Advanced Fibreoptic Engineering (AFE) was formed in June 2005.
However, a fibreoptic business has been operating in our Witney premises since 1994. Some customers may even remember the same business running from 'The Ropery' in Burford before that.
The initial business in Burford traded as GCA Electronics and distributed electronic components. One line of products, optical fibre coupling LEDs for ABB Hafo in Sweden, led to a demand for fibre alignment. This manufacturing element soon dominated the distribution business and distribution was discontinued. The company became GCA Fibreoptics.
In 1995 the business was acquired by Uniphase Corporation based in San Jose, California. Uniphase grew by further acquisitions of fibreoptic based companies and business units including parts of IBM and Philips.
In 1998 Uniphase merged with JDS Fitel to form JDS Uniphase (JDSU).
In 2000 JDSU acquired SDL and achieved a yearly revenue of $4b. The corporation was totally focused on telecom components and during 2000 decided the Witney site should be shut down and all resources put into a new facility at Yarnton in Oxford. $18m was spent on this facility which opened in January 2001 and closed three months later as the telecom bubble well and truly burst.
During 2001 a management buy out (MBO) was formed and Afonics Fibreoptics took over the Witney facilities, Yarnton being far too large. Afonics grew from 2001 through to 2005, but never achieved profitability. In May 2005 Afonics Fibreoptics went into administration.
In June 2005 Advanced Fibreoptic Engineering (AFE) was formed and acquired the business from the Administrators of Afonics. AFE discontinued much of the loss making business and concentrated on those markets and customers where profitability could be achieved and maintained. AFE achieved profitability in its first month of trading.
AFE is now supplying a growing number of customers with high quality products and excellent technical support.