Published July 22, 2003
Volume 11, Number 7

TechniQuip Shines its Light in Hacienda
George Grauer, one of the company's owners, assembles a SunRay light similar to those used in filming the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

By George Walsh
Network Editor

The electric light has been around for little more than a century, but its uses have advanced far beyond merely allowing us to read at night. We now have lasers, fiber optics, and other electric wonders that would have surprised even Thomas Alva Edison. TechniQuip, at 5653 Stoneridge Drive, is a purveyor of lighting products and related tools for use in applications that demand specific and highly specialized illumination.

TechniQuip was founded in Massachusetts in 1970 and offers optical, video, and lighting equipment for microscopy and machine vision customers, as well as lighting for the motion picture industry through a subsidiary called Sunray Manufacturing. TechniQuip's corporate headquarters in Hacienda houses sales, marketing, product development, and precision manufacturing. “TechniQuip’s principal line of business is precision lighting for industrial microscopy,” says David Wensley, President of TechniQuip. “We do the lighting on a good portion of the industrial microscopes in the U.S. and overseas. There are specific requirements for lighting industrial microscopes. They are typically a fiber optic device or a color-corrected custom florescent light.”

TechniQuip’s Sunray Manufacturing subsidiary, also at the Stoneridge Drive location, builds lights that are used on location by the motion picture industry. “Sunray sells to customers like Paramount and Disney,” Wensley says. “Its products are used in filming almost every major motion picture. Some of the most recent would be Lord of The Rings, and 2 Fast 2 Furious. They’re basically arc lamps of really high wattage. They go up to 20,000 watts, which is a pretty big light.”

In addition to building lighting devices for microscopes and movies, TechniQuip also provides precision lighting for other niche markets. “We do medical lighting for things like endoscopes, surgical headgear, and the fiber optics that are used for ophthalmic surgery,” Wensley says. “We also do lighting for machine vision and semiconductor processing equipment.” Lighting for the applications that TechniQuip serves is much different than your typical household lightbulb. “In your house, if you turn on a light and its color is wrong or it’s pulsing with the input frequency of the building, it doesn’t really matter because your eye can’t tell,” Wensley says. “When you start creating images for movies, there are about five or ten characteristics of light that are really important. That’s what we spend our time on, getting those factors correct.”

TechniQuip has seven employees working at its 4,000 square foot facility in Hacienda, but not all of the work is done on site. “We decide what percentage of the manufacturing work we’ll do when we complete the design for a product,” Wensley says. “If it needs to be produced in high volume, we’ll move the production to Los Angeles, where there are a couple of suppliers we use. Here in Pleasanton, we maintain a couple of technicians who do the short run projects or last minute touches.”

TechniQuip intends to continue its growth in the coming years. “We’re looking to grow by acquisition,” Wensley says. “We hope to serve additional niche lighting applications. We’re trying to reinforce different markets as a diversification move.”


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