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G&H's new ISO 5 Cleanroom in St Asaph


The cleanroom at G&H's Optical Systems Innovation Hub has recently achieved Class 5 certification. Achieving this quality standard is a notable accomplishment. Moreover, the cleanroom provides ample space for extensive system alignments in demanding applications, surpassing the capacity of commonly used laminar flow benches. The St. Asaph, UK cleanroom is a critical asset for the development of optical systems and assemblies, particularly applications like for Laser Directed Energy weapons and space, where precision and contamination control are paramount. With the cleanroom back in operation after thorough service and validation, the Hub is set to push the state of the art in high energy optical technology.

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The Cleanroom Advantage

Maintaining Class 5 and 6 standards in the cleanroom is a distinctive achievement and demonstrates the Hub's dedication to cleanliness and precision. As Brad Nicholls, Development Engineer at G&H, affirms, "At G&H, we are committed to delivering high-quality prototypes that meet the highest standards of cleanliness and safety. Our ISO 5 cleanroom ensures that our products under development are free from contamination and defects, and that our processes are reliable and efficient. Our cleanroom is equipped with ULPA filters that remove 99.99% of particles from the air, and we follow strict protocols for entering and exiting the cleanroom, as well as for maintaining the equipment and materials inside. We are proud to have one of the cleanest cleanrooms in the industry."

Brad's insights highlight the meticulous care taken to uphold the cleanroom's high standards. The ISO 5 classification, equivalent to a Class 100 cleanroom in the US Federal Standard 209E, reflects G&H's unwavering commitment to providing an environment that exceeds industry benchmarks in terms of cleanliness.

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Facilities and Expertise

The Optical Systems Innovation Hub houses a specialized engineering environment that accommodates a diverse team of experts. From optical design and opto-mechanical analysis to electronics development and system testing, the facility fosters innovation in various fields with a focus on aerospace and defence, including space.

Driving Value Delivery

The Hub marks a significant step forward for G&H, expanding its research and development capabilities. It not only facilitates customer-driven projects but also empowers market-driven internal products and independent research. This expansion allows G&H to design and build complete electro-optical subsystems and systems, offering a holistic approach to optics with high damage threshold.

Early Customer Engagement

A standout feature of the Hub is its ability to engage with customers early in the development process. This collaboration in the conceptual phase proves pivotal in defining system requirements and conducting technology and component trade-off analyses. By involving customers from the outset, the Hub ensures a smoother journey from specification to final integration, with the added advantage of anticipating and addressing potential issues early on.

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Future Innovations

Looking ahead, the Optical Systems Innovation Hub aims to build on its existing track record and extend its success into various market verticals. In the aerospace and defence arena, it plans to integrate and deliver optical systems for applications such as sighting systems, imaging systems for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, directed energy weapons, and space technologies.

G&H's Optical Systems Innovation Hub in St. Asaph is not just a cleanroom; it is a catalyst for transformative advancements in optical technology. As Chief Product & Technology Officer Stratos Kehayas emphasizes, “The Hub is the first port of call for those seeking innovative solutions in optical systems that comprise precision optical components, lens assemblies, electro-optic sensors combined with firmware and software, integrated in lightweight specialized optomechanical assemblies.” With a commitment to changing the world with photonics, G&H's Optical Systems Innovation Hub is propelling the company into a future defined by optical excellence and expertise.

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