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Precitech Introduces Five New Machines Optimized For Light Management Applications

Precitech, a global manufacturer of innovative ultra precision machining solutions, introduces the Freeform® MGG microgroove generator and the DRL2000, DRL1700, DRL1200, DRL600 drum roll lathes.

These machine platforms are optimized for creating optical structures on molds for light management applications. The end uses of such applications are light bending and brightness enhancing films, reflective material, and LED lighting.

The typical process in these applications is that an optical structure is applied to a brass, copper, or electroless nickel mold, and the mold is used to replicate the structure on a polymer substrate. All of our new machines are designed to quickly and precisely generate those molds.

Dr. Jeff Roblee, Vice President of Technology

The Freeform MGG is optimized for machining intersecting grooves on flat surfaces typically used in the production of retro-reflective material. Retroreflective material is used to reflect light back to its source. The material is used on street signs and highly visible clothing. Specific to this application, the Freeform MGG can machine a part up to 600 mm with a guaranteed groove depth variation under 3 micrometers. What sets the Freeform MGG apart from other grooving machines on the market is its unique contouring vertical axis.

“On our new groove generating machine, we’ve incorporated the same state-of-the-art vertical axis as on our Freeform machine. This makes it a true freeform machine and its potential applications are virtually limitless,” adds Dr. Roblee. “For example, you could mount a Levicron spindle vertically and use the machine as an ultra precision mill or a Fast Tool Servo for making variable depth grooves.

Additionally, Precitech is adding four drum roll lathes (the DRL2000, DRL1700, DRL1200, and DRL600) to its line of ultra precision machines. These lathes are optimized for machining grooves on drum roll surfaces typically used in the production of brightness enhancing films. These films are used to enhance the viewing quality of flat panel LCD screens.

The four machines are intended to address the varying needs found in R&D, small scale production, and large scale production. The DRL2000 and DRL1700, for example, are both large capacity lathes utilizing oil bearing spindles. They are capable of machining drums up to two meters long and 1800 kilograms in weight. Both are available with optional adjustable tail stocks for added flexibility.

On the other hand, the smaller DRL1200 and DRL600 are both air bearing spindle, drum roll lathes. The DRL 1200 and DRL 600 are not only lower priced machines but also have lower operating costs and error motions, which make them better suited for R&D and small scale production. In addition, the DRL600 is built on the same machine base as Precitech’s Nanoform® 700, further reducing price and lead time.

We set out to understand our customer needs, not to design a ‘one size fits all’ drum roll lathe. Our customers have different requirements, and these new machines uniquely address them.

Mike Tanniru, Precitech Business Director

With the growing demand for LCD flat panel displays, the increasing use of LED lighting, and the importance being placed of energy conservation, the light management market continues to grow. These new machines position Precitech as the only company offering a complete range of tools to address this rapidly growing market.

Precitech is a global manufacturer of innovative ultra precision machining solutions. It designs and manufactures machine tools for turning, milling, and grinding. Its precision machines produce rotationally symmetric, asymmetric, freeform and sculpted geometries, achieving form tolerances in the sub-micron range and nanometer surface finishes when equipped with diamond tooling.

Precitech is a unit of AMETEK Ultra Precision Technologies, a division of AMETEK, Inc., a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices with 2014 sales of $4.0 billion.

For more information about Precitech’s line of ultra precision machining systems, contact Precitech, 44 Blackbrook Road, Keene, NH 03431, USA. Tel: (603) 357-2511. Fax: (603) 358-6174. E-mail: [email protected], Web site:


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