In 1983 an idea was born by Lothar Kugler: he constructed an interferometer for non-contact flatness measurement. The market was interested, the manufacturing started. Since than, many innovations and ideas joined - always true to the slogan "precision in a new dimension".
Kugler has achieved a leading position worldwide in its unique combination of optical and machining technology. The company owes its origins to the pioneer work of Lothar Kugler who founded his business in a small attic flat back in 1983 where he developed interfero-metrical measuring devices for the semiconductor industry and air-bearing components for modular measuring and machining systems.
Kugler maintains close relations to worldwide renowned universities and institutes. Common projects focus on testing innovative products and techniques and bringing them to maturity phase. 25% of the annual turnover flows into R&D every year.
Kugler profits from its expertise in air-bearing technology and metrology and specializes in systems with submicron accuracies used for micro machining and measuring - technologies that are strongly demanded by research and industry to comply with the trend to miniaturized components.
Installation of an additional, fully climatized measuring room with a new coordinate measuring machine that is among the most precise machines of this type on the market. Improved quality documentation of customized components. Job-order measurements as a new special service.
Kugler is expanding its facilities. The hydrostatic MICROMASTER®, the new model of the modular and flexible Kugler micro machine tool series, is added to the micro machining job shop. Five new ultraprecision machines tools let the manufacturing capacities of the Optics Department grow and enable even faster and more flexible handling of customer inquiries. Nothing is impossible!
Revolutionary design and technology - Product launch in the field of flycutting machinery. Torque drives, remote web-based diagnostic tools, automatic tool and workpiece measuring equipment form part of our standard portfolio.The new concept offers maximum safety, ergonomically designed workplaces and enables easy cleaning of your plant. Kugler® flycutters - 25 years of systematic further developments - for Best-of-Branch technology partners.
With the launch of its MICROGANTRY® micro3X - another member of the tried and tested Microganntry® nano family - Kugler is the first manufacturer to successfully encroach on a precision-machining territory that was formerly reserved to a small circle of specialists only. A cost-efficient machine, suitable both for cutting and laser ablation applications, and with all the benefits of an intelligent control, as well as systems for workpiece and tool measurements. Others imitate - we innovate.
Air-bearing multi-axis platform to test the effects of slightest unbalances during the production of optical surfaces by means of diamond cutting.
The lowest balancing quality to be simulated is at G = 0.04.
Ultra-precision granite measurement bench; total length 7 meters, travel accuracy </= 2 µm over the full active travel range
Air-bearing micro machining center with linear drives and a 64-tool change system for tools with diameters from 30 µm.
Micro machining center with two different beam sources and beam guidance systems.
Kugler BRS: patented mirror housing featuring an excellent compact arrangement of optics; developed for the suppression of back reflections in CO2 laser machining systems, especially well suited to stabilize lasers in slab resonators.
Hybrid micro machining center for simultaneous machining, by laser and with mechanical tools. Introduction of a new torque-driven tilt/swivel unit; resolution 0.0176 arcsec (= 0.0858 µrad), max. speed 80,000°/min.
Adaptive mirror with innovative cooling concept for CO2 laser machining systems. The pressure-driven mirror allows direct and highly reproducible focal length variations with fast response times.
Prototype of a drum lathe for the micro structuring of drums; work tool positioning and monitoring system included.
2-Axis CNC laser cutting head with distance sensory system; rotation continuous, 50 slip ring contacts and 8 gas/liquid leadthroughs, designed for a pressure of 25 bar. Application in high-power CO2 laser cutting systems, e.g. in shipbuilding.
Air-bearing rotary stages type RT600 (diam. 600 mm) and RT2000 (diam. 2 m); granite design, radial and axial runout </= 0.2, respectively </= 0.5 µm.
Kugler gives up producing interferometers, as the company policy follows new trends in miniaturization, yet without including measuring devices; a decision that has been regretted by many business partners, the more so as no less than 300 interferometers have been delivered to satisfied customers.
Measurement benches for automatic inspection of precision lenses and objective used to test surfaces with sizes up to 300 mm. Lens centering and absolute radius measurement to an accuracy of 1 µm or better, geometry deviation control to Lambda/50.
Introduction of a cost-saving workshop interferometer type KUI-35 for the inspection of flat and spherical optics, now with mobile workshop. In addition to geometry, the radius of curvature can be determined to an accuracy of +/- 1 µm.
Hydrostatic 5-axis micro machining center, CNC-controlled, with nano resolution and new thermo chucks to freeze- or wax-clamp miniature parts with complex geometries.
Development and manufacture of a thermal beam position detector system, to be integrated in CO2 laser mirrors for fully automatic beam position detection and for automatic readjustment.
Production of cleanroom-proof wafer deformation testing devices based on Kugler interferometer technology. Measuring fields up to 300 mm.
Development and assembly of a NC polarization turning unit type “LIPOR“ with reflecting mirrors for CO2 laser machine tools. The adjustment of linear polarization allows a 20% increase of cutting speed.
Diamond grinding machine for the grinding of monocrystalline diamond tools in a way to avoid micro notches in the cutting edge. Special feature: longer tool life (by factor 50 or better) as compared to conventional grinding machines.
Cost-effective production of large spherical and aspherical metal mirrors for telescopes, collimators and condensers (solar furnaces, Cerenkov radiation detectors) by diamond machining on air-bearing machines with multiple axis configuration.
The first hydrostatic ultra-precision machine in Europe using linear motors. Application: hard material cutting, accuracies: radial runout </= 0.5 µm (measured on the chuck), surface roughness Rz </= 1 µm (measured on HRC54 steel).
Founding Kugler of America,
Design and manufacture of interferometers with NIR light source for transmission measurement of semiconductor wavers (size up to 300 mm) with respect to parallelism.
Kugler Integrating Mirror “KIS“. The patent of 1992 covered different integrating mirrors to be used for beam shaping, hardening of surfaces and for laser machining with defined astigmatism (e.g. elongated focus transverse to the machining direction with the purpose to improve welding processes).
Site in Salem enlarged by new building, including a conditioning cell for the assembly of ultra-precision machines and components.
Taking over Protop-Bleile GmbH with their south German locations Freiburg and Stockach, moving the production facilities to the Kugler site in Salem.
Diamond turning machine with a machining diameter of up to 1500 mm. The first ultra-precision turning lathe with a laser measurement/control system.
Introduction of the “intelligent“ family of laser cutting & welding heads for CO2 high-power lasers, also for powers > 10 kW; with sensory system and easy-to-change optics as special advantages for industrial applications.
Development and construction of fully automatic air-bearing milling machines - flycutting mode - for the machining of coated ceramic circuit boards. Special feature: measuring and positioning system for workpiece leveling within submicron range.
Production of complete precision measuring stations for the optical industry comprising a Fizeau interferometer with a measuring aperture of up to 300 mm and a white light interferometer for non-contact micro topography and roughness measurement; resolution 0.1 nanometer.
Development of a flycutting machine with a travel range of 5000 mm and 2 integrated milling spindles for the remachining of aluminum guideways used in measuring machines. The newly developed Piezo correction system with CNC control and submicron accuracy allows contour adjustment directly during the machining process.
Measuring machine for truck crankshafts, completely on air-bearings, length up to 1.5 m, travel accuracies of </= 0.5 µm over a travel range of 1000 mm, integration of 3 air-bearing rotary tables for eccentricity testing.
Professional use of aluminum or sinter vacuum chucks for the clamping of plane and spherical precision parts in air-bearing turning and milling machines.
Combination of a Fizeau interferometer with an air-bearing rotary table and computer-generated evaluation, for fully automatic flatness and angle measurement with precision glass prisms and scan mirrors.
Angle measurement accuracy approx. 1 arcsec.
Interferometrical measuring device type Fizeau with air-bearing tables for the measurement of large plane polished surfaces, substrate movement on air bearings to facilitate operation. Measurement resolution: visual better 60 nm, computer-generated (option) approx. 10 nm.
Production of the first mirrors for CO2-laser resonators in Germany; design with direct water cooling and high-reflectivity gold coating.
Grazing-light interferometer for the testing of quartz masks with a size of up to 8x8 inch. The first design with computer-generated color-coded display of measurement results. One of the first devices worldwide with Piezo actuated motion of the sample according to the phase shift principle.
Interferometer type OFT for non-contact testing of precision lapped surfaces. The testing area with a size of up to 300 mm is an innovation aiming at a fast all-over measurement of the complete testing surface after all.
Air-bearing linear guidance with travel ranges of up to 1500 mm.
Development and construction of a nano-adjustable linear unit for direct turning copper off-axis paraboloids used in CO2-laser beam guidance and focusing.
Delivery of the first flycutter for the production of Plexiglas periscopes for military use. The beginning of ultra-precision machining special materials such as tantalum or coated beryllium..
Grazing-light interferometer for non-contact flatness measurement on non-reflective surfaces, with variable sensitivity adjustment in the range of 0.5 and 3 µm per fringe. Optional interference fringe counting device enabling automatic detection of up to 30 fringes and thus yielding reproducible results for the first time without the operator’s intervention.
Construction of one of the first flycutters in Germany produced in series and featuring a face disk with multiple tools for the machining of non-ferrous metals with the advantage of attaining a shiny surface quality. Cutting depths of up to 0.5 mm; attainable roughness values e.g. on copper approx. 5 nm.
Fizeau interferometer for non-contact flatness testing of “wrought“ glass prisms on polishing mounts. This measuring technique allowed non-contact testing over an aperture of 200 mm on the polish surface without having to demount the substrate from the workpiece mount. Resolution 60 nm.