Paul Millman, President & CEO
Founded by six people, Chroma Technology was established 27 years ago as a 100 percent employee-owned company. Soon after its inception, the company became a popular manufacturer of optical filters and was directly catering to researchers and medical scientists across the country. Identifying the company’s unparalleled expertise, sensor and microscope manufacturers also partnered with Chroma Technology. Today, the company manufactures optical filters, filter sets, and accessories for biotech and medical device manufactures.
According to Paul Millman, President and CEO at Chroma Technology, the company’s hard-earned practical experience is the key to its success in the optical filter industry today. Another underpinning aspect is its employee oriented work culture; the company does not have any outside investors and employees get not only high wages but also share profits. “Chroma Technology is one of the most worker-friendly organizations in the country,” he says.
For the first half of Chroma Technology’s existence the greater part of their business was in fluorescence microscopy, which is a particular type of microscopy employed to observe only certain elements in a specimen. As the light emitted from the LED used as an illumination source is very powerful, it needs to be filtered so that only a certain spectrum of it reaches the specimen. The rest of the light is blocked off allowing the observer to view only the fluorescence from the specimen. Chroma Technology produces filters with sputtered thin-film optical coatings that make the whole process happen. “That’s what we do, and we do it as well as anybody else in this world,” Millman comments.
We have grown by about 20 percent in the last two years. Our zeal to innovate and vast knowledge of the market have enabled us to stay ahead in the industry
While microscopy remains an important part of Chroma’s work, other kinds of fluorescence instruments make up the majority of their work. Handheld medical diagnostic instruments have risen in prominence during the five years, as have Raman instruments for testing food safety. Other applications requiring optical filters include machine vision, light detection and ranging in autonomous vehicles, agricultural drones, et cetera. “We are growing in each of these areas,” Millman said.
With the rapid advancement of sensor technology, instruments that use them are also advancing. This is creating an increased need for mirrors and optical filters used to clarify and reflect light. The surging demand for optical filters is serving as a catalyst for the company’s growth. In fact, in 2017 Chroma Technology recorded sales crossing $30 million.
“We have grown by about 20 percent in the last two years. Our zeal to innovate and vast knowledge of the market have enabled us to stay ahead in the industry,” adds Millman. To support its remarkable growth in the days ahead, the company has increased their employee base, and currently is expanding its production facility by a whopping 29,000 square feet. “We are exporting about 64 percent of our product. We are focused on perfecting the product and the manufacturing processes. We are adopting robotics to increase productivity, while always striving to get better at what we do,” concludes Millman.