profitability strategies. This facility bolsters our vertically integrated manufacturing platform for IR optics and optical assemblies. Our streamlined production process was not possible on a scalable basis in Riga up until the completion of this latest upgrade to our facilities. Optical fabrication, optical assembly, and high-performance coatings can now all be done at a single facility, reducing lead times and expanding our coating capacity worldwide to accommodate the growing demand for infrared optics.
“Over the past 6 months, LightPath has significantly expanded its capabilities and product offerings, including an exclusive optical usage license to manufacture products using the IR patent portfolio developed and owned by the United States Navy’s U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). Interest from public and private sector customers for mass produced IR lenses has necessitated our investments in manufacturing capacity to allow for an increased level of commercial production for high durability DLC IR coatings for optics made from materials such as germanium, silicon, and chalcogenides, such as LightPath’s proprietary Black Diamond (“BD6″) chalcogenide glass.”
Lens coatings provide protection and enhance optical performance, and are integral to the performance and long term viability of the products they are integrated into. IR lenses need protection against harsh environmental conditions and are a requirement for applications in need of resilient coatings that can withstand severe abrasion. These applications, which are catalysts behind the increasing demand for LightPath products, include thermal imaging for firefighting, military and defense machinery, technologies in space included in satellites and drones, IR imaging, multispectral imaging, thermography, medical imaging and related diagnostics, security/surveillance, and freeform optics for augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) headgear.
Al Miranda, LightPath’s Chief Financial Officer, added, “The completion of our coating operations expansion in Europe is part of our planned annual capital expenditures Prior to these investments, certain lenses initially developed in Riga were shipped to the U.S. for coating and then returned to Riga for finishing before final assembly and shipment to customers when revenue would have been recognized. This is a lengthy process where we are carrying work-in-progress products on our balance sheet and incurring unnecessary costs which may not be recaptured through customer pricing practices. The new capacity elevates our competitive position and enables improved financial performance. While the new capacity allows us to work through our backlog and new orders more expeditiously, thus becoming more responsive to the needs of our customers, we also expect to reduce inventory levels and derive higher margins, which will increase cash generation.”
Rob Myers, Product Manager
LightPath Technologies, Inc.