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Thorlabs Announces Completion of New Headquarters

Newton, NJ – February 13, 2012. Thorlabs, a leading worldwide manufacturer of photonics equipment, announced today the completion of its new three-story, 120,000-square-foot facility, located at 56 Sparta Avenue, in Newton, NJ. Subsequent construction phases are planned for the next 7-10 years and will ultimately expand the company’s space to include approximately 300,000 sq. ft. The new site will serve as the central hub for Thorlabs’ sales, service, R&D, and manufacturing operations.

The company, still privately held by its founder and CEO, Alex Cable, has consistently experienced double-digit growth since its founding in 1989. Although Sussex County has always been home to the New Jersey-based manufacturer, the company has expanded geographically over the years to include 12 sales, manufacturing, and R&D offices in eight countries. During that same time, the need for more space also led Thorlabs to expand its footprint in Sussex County, eventually purchasing 87,800 square feet of space, spread out over five different locations. Today, Thorlabs employs approximately 700 people (350 in Sussex County) and manufactures 95% of its product offerings (70% domestically, 25% internationally), which now number over 15,000.

“After many years of planning, I am thrilled to have an additional space that supports Thorlabs’ continued growth and desire to bring products to market quickly,” commented Cable. With the addition of the new building, Thorlabs intends to expand its machine shop at its 40,000-square-foot facility located two miles away from the new site on state Route 206 in Andover Township. “Currently, the same equipment is shared for prototyping and production,” said Cable. “By expanding our machine shop’s footprint, we will be able to allocate specific resources and equipment to the creation of prototypes. In addition, the expansion will support faster turnarounds on special customer requests for small modifications to our stocked products.”

The new manufacturing, R&D, and administrative facility is built on a 5.6-acre former brownfield that had been vacant and in need of environmental remediation since 1993. The location, right in the Newton downtown area, had been earmarked by the town for redevelopment. The Town of Newton grew up in the 1800’s as a manufacturing and railroad town, and Thorlabs is excited to be leading a major redevelopment effort that will result in a cleaner, more energy efficient, high tech production facility that employs hundreds of individuals within walking distance of the downtown shops and eateries.


About Thorlabs:
Thorlabs, an active member of the Photonics community for over 20 years, manufactures equipment for the photonics industry, including optomechanics, optics, laser diodes, tunable lasers, fiber optics, optical detectors, motion control equipment, and vibration isolation systems. In addition to core photonics equipment, we also provide system-level solutions such as our complete OCT, confocal, and multiphoton imaging systems. With over 700 employees at offices based in the US, UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Japan, and China, Thorlabs is focused on providing fast response to customer inquiries and same-day shipment for stock items.


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