OSA-RS Speaker Series: Mike Bechtold, OptiPro

  • January 15, 2019
  • 7:00 PM
  • Laboratory for Laser Energetics - East Lobby 240 East River Road, Rochester, NY, 14623


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The Creative Evolution of OptiPro

Mike Bechtold, OptiPro

Mike will present how since 1982 OptiPro (originally CNC Systems) grew from 2 brothers “in a barn” with an idea to start a small CNC machine tool sales company, has now 37 years later grown to 90+ excellent people in a 60,000 square foot sales and manufacturing facility. Included in the talk will be how many curves, hurdles and serendipitous opportunities created the path to what is now a company with 3 separate but co-dependent divisions including:

• CNC Machine Tools and Metrology Solutions Distribution including Sales, Service, Applications and Training.

• Mastercam Computer Aided Manufacturing Software Distribution. Including Sales, Applications and Training

• OptiPro Product Line, Design and Manufacturing of the OptiPro full suite of CNC Optical Grinding, Polishing and Measuring machines.

Mike will discuss many of the challenges and highlights that got his amazing team to where they are today and where we are going in the future.

In 1976, Mike graduated from SUNY Cortland, with a BS in education. Working at The National Technical Institute for the Deaf at RIT, he found his love for the mechanical engineering world. Mike established OptiPro Systems (formally CNC Systems) in 1982, which originally installed and serviced machine tools for the metalworking industry and was the first Mastercam dealer. OptiPro’s expertise with CNC machine tools drew the attention of Eastman Kodak, who reached out to Mike to build the COG (Computerized Optical Generator), a CNC machine retrofit designed to manufacture precision optics. The COG vaulted OptiPro into the optics manufacturing industry. In 2008, the Optical Society of America awarded Mike Bechtold the Paul F. Forman Engineering Excellence Award for producing the first affordable CNC machine designed for the optics industry. Today, OptiPro offers over 20 different commercially available solutions for manufacturing and measuring spherical, aspheric, and freeform optics. They are the only U.S. company that offers a complete line of grinding, polishing, and metrology equipment for the precision optics and advanced ceramics industries. OptiPro employs 90+ people in their 60,000 square foot facility in Ontario, NY.

Pre-talk dinner with guest speaker Mike Bechtold will be held at 5:00 PM at Phillips European Restaurant, 26 Corporate Woods, Rochester, NY 14623, prior to the talk. Contact the House Committee by email for dinner reservations. Email: house@osarochester.org
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