Tech Talk March 2015

By staff

IAN GREGG, Director of Surfacing Products, Satisloh

New Multi-FLEX-ST:  Versatile Soft Tool Polishing
Satisloh’s new Multi-FLEX-ST is a breakthrough in digital polishing technology. Designed for high-volume production lines with diverse production needs, the Multi-FLEX-ST has multiple options for a mix of lens characteristics distinguishing this polishing system. Using only a single tool geometry (ST) for all standard materials and curvatures and engineered with three independent polishing chambers, each with two spindles, it provides unrivaled production levels and process flexibility. The long-lasting single tool not only helps optimize production flow with fewer tool changes, but also reduces polishing tool inventory and complexity.

The three independently-controlled polishing chambers enable simultaneous processing of up to three lenses with different specifications, including material, geometry, or surface cosmetic requirements. Each process chamber has two tool spindles that can be used for: an additional like tool for extended shift operations; a second process step; or different polish pad materials or tool geometries for extended range processing—depending on individual requirements.

The simplified loading system handles only lenses, no tools. Operating only in two axes it reaches all positions with reliable, precise and fast movements. Positioned above the polishing chambers, the gantry loader doesn’t obstruct the view and provides free access for maintenance and adjustments. A suction cup handles the lenses before and a four-finger gripper after the process without touching the polished surface eliminating scratched surfaces. Once processed, the lenses are rinsed and dried in a separate parallel washing station leaving them clean, dry and inspection-ready.
Ian Gregg, director of surfacing products, Satisloh

STEVE SWALGEN, National Director, Lab Business Santinelli  International

Santinelli’s “Multi-Tray” Handling Automation Systems
Robotic edging has become a mainstay in wholesale lab and retail central facility production environments for over a decade now. Most all have been designed to handle each job tray as it is delivered into and through the robotically-fed edger.  While this can seem efficient at a glance, it still is a “one job tray at a time” process wherein if there is an error code occurrence or edger problem…the entire line of work, queued up, is held at bay (effectively a “down” scenario).

Enter the Santinelli/Nidek AES-2200 (All Edging System) & ADS-2200 (Auto Dry System) series. Entirely similar in design, the AES-2200 features two of the well-known SE-9090-Supra industrial edgers and the ADS-2200 includes two of the new SE-1 X-trimer 5-axis dry cut edging platforms. The AES/ADS series takes advantage of a combination automated conveyer and multi-tray lift design. This ensures that four job trays (or two per edger) are constantly being worked eliminating the potential for one tray issue to hold up the production line. The built-in “conveyer highway” delivers each tray to an individual tray lifter that raises the tray to the edger chuck height, wherein a dual-armed system delivers and retrieves lenses to both edgers in a seamless and coordinated process. Upon completion of each job, the tray lifter lowers the tray back onto the “conveyer highway” for quick dispatch to mounting. Immediately the tray lifter is refilled with another job tray and raised up so other trays can come and go through the process. Production efficiency maximized! Steve Swalgen, national director – lab business - Santinelli International

KURT ATCHISON, President, Schneider Optical Machines

Schneider Expands Digital Capabilities for the Lab
One of the frequent questions I’ve gotten since digital became the industry standard for surfacing is “How can I do higher curves?” As the leading innovator, Schneider has answered the high curve question with the new CCP Modulo polisher.  No other digital surfacing line can offer the curve range of Schneider.  The CCP Modulo polisher processes up to 18 diopter curves, greatly expanding the prescription range of any type of digitally surfaced lens. 

Prior machines are very well entrenched on the market with a maximum range of approximately 14 diopters, but labs with lenses outside that range were simply limited or had to find a special handling solution for the out-of-range work.  The new CCP Modulo means labs can supply a higher prescription range with ease, more offerings for the customer, and fewer headaches with high curves.  Adding to the range capability, the CCP Modulo has our APS (Advanced Polishing System) that is faster, more automated, and automatically recognizes which tool to use and even knows the condition of the polish tool.  This eliminates errors and bad lenses while allowing the machine to run uninterrupted. Even high curve lenses are now auto-processed, tools are quality controlled, and lenses are polished beautifully and washed up before returning to the tray.  The CCP Modulo is true digital automation combined with a new range capability never before seen. Kurt Atchison, president, Schneider Optical Machinery

Vice President/General Manager, Ultra Optics

Ultra Optics Brings Automation to Back-Side Coating
The optical industry continues to explore the many advantages of automation in the design, production and distribution of eyeglasses.  Ultra Optics is now bringing the ophthalmic industry these same advantages to back-side hard coating with their latest innovation, the 44R.  The 44R is the industry’s first fully-automated back-side hard coating machine.

The 44R utilizes a bar code scanner to read the job ticket as the tray enters the machine from the conveyor system.  The automated control system then confirms with the Lab Management System (LMS) if that particular job needs to be coated, or just washed.  The blocked lenses are then manipulated by a SCARA robot for repeatable and precise pick and place into the processing portion of the machine.  The robot arm positioning is programmed to allow lenses of varying thicknesses to be accurately picked and placed.  The 44R’s advanced PLC control system communicates with the robot controller, the LMS and the many I/O points in the machine that control the coating process to produce higher yields than previously possible.  In addition to providing an enhanced wash and dry to the lens, the system is actively monitoring key parameters such as water quality and cure lamp intensity to ensure a consistently high-quality coating on each lens.  The sophisticated conveyor logic allows the 44R to manage and track the lens and tray position for up to four trays of lenses at a time. Ultra Optics will be showing the new 44R at Vision Expo East in booth #LP7463.  Jim Weiler, vice president/ general manager, Ultra Optics

Software Consultant, Digital Vision, Inc.

New Technology to Enhance Surface Block Selection
Digital Vision, Inc. (DVI) has introduced Optimal Block Selection (OBS), a new technology to enhance and simplify surface block selection for certain digital lens design systems. 

Without OBS, these systems select from five or more block sizes, requiring the blocker operator to regularly swap out ring sets, and about a quarter of jobs also "split" blocks by selecting a different block diameter for the right and left eyes.  Preventing errors using this process in a production environment is difficult.

 DVI's OBS requires fewer ring sets, splits only when necessary, and puts the majority of work on a 58mm ring.  Less than 10 percent of jobs require a ring other than 58mm or 63mm.  OBS combines smart block selection with appropriate generator cutting macros and polisher controls to ensure that surface quality is good enough for soft tool polishing.  Lab equipment controls are delivered by DVI calculations, and all processing instructions appear immediately on the DVI work ticket as jobs enter the system.  Labs using OBS also avoid cutting into the alloy block.

DVI worked with a high-volume optical lab to develop the OBS process.  This lab – efficiently automated for years – was struggling to integrate their new digital design process.  Surface breakage and turn-times were unacceptable, and the lab was buried. 

Optimal Blocking Selection helped simplify front-end staging and surface process flow.  Soon, the lab cut surface breakage and turn-times by more than half.  This translated to significant savings in spoilage, and dramatically fewer trays inching their way through the lab. Dan Lundberg, software consultant, Digital Vision, Inc.

Director of sales, Leybold Optics, USA, Inc..

Leybold Optics presents a new member of the BOXER family…the BOXER 900
This newly-designed system for anti-reflective (AR) coatings was created for high volume Rx production.  Compared to previous models the loading capacity and productivity have been increased by 60 percent.  At the same time, the re-design of the layout of the coating system leads to a foot print reduction of 30 percent.

The BOXER 900 is equipped with a variety of Leybold OpticsĀ“ production-proven components and our latest technology, such as ion assisted deposition, electron beam gun evaporation, a turbo pumping system and intelligent software.  The Boxer 900 can apply all our well-known high quality AR – coatings, including Optiflex, Brilliant, and Eminent, as well as fashion coatings, on various lens materials and hard coating combinations, with in chamber standard hydrophobic and super hydrophobic coatings.  As an option, the machine can be configured with thermal evaporators or flip over systems to accommodate all of your production needs.

Higher loading capacity, combined with a reduction in  foot print and  faster process cycle times, the BOXER 900 will surely again set benchmarks in terms of lowest production costs while at the same time maximizing the coating quality. The BOXER 900 is the right choice for flexible, high volume - and cost efficient Rx – production. So if you are looking for a machine that will process more jobs and take up less space and is capable of producing all of the highest quality AR processes available today then the Boxer 900 is right for you.  Ronald Cooke, Jr., director of sales, Leybold Optics, USA, Inc.


Labtalk June 2020