Goal: Explain to the customer the on-boarding process for LaCroix Precision Optics. Our goal is to make the quoting and ordering process quicker for the customer.
Keys to Success
Working with a new supplier can be daunting! The intention of this blog is to give an explanation of an ideal quote submission and also bring to light some of the available options that LaCroix can provide. Do not worry if you need something not mentioned in this article; just reach out and ask. LaCroix is a customer-driven company and we are constantly adapting our practices to fit the requests of our customers. Now supplying prototypes as fast as 3-4 weeks. Click the "Get a Quote" button below to submit an RFQ today!
Initially, manufacturing engineers are the point of contact for customer quotes. It is critical for us to be able to understand exactly what the customer needs. Supplying an optical print is the best practice to pass along this information. The document should supply mechanical specifications, optical material, and coating requirements. At this point in time, any tolerance in question will be addressed. This will drastically speed up the quoting process allowing us to get your quote back as soon as possible. Click the "Click here to Download Tolerance Chart" button below to access our tolerance chart. Once the tolerances are understood, there is a reference print shown below that outlines the relevant information needed.
In addition to the actual print, it is also important to clarify what additional inspection documentation or tests will need to be performed. This would be any specific tolerances you want to be measured or environmental coating test administered. Routinely, our coating tests are based on the following Mil Standards: Mil-C-675, Mil-C-48497 A, Mil-PRF-13830B, Mil-M-13508C, and ISO 9211-3. First article data, when required, can be purchased. This will cover every dimension on the customer optical print provided and is always included on the bottom of our formal quotes. This typically will account for a quantity of three pieces and can add lead time to the order. We also offer general inspection data which will include specific attributes recorded every shipment on any aspect of the print the customer is wanting to record. First article and inspection data will be supplied to you through the industry standard AS9102 form, excel spreadsheet, a customer furnished form, and/or on the packaging of the individual element. This information can also be supplied electronically if needed. We pride ourselves on trying to make the end-users job as easy as possible. We can offer other value-added steps including edge/flat blackening, laser engraving, pointing radii, and precision fiduciary markings. All of these value-added steps have been found to speed up assembly processes and help decrease errors after the parts have left our facility. Check out our blog on interferometry if interested in the various forms of optical measurements and machines we use in our facility.
We have numerous packaging options that are available from trays, individual envelopes, vacuum sealed anti-static clean-room bags, clam shells, and plastic PET-G containers. Some geometries require specific tooling and are not always in stock. Therefore, let us know if you require specific packaging. Labels can also be customized as shown below:
Our typical lead time is 6-8 weeks depending on the availability of raw material. We now offer an expedited delivery service, referred to as our Prototype Expedited Delivery Service (PEDS). This allows us to produce and deliver optics in 3-5 weeks. This requires an alternate quote methodology and therefore the earlier alerted, the quicker the quote will be turned around. Our lead times DO NOT account for transit time and therefore careful attention should be placed on how parts ship leaving our facility. Please refer to the following maps supplied by FedEx and UPS for ground shipping from Arkansas.
Now that all the required information is conveyed, the optic manufacturing process will be routed and the pricing will be submitted. Once the quote is received and a purchase order is sent back for approval, the material order will be placed. For first time customers the following items may be required: a credit reference report, Tax ID number, and End Use Agreement. As the parts begin to process we will communicate if anything unexpected should occur shifting the delivery away from the desired date. After part completion, we typically follow up to discuss if there needs to be any changes made to the way the optics were processed or received.
We hope this information gives you a better idea of what to expect when ordering custom precision optics. In the previous sections, we explained the various steps such as: print, inspection data, packaging, delivery, and paperwork. Each of these steps are crucial in speeding up the quoting and ordering processes. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions about our customer on-boarding process.