Expert Advice May/June 2014

By Staff


Satisloh provides both equipment and consumables for all processes. Our approach focuses on the integration of the industry’s finest equipment matched with process consumables for optimum results. When you choose consumables, it’s important that the materials are suitable for the machine and process to achieve consistent quality.

GENERATING: Diamonds And Coolants Digital generating centers require specific OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) diamonds. Because digital generators mill and turn, diamond quality is even more critical. For quality processing, follow the manufacturer’s recommended diamond change-out schedule and use a certified sharpening service to maintain integrity and diamond life. Pushing diamonds beyond recommended limits severely impacts surface quality. Lenses may come out with generating marks, lens deformation, or poor surface quality possibly showing rings and pits. Digital polishing relies on the surface created during generating, so any lens imperfections that may arise during digital generating can lead to increased breakage. Attempts to save money with diamonds increases expenses and time with processes after generating.

Also key to maintaining diamond quality— coolant. Digital coolants offer new technologies in lubricity that enhance the turning process within generating. Coolants for conventional processing were designed for the milling process only. Today’s coolants are designed for both milling and turning. Coolant systems need to be maintained and tested regularly (daily) for proper concentration.

POLISHING: Digital polishing offers many technologies. Most digital polishing systems can be customized to fit the labs’ needs based on lens materials and production levels.

POLISH: Polish technologies have also advanced and this new chemistry provides longer life and higher quality. Selecting a digital polish that best fits your lens materials is critical. The machine, polish cap, and polish slurry all have to work in conjunction to provide the best lens surfaces. Making changes to any severely disrupts process quality. Steve Schneider, Satisloh



If you own a high performance vehicle that requires certain fuel and tire requirements, you probably follow those recommendations to ensure maximum results. The same goes for Digital Surfacing, AR Coating and complex edging. Nowadays, there are lots of 3rd parties introducing cheaper and lower cost process consumables but often without a complete understanding of downstream quality results Today’s sophisticated equipment and processes are far more susceptible to deviations caused by non-OEM supplied process consumables. In order to deliver maximum quality and throughput, manufacturers put a lot of engineering time and resources into things like polish pads, polish and cutting blades. By following manufacturer’s recommendations, you put yourself in the best possible position to achieve the results that you’re looking for- THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB! Implementing non-OEM supplied process consumables and then asking the manufacturer to support your sophisticated process makes the troubleshooting process longer and more difficult, as the machines are no longer tuned according to the factory specifications. Introducing non-OEM supplied process consumables can sound like a good, money saving idea until your realize how many lenses end up on the breakage shelf. If you truly want to save money on the process it is always a good bet that using what the manufacturer recommends will work best over the long haul. And it’s a good bet the manufacturer is working constantly to continue to provide better and lower cost consumables all with the goal of not sacrificing quality. Your process will be fully supported and easier to troubleshoot and maintain. Kevin Cross, Schneider Optical Machines



The importance of using the correct and ideally the individual equipment manufacturer’s supplied or “recommended” (i.e. equipment specific) consumables cannot be understated. Performance in the labs’ significant investments in advanced technologies, be they surfacing or finishing, can easily be diminished and/or the equipment itself negatively impacted by using a one off consumable. The decision to purchase a 3rd party consumable is usually based in some level of cost savings. However, without adequate performance testing, the end result could be even more costly. To the credit of many consumable suppliers they’ve developed specific consumables to address select technology combinations (e.g. hydrophobic lens coatings and finishing equipment).

It is key that both labs and consumable suppliers work together from a testing- to-supply vantage, as the best interests of all, (including consistent first-time outcomes) is at stake. While it is commonplace for a maintenance or lab operations professional to seek and source lower cost consumable alternatives, it should be done in concert with the equipment vendor whose equipment will be most interactive with that consumable. This could be anything from a blocking pad to changing a type of coolant for a recirculation system.

In the case of wheels for wet edger’s or tools for 4 & 5 axis milling platforms, there continues to be products available from 3rd party suppliers. The cost-benefit ratio is very much a “per lab” call and analysis. Understanding the proper matrix between wheel or tool life, direct supplier cost (vs. 3rd party), and most critically if the patient visual outcome (either Rx itself or aesthetic) is in any way compromised via alternate vendor product, then the lab has to make a judgment call. Quality and end-user satisfaction would be the guideline. Steve Swalgen, Santinelli


Labtalk June 2020