News | April 29, 2003

Enhanced Systems Test & Metrology Lab Ensures Higher Quality Products for Newport Customers

Irvine, California, USA –Newport Corporation (NASDAQ: NEWP) announced the opening of its newly-enhanced Systems Test & Metrology Lab. Located at the company's global headquarters for research and development, In Irvine California, the lab is dedicated to measuring the performance of Newport Corporation's motion control products to better serve its customers.

The lab's enhancements include state of the art environmental controls assuring stability of environmental conditions including temperature, humidity, acoustics and vibration, as well as investment in new and advanced test equipment technology including a Zygo interferometer. The facility is constructed to meet the demanding requirements of clean room operations needed for metrology of nanometer-class precision measurements.

New equipment includes a Zygo ZMI 2000: 4-axis laser interferometer (resolution = 0.3 nm); HP (Agilent) 5528: 1-axis laser interferometer (resolution = 10 nm); Federal Products Electronic Levels (resolution = 0.1 arc sec); ASL F150 Precision Thermometer (resolution = 0.001 deg C, absolute accuracy = 0.025 deg C); Newport LDS 1000 2-Axis Electronic Autocolimator (resolution = 0.1 µrad); Moller-Wedel Elcomat 2-Axis Electronic Autocolimator (resolution = 0.05 arc sec; accuracy = ± 0.5 arc sec); PCB Instruments Tri-Axial Accelerometers; and Granite Reference Surfaces (flatness = 1 µm).

Enhancements at the lab have been driven by the never-ending requirement for greater precision in the semiconductor and fiber communications manufacturing industry. This has meant an ongoing need for increasingly higher precision motion control systems and the resulting demand for accurate measurement of accuracy, bi-directional repeatability, pitch, roll and yaw performance of Newport's precision motion stage products.

Because test results can be affected by environmental factors, control of such variables as temperature stability, relative humidity, airborne contamination, and others is necessary to ensure the consistency and quality of a lab's results. Particular attention has been given to reduction of background noise and vibration, taking advantage of Newport Corporation's extensive experience and world-class capabilities in vibration control.

Additionally, a procedure, based on recognized national and international standards (ASME B5.57, ASME B5.54 and ISO 230-2), was developed to facilitate consistency in tests and the analysis of test data. A program was also implemented to ensure that the lab's equipment is calibrated to national standards on a regular basis.

Environmental controls allow the lab to measure the stability of a product with time, and also to measure the "drift" (non-stability) of a product due to self-heating from powered components such as motors and encoder electronics. The lab has also acquired instrumentation to measure important parameters, including accelerometers to measure vibrations and dynamic behavior, and thermal sensors to measure the temperature of a system under test at several locations, to name a few.

Robert Phillippy, Vice President and General Manager, Industrial & Scientific Products Division said, "Newport's customers know the quality, consistency, and reliability of Newport products. This enhanced lab facility helps us maintain our high standards. It's another example of Newport's dedication to continuous improvement and product performance."

Newport Corporation is a leading global supplier of advanced technology products and systems to the semiconductor, communications, electronics and research markets. The company provides components and integrated subsystems to manufacturers of semiconductor processing equipment, advanced automated assembly and test systems to manufacturers of communications and electronics devices, and a broad array of high-precision components and instruments to commercial, academic and government customers worldwide. Newport's innovative solutions leverage its expertise in precision robotics and automation, sub-micron positioning systems, vibration isolation and optical subsystems to enhance the capabilities and productivity of its customers' manufacturing, engineering and research applications. Newport is part of the Standard & Poor's Midcap 400 Index and the Russell 2000 Index. For more information, visit