Where Innovation Meets the Market
Optica promotes and protects the business of optics and photonics in driving innovation, creating jobs, and accelerating growth around the world. Optica provides exclusive roadmap reports and market data for the industry, serves as the voice of the industry to government and academia, acts as a liaison with associations worldwide and provides a network for the exchange of ideas and information within the optics and photonics community.
Industry | News
Optics & Photonics #1 Problem: Supply Chains
The primary concern that optics and photonics companies report to Optica today is related to supply chain shortages. Companies can't get the parts necessary to make their products or are capacity constrained to keep up with demand. (Companies also cite a perpetual shortage of talent, discussed in the August issue of the Optica Corporate Member Newsletter, here.)
The most familiar problem is that of sourcing parts from suppliers, with the auto industry a prime example. Early in the pandemic, demand for new cars slowed. Automakers responded by cancelling orders for parts, including electronics. Semiconductor chipmakers were able to transition production to the consumer products industry, which was experiencing high demand. Automakers are selling new cars again, but fell to the back of the line to get their orders filled, and have had to shut down manufacturing lines for weeks at a time while they wait for parts.
Industry | Feature
Spotlight—Women in Industry
This is a monthly series highlighting emerging and seasoned female professionals from Optica corporate member companies, in which we ask both professional and personal questions. This month features Elizabeth Rivera Hartling, a Subsea Optical Network Architect at Facebook.
Industry | News
Supply Chain Case Study: from Traffic to Components
A major concern during the pandemic was a loss of confidence in the economy, which could trigger a global recession. While the optics and photonics industry was largely spared from recession, some segments of the economy did indeed suffer a steep drop in demand. Let’s examine one of these segments and see how the impact cascaded down the supply chain.
This example starts with airline passengers, the primary set of end-users of the airline industry. The figure below shows U.S. air passenger traffic passing through security checkpoints beginning 01 March 2020. When the pandemic spread, travel restrictions and personal health concerns kept passengers out of airports. Within weeks, passenger traffic plunged to 4% of normal. As restrictions loosened and confidence returned in the second half of 2020, traffic recovered to about 30-40% of normal. As vaccinations proceeded, the throughput has climbed to about 80% of the normal summer throughput of about 2.6 million travelers, with a recent dip as the summer ends.