Precision Manufacturing and Equipment (PME), incorporated in 2018, specializes in technology development for optics fabrication, optomechanical system design, process optimization, and industrial automation.
“PME provides prototyping services to turn ideas into production,” says founder Kai Xin.
“We provide solutions that are fast, accurate, and reliable for new products and emerging technologies that can be easily integrated within existing factory processes. Our work relies heavily on data science, modeling, and simulation.”
PME focuses on high-precision optics, which are incorporated into medical imaging devices, defense applications, spacecraft telescopes, high-energy lasers for research, optical spectrometry for environmental contamination detection, semiconductor equipment, and consumer applications such as virtual-reality eyeglasses, advanced phone camera lenses, and more efficient LED illumination systems, to name a few.
Xin, who earned his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Rochester, has more than 20 years of industrial experience in manufacturing high-precision optics, developing optics manufacturing technology and equipment, and building optics fabrication facilities. His expertise also spans the spectrum of optomechanical design, optical metrology, machine vision and imaging applications, advanced algorithm development, and industrial automation.
“With a multidisciplinary, integrated approach, we create customized solutions for our customers that not only address the specific challenges of fabrication or technological development, but also include optimized approaches that often utilize user-friendly software, and mathematical modeling,” Xin says.
Xin has served in key leadership roles in major advanced optics projects. While working for Connecticut-based Zygo Corporation, which produces electro-optical systems and high-precision optical components, Xin led the development of the mass-manufacturing process used to fabricate the debris shield of the world’s largest laser, housed at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), which is operated by the Laurence Livermore National Laboratory.
The superior performance of the manufacturing process attracted the attention of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), which used the same process for a similar component in its laser.
Xin has also worked in various senior roles for X-Ray Optical Systems and Corning and has served as a consultant for a number of companies and organizations. He cofounded a previous company, Aperture Optical Sciences, which largely focuses on optics for the aerospace and military industries. In that venture, Xin helped to develop aspheric/freeform manufacturing capability from scratch.
Xin formed PME in 2018 to focus more on manufacturing technology development, and the company relocated to the Rensselaer Technology Park Campus in 2019.
“PME now has the space and equipment to turn concepts into protypes and then provide production solutions that will best fit our customers’ needs,” Xin says. “Whether they need assistance in developing advanced optical components or optomechanical systems, or they are looking for a new manufacturing process or a way to optimize their existing manufacturing procedure, we will meet our customers’ long-term success and satisfaction.”