About Us

Over the past 20 years Symons Mirror Technology has been involved in some of the most successful projects completed by ‘blue chip’ companies throughout the world.

Diamond Turning at Symons

Diamond turning, or single point diamond turning as it is also known, had its origins in the aircraft industry. In the early 1930s came the development of the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine for the Supermarine Spitfire. To increase the performance of these engines it was necessary to maintain tighter tolerances and control surface finishes. Because of its unique hardness properties and wear resistance single crystal diamond tools were used for the first time.

The piston and rings account for up to 20% of the total frictional losses in an engine. By controlling the surface finish the engine’s performance can be increased.

Some of this work was carried out by Bryant Symons in Tottenham, London.

Diamond machining and special purpose diamond machine manufacture continued to be developed in Tottenham until December 1993 when Bryant Symons went into receivership.

In February 1994 Roger Winger and Graham Allberrey started Symons Mirror Technology. With their expertise in this field, and with the help of dedicated engineers, the company has gone from strength to strength.

Since the company’s inception its management and engineers have continually striven to drive diamond machining technology forward. To this end, in 2007 we purchased our new facility in Stevenage which gave us a fourfold increase in area. As a result we have been able to supplement our existing machining capability with the purchase of new machines and test equipment.

Over the past 20 years Symons Mirror Technology has been involved in some of the most successful projects completed by “blue chip companies” throughout the world.

1994

SMT manufacture high precision engine parts for Cosworth Formula1 racing engines. Controlling friction within an engine can significantly increase engine efficiency and performance.

1995

SMT manufacture parts for NASA’s successful Cassini-Huygens space satellite. The satellite carries 12 scientific instruments. SMT manufactured parts for the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS).

1996

SMT Diamond machine apertures for our National Physics Laboratory in Teddington. The Absolute Radiation Thermometer is used to determine the thermodynamic temperature of black body sources. These are then used to improve the international temperature scale. These apertures need to have extremely accurate bores with a roundness of less than 0.1micron.

2000

SMT machine Germanium cold filters for the High Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder (HIRDLS). The instrument measures trace gasses in the earth’s atmosphere. The images and data are used to investigate ozone distribution and global warming.

2002

SMT manufacture high precision scanner for ophthalmic industry. The use of diamond machined scanners and ellipsoids enable the capture of wide field retinal images up to 200 degrees - 82% of the eye. The ellipsoids have two foci one of which is used for the virtual scan point just in front of the patient’s eyes. These images are used to diagnose retina detachment, the onset of diabetes and many other ailments.

2007

SMT manufacture mirrors for KMOS – the near-infrared multi-object spectrograph. This instrument has 24 robotic arms positioning the pick off mirror arm and can image all 24 simultaneously.

2007

SMT manufacture mirrors for the Mid Infrared Instrument (MIRI). This spectrometer and camera operates in the 5 to 27 micron wavelength range which is a very challenging wavelength to observe from earth. The coldness of space will increase its sensitivity. MIRI is part of the James Webb Space Telescope which has a launch date set for 2018.

2010

SMT manufacture microstructure in interocular lens to improve the patient’s eyesight. When part of the optic nerve becomes damaged by disease it is possible, by machining micro grooves in a tiny lens, to shift the focus of the eye onto the undamaged part of the optic nerve resulting in the patient’s sight being restored.

2013

SMT manufacture parts for Striker Head-Up Display. This system, produced by BAE, is used by fighter pilots who need instant information. The latest generation HUD requires very lightweight projection optics. With our extensive diamond machining experience we are ideally suited for this specialised work.

Want More Information?