Lytkarino Optical Glass Factory

History

"Lytkarino Optical Glass Factory", JSC is a unique multi-specialized enterprise of Russian optical industry.

For the time of its existence, the factory has achieved the world’s level of quality of the manufactured products, and nowadays it is considered to be the recognized leader in the production of optical materials for different fields of science and engineering in the Russian Federation.

History of Lytkarino Optical Glass Factory dates back to 1935, when construction of the Plant of mirror reflectors was started in September.

In 1939, the first batch of 1.5 m searchlight mirrors for anti-aircraft defense installations was released. That year is considered to be the founding year of the Plant. By the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the company already possessed a considerable industrial potential.

In 1942, the manufacturing of 600–1,500 mm searchlight reflectors and armor-glasses for planes, viewing prisms for tanks, and other products were mastered.

In 1946, the construction of optical glass production capacities began at the plant. In parallel, production capacities to manufacture 1,200 tons of glass per year were created. Later, it completely met the needs of the country’s industry in optical materials, and already since 1957, the production of machines for glass processing was mastered. The second most important direction of the team’s work was mastering the manufacture of curved and flat triplexes for the newest types of aircrafts.

Since 1952, the company organized optomechanical production, began manufacturing of glass instruments, school microscopes, lenses for cameras, theater binoculars, optical filters. And soon the factory started 100 percent provision of enterprises with surveillance optical devices, optical systems for monitoring processes in chambers and houses with high temperatures.

Since 1960, the factory has been developing the technology to create glass with low thermal expansion with the following processing and manufacturing of mirrors for telescopes and space optics.

Since 1964, the factory began to master the production of fiber optics for instrumentation, medical endoscopic instruments, and optoelectrical converters of night vision aids. The created complex of production capacities (especially clean rooms, unique technology, equipment, and tooling) provided the optoelectronic industry of the country with the necessary fiber elements.

On February 9, 1970, Production Association Rubin was created, combining Lytkarino Optical Glass Factory with branches in Feodosiya and Belozyorsk, Izyum Instrument Plant with a branch in Kadiyevka, Nikolsk Optical Glass and Glass Art Products Plant Red Giant, Kuzinskiy Mechanical Plant (Vologda region). Lytkarino Optical Glass Factory was approved the parent company of the Rubin Association.

In 1972, the company was charged with the development of production of large lenses for space instruments for Earth remote sensing.

In 1973, the factory began to produce large high-precision lenses for surveillance and detection of objects (both space and air-based). Currently, the factory is the only manufacturer of such products.

In 1974, the factory finished manufacturing of 6 m solid mirror of the Large Azimuth Telescope for Zelenchukskaya Observatory. The telescope remained the largest and most advanced astroinstrument in the world in 1970–1990. That year, the Decree of the USSR Council of Ministers entrusted the factory to organize (together with the SOI) production of an entirely new material—glass-ceramics having practically zero coefficient of linear thermal expansion in the temperature range from -60 °C to +600 °C with high uniformity.

In the early 1980s, "Lytkarino Optical Glass Factory", JSC performed serial production of a large range of products for various applications, including consumer goods, industrial and technical devices.

In 1980–1992, the enterprise mastered the technology of high-precision finishing of optical surfaces with the use of computer methods of material local removing along zones and interferometric control methods.

In 1992–2003, more than 40 new types of optomechanical devices for various purposes were developed and introduced into production.

Available scientific and technical potential allowed the factory to enter the international market in mid-1990s. In 1996, for the first time in the world, Lytkarino Optical Glass Factory, created a technology to connect large parts made of glass-ceramics. Given the accumulated considerable scientific and technical and production capacity, the company founded unique, as of technical equipment, production of large optical components.

In the period from 1994 to the present time, Lytkarino Optical Glass Factory has been manufacturing high-precision optical components with diameters from 500 mm to 4000 mm in the framework of more than 80 international projects.

In 2010, industrial unit “Luch-2.5” was created for automatic ion-beam processing of high-precision surfaces of large optical components.

In 2013, the company completed the production of an industrial unit for applying mirror coatings with protection on the work surfaces of large optical components of up to 4 m in diameter, providing performance in the range of 130-12,000 nm.

In 2013, a modern site to produce large blanks of active disk elements, which was created taking into account all the features of the production of laser glass, started to operate. Organization of this production has made a significant contribution to the creation of a domestic unit of controlled thermonuclear fusion as an alternative source of energy.

Over the past 10-12 years, firms from 46 world countries have become partners of "Lytkarino Optical Glass Factory", JSC, which in the beginning of 21 century enabled the company to become the recognized participant in the world’s largest astronomical projects.