GoPhotonics interviewed Boris Boullot, the CEO of Sinoptix. He is a dedicated entrepreneur with a strong technical background and has been at the helm of SINOPTIX as CEO since 2010. During his tenure, he has led the company to significant growth, multiplying its sales by eightfold. Boris's focus on expanding the company's international customer base has been a driving force behind SINOPTIX's success. He has also played a pivotal role in enhancing the quality and complexity of the optical components offered by the company, all while fostering a highly effective and skilled team. Boris Boullot's leadership at SINOPTIX is a testament to his passion for innovation and commitment to continuous improvement in the field of optical technology.
Q. Can you tell us about Sinoptix? When was the company founded and what is your objective?
Boris Boullot: SINOPTIX is part of AGCIS group which was founded in 2000 in Belgium. We are providing a wide range of optical components, focusing on custom components with high quality and aggressive pricing.
We are already selling to 30 countries and our objective is to expand to even more countries in the near future, keeping a high satisfaction rate amongst our customers.
Q. What market segments do you target and which segment drives the most business for you?
Boris Boullot: We are focusing on passive optics components from UV to THz. Currently, our IR optics and plastic optics segments are leading our growth, with high demand for Germanium optics and plastic-injected lenses.
Q. Can you tell us more about your product portfolio?
Boris Boullot: Our portfolio starts from simple optics for industrial magnifiers to complex custom optics like laminated prisms. As mentioned above we are also developing well in aspherical IR lenses, mostly in Germanium. Last but not least, more and more customers are working with us for sapphire optics, with the recent decrease in raw material costs the sapphire optics costs are much more competitive than some years ago.
Q. In addition to Optical Components, Sinoptix also provides opto-mechanical parts. Can you tell us more about these products?
Boris Boullot: Opto-mechanical parts are the natural extension of our optics offer, they enable our customers to assemble the optical components in their final systems.
The interest of our customers to work with SINOPTIX for the optomechanical parts is our know-how to control tight dimension tolerances and perfect surface aspect of the parts.
Q. What makes Sinoptix products different from other optics products available in the market?
Boris Boullot: SINOPTIX is a brand of high-quality optics, our customers are more and more looking for SINOPTIX’s branded optics as a quality guarantee and an assurance that their purchase will be trouble-free.
Indeed our customers are also very attracted to our aggressive pricing, enabling them to pay the real price of what they are getting.
Q. Can you tell us some interesting applications where your optical products have been used or integrated?
Boris Boullot: We are seeing very nice applications of the custom optics we deliver to our customers: For example, our optics, including doublets, windows, and spherical lenses are part of industrial endoscopes that are used up at temperatures to 2000°C to monitor inside industrial furnaces.
Some of the IR lenses that we provide, with diameters up to 150mm, are assembled on Lidar devices used to measure wind speed around wind turbines. We are also providing very precise optical windows in fused silica used in innovative metal 3D printers.
Interestingly, one of the plastic optical lens matrices that we are providing is used on sea search & rescue high-power light beamer, we are thrilled to provide components for such a useful application. Research institutes and innovative companies are making the bulk of the users of SINOPTIX custom optics.
Q. Can you tell us more about plastic optics solutions? What are their applications and advantages?
Boris Boullot: Plastic optics can be divided into two fields, which are plastic injection optics and machined optics.
Plastic injection optics are to be used for big quantities projects where the component price will be very low and justify a rather high investment for tooling.
Plastic machining parts are used for specific applications, where for example the weight of the part is critical, or in order to use specific material, like for TPX optics for example where TPX is one of the best materials for THz applications.
Q. Does your company provide custom optical components? If so, what is the process and how long does it take?
Boris Boullot: Yes definitely, providing custom optics is our core business. It depends on the type of optics, but production is usually controlled within a month.
You need to add the logistic time of shipment to the final customer which is around one week depending on the customer's location.
Q. Are there any existing areas in which you plan to expand? Or any new areas where you might enter? What is your product and company roadmap for the next three years?
Our plan is to follow the development of the market by providing even more high-quality optics in the below-growing fields:
- Ultraviolet optics are developing as their wavelength are smaller and enable more precision for measurement and processing, there are also many germ-killing applications. To cover this need we are consolidating our offer in Fused Silica, Sapphire, and CaF2 optics.
- Development of specialty optical fibers used in lasers and sensing, we will develop our offer of micro / submillimeter optical components, prisms, grin lenses, and filters that will be needed to integrate all these optical fibers in systems.
- The last growing field is unsurprisingly lasers, which applications are growing every year, providing optical components with high reliable damage thresholds is critical to be present on this market.
Sinoptix is an optical component supplier specialized in manufacturing optical lenses, windows, and glass. It is operationally based in Shanghai, China, and specializes in providing optical manufacturing solutions costumed to customer requirements and specifications. In 2010, Sinoptix merged with the Belgium company AGC Business Consulting, which is operationally located in Shanghai, China. This strengthened Sinoptix’s ability to handle complex projects and offer integration gain for both structures. In 2011, Sinoptix developed a new department within its company, named Sinoptix Distribution, specifically concentrating on supporting Western high-technology companies to distribute their products in China. Sinoptix’s extensive experience within the optics and glass industry and broad portfolio of audited suppliers provide their clients access to manufacturing solutions for standard and custom needs, small and batch orders, shorter lead times, and better price advantages while carrying out full quality control assessments before worldwide dispatch.