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Alignment Turning Station

Building cutting edge optics

ATS – Alignment Turning Station

High-precision centering, alignment and machining of mounted lenses and lens groups

During alignment turning, the mount edge and the flange surfaces of mounted spherical, aspherical and cylindrical lenses are produced so that the axis of
symmetry of the mount coincides with the optical axis of the lens. UV or IR lenses can also be processed with high precision. The ATS alignment turning machine
combines the proven OptiCentric® centration measurement system with an ultra-precise turning machine. This makes it possible to adjust and control all relevant
parameters while processing the mount, such as diameter of the mount or the distance of the lens from the contact surfaces of the mount. The high-precision
measurement of decentering and the extremely accurate processing of the mount prevent cumbersome, iterative adjustment steps in the overall optical system.
The intuitive operation results in operator-independent results during measurement and processing.

  • 1Versatile

    All ATS alignment turning stations are suitable for a
    variety of samples and applications. Setup and
    adjustment of a new sample is done in a short time.

  • 2High manufacturing accuracy

    The production of high-performance optics is
    possible with an accuracy of < 1 µm for the centering
    error, < 1 µm for the flange distance, < 1 µm for the
    roundness and < 2 µm for the diameter of brass lens

  • 3High profitability

    Streamlined processes, especially during subsequent
    lens assembly, increase production productivity.

Product Overview

  • ATS 100

    The compact alignment turning

    ATS 100 is optimized for the processing of lens systems with a
    diameter of up to 100 mm and a weight of up to 3 kg.

    Automated alignment chuck

    Reproducible manufacturing with a repeatability of
    better than 2.5 µm

    Easy to clean via integrated chip extraction

    Suitable for cycle time optimized processing of large
    batch sizes

  • ATS 200

    The high-precision alignment
    turning station

    ATS 200 is designed for processing small and medium-sized
    lenses in medium batch production.

    Optional with hydrostatic spindle

    Automated adjusting chuck

    Great stiffness and thermal stability due to optimized
    granite base

    Reproducible manufacturing with a repeat accuracy of
    better than 1.0 µm

    For very high accuracy: ATS 200 UP
  • Special solutions

    Adapted to your requirements

    Achieving the best possible manufacturing process often
    requires individual circumstances to be taken into consideration
    with regard to the work piece, the test room, the periphery and
    the requirements. Automation of the process is also often a
    challenge. This is just another example of TRIOPTICS’ expertise.
    More information


Your turning point to higher efficiency
The perfect solution for an adjustment-free assembly of mounted lenses

With their universal design and versatile metrology options, the alignment turning stations ATS can process all mounted lenses and lens assemblies, including those with infrared and aspherical lenses or with
mounted cells that cannot be glued. The choice always falls on the ATS when it comes to increasing efficiency. Here the system has not only excelled in mass production but also in the manufacture of customized

  1. A quality leap in precision manufacturing at WILD

    WILD recently added a new alignment turning station – ATS 200 UP – to its machine park. The machine is a pivotal element for utmost precision and efficiency in the manufacturing of complex optics.

    ”In future, alignment turning in the quality we can now offer will open the door to new designs with very small air gaps.“
    Stefan Werkl, Head of the Optical Technology Division at WILD
    To the success story


  • ATS Control

    One software for all measurement and production processes

    The ATS Control combines operation of the machine functions with the routines for measurement of
    centering error and alignment. The user is guided step by step, both in setting up sample geometry
    and carrying out the processing procedure. The software continually monitors the results of the
    production process.

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Technical Data

Parameter ATS 100 ATS 200 ATS 200 UP
Machine type Mineral casting base Granite frame Granite frame
Spindle Aerostatic Aerostatic Hydrostatic
Workpiece diameter Up to 100 mm Up to 200 mm Up to 200 mm
Max. workpiece weight 3kg 5kg 5kg
Workpiece material brass, aluminium, NiP-Steel brass, aluminium, NiP-Steel brass, aluminium, NiP-Steel, invar, titan, steel
Production accuracy Up to < 2.5 µm Up tp < 1.0 µm Up to < 0.5 µm
(h x w x d)
ca. 2.0 m x 1.0 m x 1.0 m ca. 2.20 m 1.55 m x 1.10 m ca. 2.20 m 1.55 m x 1.10 m
Weight approx. 1,400 kg approx. 2,500 kg -
Type Stand alone Stand alone Stand alone
Download Technical Data

Upgrades & Accessories

  • Aerostatic spindle

    Hydrostatic spindle

    Tactile sensor

  • Optical sensor

    Temperature sensor

    Workpiece temperature sensor

    Sensor for aspheres

  • Second autocollimator

    Quadruple tool changer

  • Head lens changer

  • Minimum lubrication

    Chip extraction

    2D code reader

Knowledge Base

  • Measurement and alignment turning of optical assemblies

    Alignment turning is the only method by which all relevant parameters of a mounted lens can be aligned, in particular the gap between two apex points and the contact surface.

    In addition, a large number of different cell sizes can be processed. And finally, high precision turning machines achieve excellent production accuracies of up to 0.5 µm. The alignment turning method is described in the figures below (Fig. 3). In alignment turning, first the lens cell is fixed in an adjustable alignment chuck with the lens in place. Then the position of the optical axis of the lens to the spindle axis is measured with the OptiCentric® system. Using this alignment chuck, the lens is then aligned so that its two centers of curvature are located as closely as possible to the axis of rotation of the spindle.

    Then the spindle is rotated and the contact surfaces of the cell are machined with a sharp (diamond) turning tool, resulting in a precisely machined surface of the cell, aligned parallel to the spindle axis. In addition to the outer surface of the cell, it is also possible to machine the front and rear contact surface during the turning process. To do this the turning tool is moved perpendicular to the spindle axis instead of along the optical axis.

  • More knowledge for experts

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    System for centration testing:
  1. Fig.1: The optical axes do not coincide with the axis of the barrel; lens distances are not correct

  2. Fig.2: The optical axes and the axes of the barrel coincide, lens distances are correct

  3. Fig. 3: The alignment turning process A) optical axis of the lens is determined, B) & C) cell is aligned to the optical axis of the lens, the edge of the cell is machined so that it is parallel to the optical axis

The lens is already fixed in the cell during the alignment turning process. This means that low-stress adhesives with very long curing times can be used for highly precise optics. Similarly, the lenses can be crimped or held by screw rings when the available adhesives are not suitable for the intended application. Since the lens has been aligned at the beginning of the process, the optical axis of the lens and the mechanical axis of the cell are precisely aligned when the cell is machined on a turning machine corresponding to the optical axis of the lens. In order to achieve high accuracy TRIOPTICS has integrated additional measurement technology into its alignment turning stations, alongside the high-resolution autocollimators. These include tactile and optical test systems that ensure a highly accurate measurement of the relevant mechanical parameters. This means the highest precision is achieved by a gradual machining process, in which the cell accuracy is checked after each machining step. The cells used in alignment turning do not need to meet exceptionally tight tolerances before machining. The cell offset only needs to be large enough to meet the required tolerance after machining.

The distance from the lens vertex to the upper contact surface can be manufactured with an accuracy of up to ±0.5 µm. Similarly, the diameter can be manufactured with an absolute accuracy of ±2 µm. The remaining centration error can be reduced to less than 0.5 µm by using a suitable alignment chuck. Moreover, a low coherent interferometer can be used to measure the center thickness on the machine, so that the contact surfaces can be manufactured with high precision with respect to each lens vertex. Multiple mounted lenses manufactured by alignment turning are then assembled to an objective lens. The method of machining in the micron range ensures that all lenses are aligned to each other. This allows mounted lenses to be assembled in a tube without further adjustment steps

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