Kingsview Optical has extensive coating facilities covering all aspects of vacuum coating and optical thin films at our site in the UK. This includes multilayer broadband antireflective coatings to full mirrors. The coating designs are done onsite using Essential Macleod design software.
Pre cleaning components prior to coating is imperative for good coating and adhesion performance this is why we have a complete range dependant on the component. We have a Kerry 7 fully automatic detergent based ultrasonic cleaning system that will be used if there are large quantities of parts needed to be cleaned prior to coating. We also have 2 positive pressure clean rooms where solvent based solutions are used to clean delicate components conventionally where detergent based cleaning is not compatible or thermal shock of the components is an issue. All our chambers have an ion pre clean process which really helps with the adhesion properties of our coating making them very resilient.
We have 4 different vacuum coating chambers the first 2 are smaller in size but very suitable for R&D coating runs where the numbers are low. Our Leybold 560 we use primarily for multilayer anti reflective coatings. Our Edwards coats using thermal evaporation which we use to coat primarily mirrors and prism. We have the capability to coat most metals such as Aluminium, Silver, Gold and Chrome etc.
Then we have 2 larger chambers where the majority of our work is put through. Both of these chambers are 900mm in diameter and are brought to vacuum using CTI on board cryo pumps and compressors. These chambers allow large numbers of parts in one firing so suitable for mass production with economical per part cost. In 2014 we updated our vacuum control system with a brand new Siemens PLC with custom code written for our application and a new E.B Gun power supply from Temescal. This has fully automated the process leading to more consistent coatings and layer stacks of up to 50 being routinely produced.
The other advantage we have is on site metalwork machining which really helps when parts need custom coating jigs these can easily be made which really helps our delivery times and drives down costs. With our dark room specifically developed for reticule production we can coat components and then in the next room produce reticules through photolithography with every stage manufactured in house.