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Focusing on quality

Schott Fiber Optics wins ITT award

Schott Fiber Optics Director of Operations Jeff Lowe, at left, QA Manager Douglas Reed and Manufacturing Engineering Manager Jim Triba proudly hold the company’s 2009 Supplier of Excellence Award last week at its Charlton Street plant. Ryan Grannan-Doll. (click for larger version)
April 11, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Grace Martin's job is to assure people can see — in a sense.

Martin, a senior quality assurance technician for Schott Fiber Optics at the company's 122 Charlton St. manufacturing plant, each day inspects fiber optic products eventually used in military night vision equipment and other imaging products.

Martin is just one member of the Schott team that was recently awarded the 2009 Supplier of Excellence Award from ITT Geospatial Systems's night vision division based in Roanoke, Va. Chosen from a pool of 300 companies, the award means Schott is one of the top 10, according to its Web site. The company won the same award for its 2008 work.

The accolade was given for Schott's supplying high-quality fiber optic imaging parts that are used in U.S. military night vision equipment, including goggles, according to Schott QA Manager Douglas Reed. The award was bestowed for more than just a few high company officials.

"We are very proud … everybody has contributed to make that happen," said Schott Fiber Optics Vice President and General Manager Dr. Heinz Kaiser.

For many of the people involved in the production process, the company has been a springboard to a better life.

Jim Dashnaw, 41, of Southbridge, a fusing room operator at the plant, is responsible for melding glass into block form before it is sent to be ground, similar to reprocessing for eye glass lenses. Since starting at the plant 19 years ago, he has married, bought a house and is currently raising two daughters.

See Tuesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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