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Opus Associates established by Laurence Robinson, is a consultancy specialising in the development of optical systems and products. We are a small well regarded team of optics experts with many years experience of product development. Whether you require a complex medical laser system designed and built to FDA standards or just a days help with your quality control system, we can offer highly experienced specialist consultants

We will work with you from the initial specification stage through the design and certification processes. Working closely with your production team, your requirements will be implemented quickly and efficiently in a robust and elegant design for manufacture.

To view images of our mechanical design using CAD, click here.

The skills available to our clients include:

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Product Development


A Precision Metrology System for Space Application

Opus has developed a system for assessing the performance of an instrument to be put into Earth orbit. The instrument comprises an actuation system that can move a 15 kilogram mass in all 6 axes. An optical system measures the movement in 5 axes to an absolute accuracy better than one percent and has a resolution 10 times greater.

A Very High Resolution Target Projector

Opus staff developed a system for the projection of military targets onto large domes (~20 metre diameter). The system uses pulsed copper vapour lasers in combination with solid state image generators and scanning galvanometers to produce very high brightness TV rate images on the dome surface which allow identification of the target at projected ranges of 10km. The system is in use by the British Armed Forces and other NATO forces.


High Resolution Laser Plate Makers for the Printing Industry.

Opus has designed several plate makers for customers World-wide. Systems using HeNe, YAG, frequency doubled YAG and blue diode lasers have been developed. The requirements of micron stability, diffraction limited spots, control of ellipticity and plug and play laser replacement demand very careful design. Systems also have to be designed to be athermal over the operating temperature range of the plate maker.

Ellipticities of less than 1%, spot sizes down to 12µm FWHM, 20nsec rise times and beam pointing stability of less than 10% of the spot diameter have been achieved and are in production.

With our partners, Synectix Ltd we can offer design and manufacture from component level to complete systems.


A Medical Laser for Photo Dynamic Therapy

Opus developed a laser system which delivers, via optical fibres, in excess of 1 Watt of power at 630nm. The system designed for use with specific cancer treating drugs was taken from the concept stage, through prototyping, FDA and Medical Device Directive approval and into manufacture by Opus. The project was carried out within 10 months.

Xray Film Laser Scanner

Opus developed a film scanner using polygon scanners, flat field scan lenses, and fibre optic fluorescence signal detection.

Hair Removal Laser System

The hand held instrument uses a high power Infra-red laser which is fibre coupled to a hand held scanner. The scanner uses 2 wedge scanners to scan a raster pattern over the patient. Incorporated under microprocessor control is a thermoelectrically cooled window for skin cooling, scan error checking and calibration. The system was designed and documented to FDA and MDD standards enabling early certification.


A Low Cost Spectrometer

Opus designed a low cost UV-Visible spectrometer incorporating CCD linear arrays, dual sources for the UV and visible. The system is self calibrating and is designed for low cost manufacture. It is now a successful product for our client WPA.

Laser Induced Fluorescence Scanning Spectrometer

This spectrometer scans a laser over 96 microtitre plates and measures the fluorescence spectrum on a linear photomultiplier array. The design required careful consideration of filtering of the laser from the spectrometer and self induced fluorescence.

Document and Security systems

 Opus has developed several security systems for the paper and document industries.  The techniques used include spectral recognition and fluorescence.  The systems include low throughput, high volume front office systems, high speed back room systems and quality control systems for the paper production.

Optical Excellence

Inspection & Metrology

Groove Profile

Groove Profile Measurement

Opus has developed a system for imaging and measuring deep grooves. It consists of a two laser beam illumination system. The first beam is a broad parallel beam which illuminates the surface. The second beam is focused close to the surface such that as it enters the groove it will illuminate the sides of the groove. The existing mechanical handling system is designed for the inspection of grooves in cylindrical parts. It uses a precision linear rail which transports the object to the mechanical stop.

Previously our client had to make an epoxy mould of the groove in order to check their manufacturing process. This new system offered a much quicker measurement method thereby reducing wastage and factory downtime. 

Automotive Catalyst

An Automotive Catalyst Inspection System

Automotive Catalytic converters consist of many hundreds of small tubes each of which are coated with the catalytic material. The performance of the converter and the auto-engine is dependent on the ability of the catalyst to pass exhaust gases. During the production process the tubes in the catalyst can become blocked and it is important that the quality control can identify those catalysts.

The Inspection system developed and manufactured by Opus provides a clear image of the tubes of the catalyst magnified several times and projected onto a screen or captured electronically for automatic inspection.

The client wanted a simple low cost system which could be simply replicated at other Worldwide manufacturing sites. Opus based the system on an overhead projector which was modified to provide telecentric illumination of the catalyst with an additional field lens to collect the light transmitted through the catalyst.

Tube Straightness

Boreview is an optical instrument for viewing the internal bores of tubes. It allows for the inspection and measurement of the straightness of tubes. It can measure deviations of a 10 metre long tube to better than 1mm.

The system is portable and battery operated. It is simply attached to the internal bore of the tube allowing inspection of stacked tubes. In addition it will display any obstructions within the tube.

Liquid Flow


SurfSense is a non-contact instrument that can very accurately measure the height of a liquid surface and the tilt of that surface to the horizontal. Flowing liquids have a very small tilt (depending on the viscosity of the liquid) when flowing. Many processes e.g. dipping and coating require precise control of liquid flow rates as part of the production process. The instrument consists of precision electronic levels that measure the instrument’s own tilt and three lasers which measure the tilt and height of the liquid surface with respect to the instrument. The design required the structure to be machined from a single aluminium block for stability. 

A non-scanning fluorescence detection and measurement system for the biotechnology market using a prism spectrometer.
A Cooke Triplet for a Specific Application.
The test bed scans a laser over a 96 well microtitre plate & records the fluorescent signature from each well.
The test bed scans a laser over a 96 well microtitre plate & records the fluorescent signature from each well
Non-Scanning Fluorescence Detection
Low Cost Compact Spectrometer
A Cooke Triplet
Biomedical Application
Biomedical Application