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Optics Manufacturing Technician

Competency-Based Apprenticeship
Sponsoring Company:
Optimax Systems Inc.
O*Net Code
Rapids Code
Req. Hours
Jul 16, 2021
Jul 16, 2021

Competency-Based Skills

14 skill sets | 100 total skills
Identify, inspect, and qualify materials for manufacturing optical components.
Determine material requirements as defined by blueprint specifications.
Inspect and accurately evaluate material certification sheets to match print specifications.
Ensure physical safety in handling hazardous materials by marking material containers with appropriate material safety data sheet (MSDS) identifications.
Follow material handling procedures to ensure physical safety, avoid contamination, and maintain material inventory and identification.
Maintain prescribed documentation of bulk materials using a job jacket or its equivalent.
Participate in the planning and verification of optical fabrication processes.
Use design specifications, technical drawings, and/or government documentation to meet specifications and tolerances.
Use basic processing techniques for producing plano, cylindrical, spherical, and aspheric optics.
Assist and advises in the selection of fabrication processes and their sequencing.
Recommend process changes to increase quality, improve efficiency, and reduce production costs.
Identify standard operating and safety procedures of the optics shop and equipment required in the process.
Document process changes and non‐conformances and may identify preventative and corrective actions to improve process control.
Shape and finish bulk materials to generate optical components.
Determine and perform procedures for measuring, tooling, blocking, generating, shaping, beveling, grinding, polishing, and centering.
Practice accepted procedure for handling optical materials.
Apply appropriate procedures for processing a variety of optical materials such as glass, crystals, optical ceramics, and plastics.
Measure and accurately records dimensionality to ensure adherence to specifications and tolerances.
Properly clean, store, secure, document, package, and transports the finished optical components to ensure their integrity and proper identification.
Operate, maintain, and calibrate optics manufacturing and testing equipment.
Use proper procedures to operate all machinery from hand beveling wheels to CNC machines.
Apply accepted standards to maintain work area cleanliness.
Inspect and maintain equipment, per prescribed schedules, to ensure optimal use and productivity and document these efforts.
Use the work instruction template to verify set points in the control screens.
Detect malfunctioning equipment and adjust or repair as necessary and/or notify appropriate work personnel.
Identify health hazards associated with specific material and process and use accepted practices to ensure health of self, others, and the environment.
Conduct optical metrology measurements and inspections for inprocess work and final distribution.
Coordinate with quality assurance to ensure compliance to design specifications and documentation requirements.
Participate in the development of inspection plans that use the appropriate metrology for all measured specifications.
Test finished components by appropriate means including test place or interferometric techniques to ensure compliance with design specifications.
Use autocollimators to measure angular error, pyramid error, beam deviation, and dimensional deviations for both in‐process and finished products.
Use collimator or interferometer to measure focal length and on‐axis aberrations.
Inspect surface quality of finished product to comply with appropriate scratch‐and‐dig standards as specified on the component drawing or specification sheet.
Measure surface roughness using white light interferometry or other optical means.
Measure the processed surfaces or components using appropriate equipment (e.g., profilometer, optical comparator, coordinate measuring device, micrometer, or drop gage).
Determine and select, using written instructions and specifications, appropriate packaging for protecting, storing and shipping optics.
Document final inspection results according to instructions, procedures, and/or specifications to close‐out job jacket or equivalent.
Maintain NIST certified calibration standards and samples, be able to calibrate all optical instruments per proper procedures and maintain a calibration log.
Use statistical process control guidelines for sampling finished components.
Assemble optical components and systems (e.g., cemented and air-spaced doublets and triplets).
Interpret assembly drawings.
Use proper cleanroom and air‐flow workbench procedures.
Use proper alignment techniques for assembly process.
Select and/or uses appropriate or required optical adhesives or epoxies.
Mount optical components in mechanical assemblies using prescribed methods.
Align elements in cells.
Measure conformance and performance of optical assembly via mechanical and/or optical means. Determine root cause of any non‐conforming assemblies.
Clean, prepare and inspect optical surfaces prior to assembly per requirements.
Apply anti‐reflectance coatings to optical components.
Interpret drawing for coating specifications.
Clean and inspect optics for coating using accepted procedures.
Load and properly operate coating equipment to apply thin film coatings using prescribed procedures.
Operate spectrometer to test coating performance on witness samples and verify results with drawing specifications.
General Proficiencies
Understand and use basic mathematical concepts to include fractions, decimals, ratio, proportion, powers and algebra principles.
Use and convert metric and English units, and use of scientific notation.
Use of angle measurements in degrees, radians, minutes, and seconds.
Apply procedures of geometry and trigonometry to optics.
Use hand calculators and computers proficiently.
Operate common machine shop equipment for metals such as lathes, band saws, drill presses, and milling machines.
Accurately identify the shapes of various optical components and their use in an optical assembly/system.
Read and interpret technical drawings and specifications.
Use quality assurance criteria to determine deficiencies in materials and optics using established design specifications.
Incorporate basic project management strategies in developing production plans.
Use basic cost estimation techniques to determine cost vs benefit factors.
Material Selection
Determine optical, chemical, thermal and mechanical properties of selected materials from handbooks, supplier specification sheets, and Internet sources, and assess their relevance to specified manufacturing processes.
Apply chemical safety procedures to chosen optical materials and solvents.
Evaluate physical property of materials for hardness, cleavage, fracturing and chemical stability and assess their relevance to specified manufacturing process.
Identify physical and environmental hazards associated with various optical materials and the solvents used to process them.
Measure and analyze homogeneity of materials using interferometry techniques.
Optical Fabrication
Use a loupe to identify bulk material defects such as inclusions, bubbles, striae, and fractures.
Use polarization measurement techniques to identify internal stress.
Use appropriate hand tools (e.g., calipers, micrometers, depth gauges, spherometers) during fabrication and inspection of optical components.
Perform basic CNC controller programming functions according to specifications and assess their performance against established specifications.
Select appropriate abrasives including grit size and composition to achieve design tolerances and specifications for specific materials.
Optimize fabrication tools and parameters to increase efficiency and quality.
Prepare fixtures for mounting starting material as part of the fabrication process.
Determine the interaction between various material used in high tolerance optics fabrication such as hot pitch and acetone.
Operate equipment (e.g., cut‐off and wire saw, abrasive grinding machines, and coring machines) to shape optical materials to specifications.
Operate grinding and polishing machines to generate plano, spherical, aspherical, cylindrical, and toric optics.
Prepare bevels necessary for suitable optical mounting.
Inspect finished optical components to ensure compliance with established specifications.
Use proper procedures in mixing, degassing, applying, and establishing cure times for adhesives and epoxies.
Optics Inspection
Measure deviations from specifications in dimensionality and surface quality and roughness.
Measure surface quality using appropriate equipment (e.g., scratch‐and‐dig inspection box, microscope, loupe, and magnifiers).
Measure surface roughness with appropriate equipment (e.g., white light interferometer, laser surface profiler).
Measure shapes using appropriate equipment (e.g., profilometers or coordinate measuring devices), and determine deviations from specifications in dimensionality.
Use quality assurance criteria to determine deficiencies in materials and optics using established design specifications.
Measures angular errors with appropriate equipment (e.g., autocollimators or interferometers)
Inspect materials using birefringence testing via polarimeters and index of refraction testing.
Clean Room and Assembly
Use established procedures for personnel gowning for clean room operations, including booties and beards.
Use proper procedures for entering and exiting air locks and door locks in a clean room facility.
Interpret clean room Class Ratings required in optics fabrication (e.g., Class 100, 1000, and 10,000).
Monitor air flow filtration, room pressure, air velocities, temperature and relative humidity of clean rooms.
Clean optics to specifications using proper techniques.
Store optics in appropriate container with environmental controls.
Measure optical properties using appropriate equipment (e.g., autocollimators).
Align physical and optical centers following specifications.
Inspect finished products following accepted procedures to ensure compliance with established specifications.
Evaluate shipping conditions for finished optics to determine appropriate packaging.
Thin Film Coatings
Identify the function of anti/reflection and protective thin film coatings on optical surfaces.
Prepare optics for thin film coatings by cleaning optical surfaces requiring a coating.
Interpret drawings for coating specifications to determine proper coating materials.
Operate vacuum systems used for coating optics.
Use fixtures for mounting optics in coating chambers.
Select appropriate coating procedures and operate coating equipment.
Use proper sensors to monitor film properties during coating processes.
Operate spectrometer to test coatings on witness sample.

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