G&H was founded G&H in Ilminster, Somerset in 1948. The core skills at the time were centered on manufacturing scientific optical components and crystalline materials. These skills are still very much at the cornerstone of the current operations at Ilminster with global sales of acousto-optics, crystal optics and precision optics. The company now works as a supply chain partner in aerospace & defence, industrial, life science and scientific research sectors providing systems and components based on a broad range of photonic technologies.
From its origins as a craft-based optical engineering company rich in practical optical manufacturing skills, G&H has undergone a transformation over the last twenty years into a high-technology photonics business through an acquisition policy of the best-in-breed companies in individual technology areas . The company now has manufacturing sites in the US in California, New Hampshire, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Virginia, in addition to its three UK facilities located in Ashford, Ilminster, Glenrothes, St Asaph, and Torquay, and Shanghai, China.
In 1997 G&H was admitted to the alternative investment market (AIM) on the London Stock Exchange. Today the company comprises eight manufacturing sites, with sales offices in France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore with additional representation by a global network of distributors.
The companies that today form G&H are listed below together with their acquisition dates:
Business Acquisition & Locations
1999 – Cleveland Crystals Inc., today G&H, Cleveland, traces its roots back to the Brush Development Company, Clevite and Gould. At these locations, the founders developed crystal growth techniques for military applications such as sonar and missile domes. In 1973, this group formed Cleveland Crystals. The emerging company’s focus was directed to the development of nonlinear-optical crystalline materials, optical frequency conversion, and electro-optical device development for applications in the growing laser industry. With this foundation, G&H, Cleveland has become the world leader in the growth of KDP and KD*P crystals and the design and manufacture of electro-optic devices for aerospace & defence, industrial, life science and scientific research applications.
In 2007 – SIFAM Fiber Optics, today G&H, Torquay, was established in the UK in 1985. The facility provides an established heritage and market leadership in the design, manufacture and supply of high reliability modular and component fiber optic solutions to the undersea telecoms, aerospace & defense and life science sectors. In 2003 as an investment in product diversification, G&H, Torquay commenced the design and manufacture of free space and fiber coupled photonic devices.
In 2008 – General Optics, today G&H, Moorpark, is a manufacturer of ultra-precision optical components. Founded in 1974, the company has developed proprietary manufacturing processes that allow the achievement of surface roughness of less than 1 Angstrom on a variety of materials including Zerodur, BK-7, Fused Silica, Silicon, Sapphire, Calcium Fluoride and Silicon Carbide. G&H, Moorpark have also developed unique IBS coating designs for high reflection and low loss coatings. In addition, we have the capability to provide many standard metal and dielectric optical coatings either on our standard substrates or customer supplied material.
In 2011 – EM4, today G&H (Boston), was acquired as a manufacturer of active fiber optic components and subsystems. Founded in 2000 the company specializes in laser welded photonic packaging technology to produce lasers, detectors, high frequency receivers and transmitters and numerous customer specific designs. The company has also developed a significant market presence in the aerospace & defense industry.
In 2011 – Crystal Technology, today G&H (Palo Alto), is a manufacturer of crystal based Acousto-Optic and Electro-Optic components used for industrial, medical and defense applications and optical quality Lithium Niobate wafer substrates used by the telecommunications industry. The acquisition included equipment, technology and expertise related to Czochralski growth of Tellurium Dioxide and Lithium Niobate crystals as well as design, fabrication and assembly technology related to finished components.
In 2013 – Spanoptic Ltd, today G&H, Glenrothes’s manufacturing capabilities in the area of aspheres and infra-red optics enabled G&H to offer a more complete range of precision optical products. The company was founded in 1976, employs 60 people in a 1000 ft² / 90m² facility in Glenrothes, Scotland – just north of the Firth of Forth and 50 miles from Edinburgh.
In 2013 – Constelex Technology Enablers Ltd, an Athens, Greece, based designer and manufacturer of advanced photonic systems was purchased to boost G&H’s Systems Technology Group (STG) and its remit of developing a higher-added-value capability at the sub-systems and systems level. The Constelex acquisition brings added expertise in the area of satellite and space photonics.
In 2016 – Alfalight Inc, founded in 1999, Alfalight developed an experience in solid state lasers and close working partnerships with major US defense contractors. The company was highly complementary to the engineering and manufacturing expertise in G&H’s site in Bedford, Massachusetts and was incorporated into the business there, strengthening our position in the North American defense market.
2016 – Kent Periscopes Ltd, founded 2005 was a UK based specialist supplier of electro-optic sighting systems for armored fighting vehicles (AFVs). The company is a world leading developer of these products, working with prime contractors and armed forces around the world. Our ability to engineer products for rugged environments has been enhanced by this acquisition.
2017 – StingRay Optics LLC, established in 2004 the lens manufacturer soon grew to G&H acquired a reputation for lenses across the infrared spectrum, based on a very strong lens design capability. The ability to provide system level opto-mechanical products for harsh environments was a strong fit with our existing defense manufacturing business.
2018 – ITL. Established in 1977, Integrated Technologies Ltd. is a market leading specialist in the design, development and manufacture of high-quality medical and in vitro diagnostic (IVD) devices. The manufacturing capabilities together with a facility in China provide the G&H Group with a platform for growth in biophotonics generally and in Asia specifically.
2018 – Gould Fiber Optics. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Baltimore, MD, USA, Gould Fiber Optics is a market leading supplier of key enabling components into tier 1 US aerospace & defense customers.The Gould product range is highly complementary to that of G&H.