Data Optics, Inc.
Data Optics is a manufacturer of precision optical research equipment and optical test instruments for over 44 years. The company was founded by Thomas Herman, an engineer and Edward Volinski, a machinist who worked together prior in the US government's Side Looking Radar Project, administered by U of M. After the completion of the project the company was in full swing developing spatial filters, plate holder, liquid gates and custom film drives and worked closely with the environmental research group. They worked there was from the manufacturing and sale of the Model C Optical Distortion Tester to photographic camera devices. In the 1980's they acquired the Super Gage line of precision linear measurement devices from Bausch and Lomb; a necessity in the printed circuit board industry for checking the output of digital film recorders and substrate materials. In the 1990's they started partnering with other small optics businesses in order to supply a broad range of pinholes and air slits, Ronchi rulings and other fine patterns on glass, and microscope objective lenses for spatial filter applications. Later distributing the Specbos line of miniature spectrometers from Germany and developing a new product called the Silicon Eyeball; a digital, computer tethered camera for visualizing what is going on at the optics axis of a laser or photonics experiment. As they continued to progress they added the products of the British company, Applied Scintillation Technologies and partnered with Picard Industries. Throughout this times Data Optics has been called upon to design and machine, with the utmost precision, prototype optical products and production assembly/test fixtures for many emerging and prominent companies. Because of this depth of knowledge in optical applications and precision machining that they have excelled at the partnership with customers.
Sustainable Business Practices
Waste reduction plays a big role in the company's waste management program. Reusable cloth hand towels are used instead of disposable ones. Most paper office supplies are reused and computer equipment is donated to non-profit or educational organizations. None of their documents are printed in volume only as needed in order to eliminate the waste created from outdated documents. They buy recycled content materials whenever they can, which includes copier paper, envelopes, toilet paper and packing peanuts. Their 50 page product catalog was converted to CD-ROM in order to reduce the paper consumed through the printing of this catalog. The use of solvents and hazardous chemicals has also been reduced. Aside from their waste reduction and recycling practices, Data Optics has renovated their buildings to improve energy efficiency, thereby increasing their environmental stewardship. Their buildings also reduce temperatures at night to conserve energy.