Ekspla

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EKSPLA
Type Joint stock company
Industry Scientific lasers
High-technology
Founded 1983 in Vilnius,
Lithuania
Headquarters Vilnius, Lithuania
Key people CEO Kestutis Jasiunas
Products Solid-state lasers
Optical parametric oscillators
Optical parametric generators
Opto-electronic components
Optical components
Nonlinear optics crystals
Services Research and Development
Employees 130 (2007)
Website www.ekspla.com

EKSPLA is a laser manufacturing company based in Lithuania. EKSPLA is known for their lasers and laser systems as well as other photonics components. The company is supplying their products and solutions for scientific & industrial applications.

History[edit]

All Lithuanian laser technology companies trace their roots to Vilnius University and the Institute of Physics.[1] Members of Lithuanian Academy of Sciences and of the Institute of Physics organised an experimental workshop and established the EKSMA company in 1983. It represented the scientific instrumentation of the former Soviet Union.

In 1992, an EKSMA laser design and manufacturing spin-off named EKSPLA started operating as a separate legal entity. Gradual development of the company can be illustrated by its customer base expansion to Japan in 1993 and USA in 1996. Today it covers all the world.

The first EKSPLA commercial picosecond diode-pumped laser was developed in 2002. Currently (2007) the company supplies more than 20 types of diode-pumped solid-state lasers.

In 2004, EKSMA became a holding company through acquisition of EKSPLA. The shareholders agreed to consolidate all laser and photonics related businesses of both companies into EKSPLA, and two divisions were established: Laser & Laser Systems and Photonics Components. Although company operates under the EKSPLA name, both EKSPLA and EKSMA trademarks are used for laser and components businesses.

Effective from 1 July 2008, all components business activities (covering optical components, laser & nonlinear crystals, positioning mechanics, mounts and optical tables) were moved from EKSPLA to an Optolita company with the brand name of and doing business as EKSMA OPTICS.[2]

Awards[edit]

In 2005 EKSPLA was awarded as the knowledge economy company of the year. The award was given as an acknowledgement of the company’s constant investments and achievements in development and marketing of knowledge-based products, innovative solutions, cooperation with research institutions, and support to the knowledge-based economy development projects.[3]

In 2006 EKSPLA was announced the Innovative Company of the year. This prize came in recognition of the company’s activities creating new products and implementing new solutions and innovations at the company level.[4]

In 2007 EKSPLA CEO Kestutis Jasiunas, together with other scientists and entrepreneurs (Dr. Romualdas Danielius, Rimantas Kraujalis and Prof. Habil. Dr. Algis Petras Piskarskas), received the Partnership Award of the National Advancement Awards. This was an acknowledgement of major contributions to Lithuania laser science and industry consolidation.[5]

Products[edit]

EKSPLA has 8 product lines: scientific lasers and laser systems, industrial lasers, laser spectroscopy, and opto-electronic components.[6] The company manufactures and supplies photonic products and services for OEM and R&D applications.

Lasers and laser systems[edit]

Since its foundation, the company was manufacturing only flash-lamp pumped lasers. But as diode pumping results in better overall efficiency and beam quality, a decision was made to replace them with diode-pumped lasers. Currently the EKSPLA laser product line comprises mainly diode-pumped lasers.

If classified by pulse duration, the company manufactures nanosecond and picosecond lasers.[7]

Most common EKSPLA lasers applications:

Laser micromachining[edit]

In 2007 EKSPLA developed the Master Series laser marking systems for material processing. A diode-pumped laser integrated in the system enables higher productivity. This product line has been designed with industrial applications in mind.

Laser marking systems can be used to perform various tasks: to mark serial numbers, barcodes for identification, small "invisible" signs for trademark protection or even to scribe semiconductors or plastics. Laser marking systems are suitable for creating 2D and 3D patterns inside glass.

Opto-electronic components[edit]

The following opto-electronic components are produced:

  • Pockels cells. The material for Pockels cells are BBO and KD*P nonlinear crystals. Pockels cells are used in DPSS Q-switching lasers and are the basic components of electro-optic modulators. Pockels cells applications: high repetition rate regenerative amplifier control, beam chopper, cavity dumping.
  • Drivers for Pockels cells. These have been designed to enable Q-switching of nanosecond lasers without the use of phase retardation plates. High voltage applied to the Pockels cell inhibits oscillation. At a certain time HV is switched to ground, thus allowing the laser to radiate.
  • Crystal Ovens. Ovens accommodate temperature-sensitive nonlinear crystals. They are used for precise temperature stabilization of laser harmonic crystals of various sizes, and for heating of both bulk and thin periodically poled crystals.

Partnership[edit]

Ekspla has a successful track record of international collaboration in NATO and EUREKA programs. In 2002 Ekspla was appointed the first Lithuania-based coordinator of a European Union FP5 project.

The company participates in a number of research projects of Lithuanian State Science and Studies Foundation, with research groups from the Institute of Physics and Laser Research Centre at Vilnius University.

EKSPLA is closely collaborating with other Lithuanian enterprises in the photonics field: Standa, Optida, and Light Conversion. In 2005-2007 these four companies carried out a successfully completed research and technological development project “Lasers for microprocessing and diagnostics” partially financed from EU Structural Funds. The purpose of the project was to develop a new type of laser meeting the requirements for industrial applications. Light Conversion and EKSPLA did the research work for development of high repetition rate, short pulse, high medium power diode-pumped lasers and investigated harmonic generation, and tunable optical parametric radiation. Such sources of radiation are supposed to be used in microprocessing.[8]

The company sells its products directly or through distributors. Distributors are found in China, Germany, Great Britain, France, India, Israel, Japan, Liechenstein, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Taiwan, USA.[9]

References[edit]