OPTORUN can always bring revolution to the fields of optics and coating technology. Soon after their founding, OPTORUN successfully developed optical thin film equipment for use in the manufacturing of DWDM filters required for optical communications, and began selling their products in a manner that revolutionized conventional thought in an industry in which integrated supply of process technology had been the overwhelming norm. With the subsequent rapid spread of digital consumer electronics, the utilization of our vacuum deposition equipment has spread to antireflection coating and hard coating for mobile phones, heat transmission mirrors used in medical lighting, DVD pickup lenses, and other products that are an intimate part of our lives. The core technology that supports their high-precision multilayer thin film manufacturing was a dramatic development that became the industry standard.
Precise control and physical vapor deposition (PVD) speed stabilization, etc., are the pillars of our thin film manufacturing technology. OPTORUN takes full advantage of such technology for the performance of RF ion sources, optical film thickness monitors, and sensor units, etc. The technology that OPTORUN utilizes for each part has become today’s industry standard.
OPTORUN optical thin film equipment was the world’s first such equipment to be applied to LED lighting, which is currently expanding worldwide. In addition, OPTORUN is furthering the development of CIGS solar cells, a promising technology for the next generation of solar power generation, thereby contributing to the world through the establishment of environmentally friendly clean energy. Further, there has been a rapid expansion of the need for thin film deposition technology that goes beyond application to optics, such as hard coating technology and anti-fouling technology for touch panels, including those used in smartphones. As a leader in the development of related technology, OPTORUN will continue to contribute to the supply of high-quality products to the market.
Optorun PVD Tools
Optorun Co., Ltd.’s business concept is “providing process solutions with optical thin film coatings using Opto-nanotechnologies”. Working as one with our affiliates, Optorun strives to provide products and services in the fields of optical thin film coatings and vacuum technologies that are beneficial to many customers and society as a whole.
Since Optorun was founded in 1999, Optorun has championed contributing to the development of digital optics, have manufactured and sold a variety of optical film coating equipment while ensuring they meet their customer’s needs, and have explored new possibilities for optical thin film coating products.
Optorun currently finds themselves in an environment which is diversifying ever more quickly and demand is expanding rapidly. In their traditional core market of smartphones, against the backdrop of support for AR and 5G and innovations in communication systems, the demand for equipment is expected to continue to rise going forward. In addition to this, markets in the IoT field (in vehicles, fusion of semiconductors and optics, biometrics etc.), surveillance cameras, AI, and LEDs etc. are also expected to expand.
Seizing this era of change as an opportunity, in addition to our optical thin film business, their group will acquire new film forming technologies from outside through investments and partnerships, and will continue to work diligently on development, production, sales and service with a sense of speed as an R&D-focused business that continues to lead the global market by realizing technological synergies with optical thin film coatings. Through this, as we focus on being able to quickly manufacture the new products their customers require, they will expand their business areas based on advanced technologies while providing high quality and high performance equipment to the market together with a coating total solution. In addition, they will focus on M&A, investments, alliances, and acquisitions as important business pillars in our efforts to expand their business over the medium to long term as they continue to strive to improve the group’s corporate value and profitability.
Suitable coating processes are necessary to enhance production capability. Optorun optical thin film coaters are developed based on coating process requirements.
When coating materials are heated in vacuum, they are evaporated and formed as thin films on substrate surfaces. Such processes are called vacuum coating. High quality thin films are formed in vacuum by getting rid of impurities.
Evaporation is a reliable and versatile method, being capable of coating various metallic and dielectric materials. Higher coating rate and good thin film distribution are obtainable by use of resisting and electron beam evaporators.
Ion Assisted Deposition
Ion assisted deposition (IAD）is to enhance thin film adhesion and quality. Energetic ions from ion sources hit thin films on substrates, lifting the packing density of such films. This is how quality thin films are formed
The tuning of electron beam evaporators and ion sources can be done independently, which makes easy to seek suitable process parameters, such as to deposit low-absorption or stress-free films. Unparallel production reliability and film properties are obtained in such a way with ion assisted deposition.
Ion assisted deposition is applied in OptorunSPOC series (Vacuum Deposition System for DWDM Filter) and OTFC series (Optical Thin Film Coater). The research is being made in Optorun to apply OTFC series to optical, energy, information, and other applications.
Low Temperature Sputtering
Heat induced during common coating processes requires that the substrates have to be heat durable ones, like glass. This is negative for coating on poor heat durable substrates, like of polymer or soft materials. Optoun is developing low temperature coating process by use of face target sputtering (FTS)
Optical thin film formation equipment is the core business of the Optorun Group. Barriers to new entrants are high because fabricating this equipment requires highly advanced technologies and other knowledge about forming thin films. Although Optorun has been operating for a relatively short time, having been established in 1999, the company ranks among the most respected members of the optical thin film industry because of its diverse array of expertise.
Opto-nanotechnology™ is at the heart of their operations. This is a field with immense potential. Optorun is one of only a small number of corporate groups able to meet a broad spectrum of requirements involving thin film formation. Their group’s strengths and other defining characteristics can be divided into three categories: technology, markets and strategies.
What types of technologies does Optorun have and why does this expertise give the company an edge over competitors?
Optorun is constantly taking on the challenge of creating innovative technologies that can create new opportunities in the optical thin film sector.
Optorun started out in 1999 by succeeding in the development of the world’s most advanced optical thin film formation unit for dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) signals. Only three companies in the world can manufacture this equipment, and they are the only one in Japan. Accomplishing this feat clearly demonstrated the very high level of our technology within the optical thin film industry. Now they are building on their core Opto-nanotechnology to aim for more progress involving optical thin film.
A service business model that supplies solutions centered on knowledge rather than products
Selling knowledge rather than products is the basis for their operations. This is why sales engineers play a prominent role in serving customers. Using this approach has enabled them to assemble a large customer base consisting of relationships rooted in trust. Sales engineers maintain close ties with client companies in order to understand their manufacturing and other activities. This information then becomes a valuable part of our R&D programs. To supply outstanding solutions, they leverage their film formation process expertise to enable customers to use optical thin film equipment for producing thin film in the best possible manner.
2. Market breadth
In what directions are global markets for products that need thin films expanding?
The IoT is increasing growth prospects for the optical thin film market
The optical thin film equipment market is continuing to expand rapidly. Many products require these films. Digital cameras and smartphones are two major sources of demand for this equipment. In recent years, growth of the Internet of things is increasing the need to place sensors and other devices, lenses, and other items on objects in a multitude of fields. As a result, the number of applications for thin film technology is expected to increase quickly.
3. Strategy for growth
What are Optorun’s strategies for achieving medium and long-term growth?
Semiconductor optical fusion and the IoT will be key drivers of growth
Over the years, Optorun has helped create new markets by devising solutions that precisely match each customer’s requirements. They started by supplying solutions in the field of optical communications. Next, was digital consumer electronics like digital cameras and mobile phone cameras. More recently, they have expanded their solution expertise to include smartphones, tablets and other new products. They are determined to continue this process of expansion, anticipating opportunities for growth involving semiconductor optical fusion, biometric authentication for IoT applications, automobiles, virtual reality and augmented reality, and many other business sectors.