Piecing Together Lab Success

By Julie Bos
More than 450 exhibiting companies. An extensive line-up of continuing education programs. One-stop shopping pavilions featuring the latest and greatest optical products. And critical knowledge that can help you weather the current economic storm. The puzzle pieces are all there. Your job is to put them into place, so you can create the ideal picture of success for your optical lab.

The good news? Reaching your goal is much easier if you’re planning to attend the upcoming International Vision Expo West, Sept. 30 through Oct. 3, 2009, in Las Vegas.

It’s an information-packed expo dedicated to eyewear and eye care—and everything you need to grow your business in today’s challenging market. To get you excited about what you’ll be seeing, here’s a sneak peek at some of the newest lenses and lab equipment on the show floor.


Learn more about Gerber Coburn’s Sigma II Lens Finishing System. Comprised of two units, the Rae tracer and patternless edger with integrated blocker, the Sigma II is a simple and compact finishing system. The Sigma II edges all materials: CR-39/polycarbonate, hi-index, Trivex and glass. The cost-effective system features soft pin beveling, grooving, chamfering, shape modification and job memory. The edger has a quick release clamp system for easy chuck removal, a Red Block for frame sizes down to 18 mm, and software that enables faster cycle times.


Kaenon Polarized is offering its new SR-91 Rx Select Service to its entire optical dealer network, where each and every SR-91 Rx job will receive this special treatment. The program is broken down into the three key areas: customer service; precision processing; and quality control. When added together, their sum delivers the very best state-of-the-art premium polarized prescription eyewear. In order to provide top level customer service and communication, Kaenon has developed Continuous Computerized Tracking (CCT). CCT is a real-time ongoing status report that allows Kaenon to report the status of any job, at any time. Kaenon only uses its patented SR-91 Rx Polarized lens – the same lens material used its plano line – assuring the wearer that the optical clarity will be the finest available in the optical market. ALL surfacing is done on freeform equipment (both Single Vision and Freestyle Progressive) allowing doctors to prescribe to 1/100 of a diopter. Backside anti-reflective coating is standard on all lenses as is super-hydrophobic coating. ALL lenses are precision edged on 5-axis MEI edging machine to 1/1000 of an inch for precise lens and frame interface. Finally, for quality control, ALL jobs are hand-inspected upon receipt and given our thorough 21-point inspection. Kaenon’s on-staff Rx technicians will inspect everything from prescription verification to the Light Transmission Level of the lens. ALL prescriptions are computer verified and include a personal Rx certification card.


Create new finishing profits with National Optronics’ Helix—a five-axis industrial edging center designed to process complex lenses conventional edgers can’t. The Helix’s five-axis edging technology enables variable angle processing for all edging functions, including beveling and drilling and matching nearly every frame or lens curve. Its milling and shelving capabilities get otherwise non Rx-able jobs done and create a new finishing profit center. Helix Auto adds automation to an already dynamic finishing tool, increasing both conventional and specialty production capacity. According to National Optronics, whatever your finishing needs, Helix technology, speed and industrial construction makes it the only edger you’ll need.


With environmental concerns in mind, Santinelli International introduces the newly developed Lfu 220, a tank and pump hybrid system with centrifugal filtration technology, which drastically decreases water consumption. The system essentially separates lens waste from water, maintaining clean water circulation while significantly lowering water consumption. After processing approximately 130-160 lenses, the waste is filtered and compacted into a single solid mass, which can be disposed of easily, keeping the surroundings and operator’s hands clean. The filtration process eliminates lens scratching while keeping the lens edger grinding chamber clean. With the new technology, the unit’s water only needs to be replaced every 1,000 lens cycles. The amount of water consumed per lens with the Lfu 220 is estimated to be .025 liters versus 13.5 liters with direct water.


Satisloh raises the bar once again at Vision Expo West by giving attendees a peek at the industry’s most advanced technology and the future of lens manufacturing: OBM production. This extraordinary new manufacturing model, On-Block Manufacturing, includes blocking, generating, polishing, spin coating and de-blocking—seamlessly integrated into one fully-automated production environment. And for labs that haven’t yet converted to digital processing, Satisloh will debut new conventional processing consumables that maintain the highest lens quality while reducing production time up to 25 percent. Also new for VEW: Toro-flex, Satisloh’s dual spindle manual polisher offering the lowest cost of entry into the world of digital processing.


At Vision Expo West, Schneider is introducing the new HSC Smart X, a mid-sized digital generator that ensures the highest productivity per lab square foot, making it the perfect choice for highly-productive packed production environments. The machine comes with just the right high-tech tools needed to get today’s lab requirements done consistently and reliably. One reason Schneider is able to put so much into a smaller unit is the RS-tech motor with its proven finesse, robustness and power. The Smart X fulfills the Rx surfacing needs of medium sized labs, but this upgradeable generator can also handle the largest capacity requirement.

The second highlight of Schneider’s VEW display will be the Sprint Line—the complete turn-key digital surfacing solution for small and medium-sized labs. The Sprint Line includes the HSC Sprint generator and the CCP Swift polisher at the heart of this low-cost digital surfacing solution. The Sprint Line is the ideal package for labs entering the freeform market or for special requirements in larger labs.


Stop by Shamir Insight’s booth during VEW 2009 to experience the Wonderful World of Recreating Perfect Vision with Mr. Progresso, Shamir’s animated character, who will lead attendees through a journey about Shamir’s proprietary EyePoint Technology and the story behind their premium semi-finished and Freeform lens products and technologies. This won’t be Shamir’s primary focus, as it’s rumored that there is scheduled to be an unveiling of a highly anticipated new product. Shamir invites all show attendees to stop by their booth and learn about this exciting new product, and participate in their promotion.


Often presbyopic patients find themselves dealing with eyestrain or eye fatigue when performing lengthy near-viewing tasks. These patients may now benefit from a patented new technology that assists the normal binocular function of the eye. Signet Armorlite is pleased to introduce Anti-Fatigue Progressive Technology that incorporates base-in prism into the reading area of progressive lenses to help compensate for the lag in convergence that occurs with presbyopia. This technology can be added to KODAK Unique, KODAK Precise, KODAK Precise Short and KODAK Concise Progressives. To learn more, register for the COPE-approved seminar #32-505-V scheduled during VEW or visit the Signet Armorlite booth.


Through the Transitions Outstanding Practices (TOP) program, Transitions Optical will reward “TOP” independent eye care practices. Members receive points toward merchandise, education and advertising, like Weather Channel TV tagging and a spot on the ECP locater. Practices can also win a chance to attend the Transitions Championship For Healthy Sight at Innisbrook. The Transitions Healthy Sight Awards will recognize TOP practices who have excelled with Transitions lenses.

The lab who nominates the winner of the Healthy Sight Award for ECPs (announced at Vision Expo West 2010) will receive a trip for two to the Transitions Championship. Learn more at www.transitions.com or www.transitions.com/TOP. Booth #LP1636.


Come see how Ultra Optics Company (UOC) is raising the B.A.R. (Bayer Abrasion Resistance). UOC has developed a totally new category of UV-curable coatings utilizing technology more usually found in thermally cured coatings; with the highest Bayer Abrasion scratch resistance ratings available in the industry. The coatings were developed after extensive research and were recently patent-approved.

The coatings are solvent free, stable in a lab environment and possess low viscosity for ease-of-application with current UOC coating units. The coating is available as a non-tintable version with an extremely high Bayer rating, >4.0, specifically for AR coatings. There is also a tintable coating, reaching 15-20 percent transmission in 15 minutes with a Bayer abrasion higher than other current tintable coatings, >3.0. Most importantly, both coatings have excellent adhesion to all material substrates without a primer, making the process invisible to the technician.


Vision-Ease Lens has introduced a range of new polarized lens options, including Coppertone Trifocal and plano options, SunRx Trifocal and plano lenses, Coppertone and SunRx SFSV 8.50 base and an all-new SunRx Classic Green color. SunRx lenses are now available in plastic in SFSV and D28 Bifocals, both offered in base curves of 2.25, 4.25, 6.25 and 8.25 (coated or uncoated). SunRx plastic FSV planos in a 6.25 base curve also are available and all lenses are offered in gray and brown.


X-Cel Optical continues to expand their Aris Trivex line with the introduction of aspheric semi-finished single vision lenses in both clear and Transitions lenses. Also available soon from X-Cel is an Aris Trivex Transitions FT35 to compliment the FT35 currently available in clear Aris. X-Cel Optical offers the most extensive line of Trivex lenses in the industry and is proud to be an American manufacturer located in Minnesota. For more information contact customer service at (800) 747-9235.


Transitions Finished lenses are now available from Younger Optics in hard resin and polycarbonate. Both materials are available in single vision gray and brown and offer a high quality “Super Hydrophobic” AR coating that can outperform many of the more costly coatings on the market. The hydrophobic properties allow water droplets to easily run off the surface of the lens without stains or streaks, and help to remove smudges, dust, dirt and fingerprints, making the lenses easy to clean and maintain. This advanced coating is very durable, resisting scratching and peeling throughout the life of the lens. Visit the Younger Optics booth (LP7043) at Vision Expo West to learn more about this and all of Younger’s products, including NuPolar Polarized, Image Progressive, Trilogy and Drivewear lenses.


The Zeiss Individual family is growing. The Zeiss Individual progressive is now joined by Zeiss Individual SV, delivering precise personalization and superior performance to single vision wearers. Using the patented PreciseForm process, Zeiss Individual SV lenses are individually designed for the wearer’s exact prescription and unique wearing position. The result is up to 50 percent larger fields of clear vision compared to standard single-vision lenses. Zeiss Individual SV creates a new premium product category for the practice, opening up new opportunities for competitive differentiation and growth. For more information, contact Carl Zeiss Vision at (800) 358-8258 or visit www.personalizedlens.com.


Labtalk June 2020