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II-VI ramping up capacity for making COVID-19 testing components

March 30, 2020 Digital Media Exclusive

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II-VI Incorporated

Staff at the Saxonburg-based II-VI are playing their part in combating the coronavirus by manufacturing for testing. In a time of demand, the company announced last week it was ramping up manufacturing capacity for components and subassemblies for molecular diagnostic testing systems. “We are proud of all of our employees around the world for their tireless dedication to the life sciences ecosystems organized to overcome COVID-19,” said Chuck Mattera, chief executive officer of II-VI. II-VI makes components for medical instruments at its plant in Santa Rosa, Calif.

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The company has shifted emphasis to components that help medical professionals identify and test the COVID-19 virus, a process called polymerase chain reaction, PCR for short, according to Mark Lourie, vice president of corporate communications and brand development for II-VI. “Our optical components are used to help detect the general material that is generated by the PCR process,” Lourie said. As of Monday, Pennsylvania alone reported 4,087 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 33,777 patients who tested negative, according to the state Department of Health. Also as of Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported 140,904 people who were confirmed or presumed positive after testing through its sites. Lourie said the company has been using its expertise in lasers and optics to advance further into the medical field for many years. He said new advanced analytical tools used in medicine are using more optical measurement techniques, which is where II-VI has a broad portfolio. “We saw the accelerating demand for our components from PCR test equipment manufacturers and we responded quickly to help supply their needs in fighting COVID-19,” Lourie said.
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