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January 12, 2012  

An Open Letter from our General Manager

As I begin my new role as General Manager here at Semrock, I’d like to take advantage of our website to write directly to you, our customers. First I want to say that I’m honored to lead the tremendously talented and dedicated team here at Semrock as we enter our second decade. Since 2001 we’ve grown from a tiny startup to a 120+ person business unit within the billion-dollar IDEX corporate family. And I’ve been fortunate to be a part of that story for a long time, originally starting with the company back in 2001. I believe the reason we’ve been successful, and will continue to be, is that we use our passion and expertise in optics to help our customers each and every day.


I’ve built optical systems most of my career, and over the years I’ve noticed that optical filters are often the misunderstood and even neglected components in the optical engineer’s, researcher’s, or microscopist’s toolbox. Unclear on exactly how to specify or select the right filter, filter users may put off dealing with filter details until near the end of their project. This is a mistake, of course, and can cause frustrating redesigns, re-purchases, and project delays. At Semrock, we strive to eliminate this result from your experience and minimize your time to market (if you’re an OEM customer building an instrument) or time to experimental results (if you’re a researcher buying filters from our catalog.) There are many different aspects to our efforts, but we’ve given the overall concept an easy to remember tagline: “The Right Filter, Right Now.” I’d like to take a moment to explain exactly what this concept means for you.

First, the “Right Filter” part. We pride ourselves in being more than just a thin-film filter company. Our applications scientists and engineers understand our customers’ applications and optical systems needs. We love solving our customers’ optics problems, whether face-to-face, over the phone, or by email. We’re also leading the way in online customer tools, the collection of which we’re calling the “Virtual Applications Engineer.” Currently we have two tools up and running, called MyLight and FireLight, with more to come. These tools allow our customers to answer technical performance questions and even design filters themselves any time over the internet. If you haven’t tried MyLight, you should go to our website and take it for a test drive. Just go to a product page on our website and click on the “MyLight” button above the spectral graph. You can see how changing important optical specifications, such as angle-of-incidence, cone half-angle, and polarization, affect the spectral performance of the filter. And if you’d like to try designing custom filters with our automated design tool, FireLight, call or email us and we’ll give you a free account so you can experience its current capabilities, which we’ll be continually expanding.

As for the “Right Now” part, our industry-leading manufacturing operation allows us to send filters to our customers as quickly as possible. We’ve developed a lean system that allows us to produce coatings quickly while still maintaining the ability to fully customize the filter’s final size and shape to your particular needs. The result to you is same-day shipment for standard catalog parts, 3-day shipment on custom-sized catalog parts, and 2-4 week lead-times for fully customized filters for OEM customers. And now you can order our catalog filters online any time, so when you discover at two in the morning that you don’t have a critical filter to complete that important experiment, you can order it right then and expect your order to ship the next day. And for those of you who want or need to speak to a real live human being for assistance, our customer service representatives and applications engineers are here in Rochester ready to help you figure out what filters are right for you.

I’d like to mention one last thing about exciting prospects for the future. As you may know, Semrock is a member of the IDEX corporate family. Some of you might have even heard the term IDEX Optics & Photonics, the optical platform we’re building. We are working with our sister companies, ATFilms and CVI Melles Griot, to create more capabilities and new solutions that provide even more value for our customers. You’ll be hearing more about this in the upcoming year, but in the short-term it means you’re now able to purchase some ATFilms and Semrock catalog products through the broader CVI Melles Griot sales channels in select areas of the world.

In conclusion, on behalf of the entire Semrock team I’d like to thank all of you for continuing to choose us to provide your filter solutions. We feel privileged to work with so many talented researchers and engineers who are making such important improvements to the overall health and happiness of people around the world. We strive to be the industry leader, and I’d like to hear directly from you how we’re doing, both good and bad. Please feel free to contact me directly using the form to let me know when we’ve done well, and when we haven’t. Your honest feedback is greatly appreciated, and is the best way to ensure we’re continuously improving towards our goal of always exceeding your expectations.


Have a happy and prosperous new year!


Rob Beeson