2017 was a big year for LaCroix Precision Optics, with the addition of more shop space, an increase in total lenses produced and substantial growth in our workforce. These increases allow us to grow as a company to better suit the needs of our customers.
The expansion of our facility increased our functional operating area from 32,500 sq. ft. to 46,250 sq. ft., a 42% increase. This new area now houses our CNC, spherical, and advanced processing departments, along with our precision tool shop. This expansion allows us to continue growing our operation to take on larger projects and drastically increase our ability to manufacture aspheres and other advanced shapes.
2017 also showed us an increase in our production of lenses, growing significantly from 2016 to 2017. This growth allowed us to hire on 19 new employees, bringing our total number of employees to 105. We also saw a steady rise in the number of orders we received in 2017 from 2016, with both returning and new clients.
A unique aspect about LaCroix Optics is that we have our own in-house coating department that uses state of the art equipment. Our coating engineers can use a wide variety of stock coatings, as well as make a custom one to fit any need. We are also able to do full in house environmental testing on our optics. In 2017, we completed a total of 3,638 coating runs through our coating department, a total of 435,389 lenses, with high yield percentage of 99.83%.
LaCroix also made a considerable investment in new technology, doubling our capacity in advanced processing to both precisely create and measure aspheres and other shaped lenses. We don’t plan to stop here and we hope to continue to grow our range of equipment to prepare ourselves for new challenges down the road.
While 2017 was a prosperous year here at LaCroix, 2018 is already shaping up to be a better one. We look forward to new challenges and meeting new people, while continuing to develop cutting edge methods to produce high quality precision optics.