Meopta Factory Tour Part 2: Optics Department

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Hynek Vykoukal and Surujh Roopnarine took me on a tour of Meopta’s optics department. Unfortunately the first 7 mins of footage is corrupt so here are some pictures I took.

Here the worker is applying natural waxes as a bonding agent to hold the raw glass down while it’s machined into a prism.

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Here is the CNC machine that cuts the glass into its initial shape.

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They use Haas Milling machines to further form the glass.

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This one is a 5 axis machine.

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Tool heads for the 5 axis.

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They also use a Satisloh PR-150 SL grinding machine.

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Here are some optical elements mounted to either a glass or aluminum plate.

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This grinding machine is rather old and yet is so efficient, it cuts down material in a fraction of the time other processes available do so they keep using it. Because of it’s high efficiency this stand alone machine does not create a bottleneck.DSC_0508

 

This team inspects the angles of the “wedges” aka prisms with these instruments. If the angle is not to spec, they can adjust the machines accordingly.

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This lady is bonding elements to a glass plate without the use of any adhesive. According to Hynek, the two surfaces of the plate and element are so smooth that they adhere by molecular bonding.DSC_0515

 

These holders are made by Meopta to suspend the prisms in an Ultrasonic bath.DSC_0518

 

For some applications lenses and prisms need to be bonded together. They use UV curing adhesives.

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For their 80th anniversary, Meopta created this sample case to showcase some of the elements they’ve made.DSC_0531

 

Here is a close up of reticle production. From left to right and top to bottom:

Substrate glass
Chromium coating layer
Photosensitive chemical
UV exposure photo etch
Removal of non etched material
Cutting the reticles out of the substrate
reticles

 

Here is where they expose the prepped glass for photo etching.DSC_0535

 

Here is a very cool machine used to analyze spherical lenses. It can measure the entire surface and does so by taking close detailed images and stitches the images together to make up a representation of the entire lens surface. It can measure all parts of the lens and determine if any part is out of spec. There is another machine tied to this that can spot grind/polish the lens back to specifications.DSC_0536

 

This is the machine that is tied to the ASI stitching machine. It uses a magnetic field to control a metallic liquid abrasive slurry and polish any specific spot on the lens. By controlling the magnetic field, the slurry can change shape and even hardness.DSC_0537

 

For smaller radius spherical lenses, Meopta uses these machines which are capable of covering such a radical change in angle. DSC_0543

Once the elements are polished they are sent to assembly. Stay tuned for the next installment which will focus on the assembly of their sporting optics.


Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick has been only been shooting for the past 3 years but found his passion through competitive shooting. USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.


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  • James

    I find it very interesting that a Slovak company is using American made Haas milling machines versus something out of Switzerland or Germany. It must really say something about the quality and price performance of Haas.

    • Lee

      Personally, I have many hours using Haas equipment and its never let me down. I find that they are much easier to navigate and use over Fanuc and are more intuitive. The other reason why they are so common in shops, they cost a lot less than Japanese and German made machines.

  • dp

    Phenomenal report and beautiful pictures. Thank you!

  • Zachary marrs

    Awesome post, great job