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Thorlabs to acquire JML Optical

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Thorlabs has announced that it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire custom designer and manufacturer of precision optics, JML Optical Industries, LLC (“JML”). Founded in 1972, JML has 70,000 square feet of space dedicated to the design, production, and testing of aspherical, spherical, plano, cylindrical, and acylindrical lenses and multi-element optical devices. The transaction is expected to close in January 2023.

“We are thrilled to welcome the highly experienced JML team to Thorlabs and look forward to leveraging their proven optics capabilities to further serve the photonics industry," said Bill Donovan, Business Unit Leader of Thorlabs’ Optics Division, Thorlabs Advanced Photonics. “Having a significant design and manufacturing presence in Rochester, the epicenter of one of the most significant and vibrant communities within the United States for optics technology, will further enhance our ability to provide the innovations needed for future advancements in photonics.”

“I look forward to assisting with the integration of the JML team into the Thorlabs ecosystem,” added Paul Melone, Director of Global Optics Manufacturing. “Their QuickTurn Optics (QTO) capabilities are well known in the market and highly synergistic with Thorlabs’ existing speed to market philosophy. We already have plans in motion to invest significantly in expanding the Rochester-based team as well as their manufacturing capacity and capabilities.”

“Over the last five decades, the JML Optical team has repeatedly set benchmarks for lens component and lens assembly development,” said Bob Bicksler, President & CEO of JML Optical. “We take pride in being a leader in providing optical solutions. We see this combination as an excellent opportunity to increase exposure to our products through the extensive global reach of Thorlabs."

The JML Optical team will remain in Rochester, New York and form a new Thorlabs entity called Thorlabs Lens Systems, Inc. (TLS). Operating as an R&D and production facility, TLS will add to Thorlabs’ existing optics manufacturing footprint, which currently occupies 120,000 square feet of vertically integrated production space within Thorlabs’ campus of buildings in Newton, NJ and another 24,000 square feet within its facilities in South Carolina and California.

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