TechTalk September/October 2015

By Staff

New STAR AR by Leybold Optics

The STAR AR machine by Leybold Optics, a part of Buhler, is the perfect unit for retail stores with laboratories and large labs looking for flexibility to do small batches of AR, mirrors and specialty coating processes at an incredibly low price with very high quality.  Leybold’s STAR machine is designed with a very small footprint – able to fit through a standard door. The unit needs 208V 3 phase electric and is otherwise self-contained with the water chiller, gas bottles, power supply and pumps inside the unit.

One of the technical advantages of our unit is the load lock and separate chamber for the processing. Allowing for much faster process times as the STAR does not have to pump down each run so the chamber remains under vacuum. Additionally, the chamber itself stays “clean” as very few particles are allowed into the chamber requiring much less cleaning. In fact, under normal circumstances, you only have to clean the chamber every 1000 runs when you change the target.

One more design that differentiates the STAR from its competitors is the substrate drive lift system. A common problem with existing sputtering technology is the convex side of the lens is subject to greater chance of color variation as the target erodes during the lifetime of the target. In the STAR, there is a servo driven lift system which is adjusted across the lifetime of the target as well as optimized for specific lens curvatures. The result of moving the lens closer to the target as it erodes over its lifetime creates consistent uniformity across the concave surface from the first target shot to the last.

Leybold continues to expand its offering and is tapping into some of the advanced technologies from our other areas of thin film expertise. We will be bringing them to the ophthalmic industry. Stay tuned….Ronald Cooke, Jr., director of sales, Leybold Optics, USA, Inc.


DVI Lens Selection for Digital Process

DVI software automates the lens selection and ordering process for every job produced in a lab. This process incorporates our customer's preferences for vendor and blank size (because of quality, cost, and availability) along with physical requirements of the job like cutout and thickness. Proper selection and prediction-based ordering results in optimizing lab inventory value and quantity.

Digital progressives introduced selection rules that often require labs to purchase and use lens products that they would not otherwise choose. The lens companies' rules for matching the design with the “platform lens” results in a more complicated, less efficient stock room that is more costly in materials, labor and space.

Some lens companies have relaxed their stringent requirements, and DVI has tools that readily allow our customers to select lenses for these digital products that better reflect the lab's preferences. Furthermore, DVI has been working with IOT designs for many years, and IOT does not impose restrictions on lens selection. Because of this, DVI has developed tools to utilize the SV lenses the lab already set up for IOT processes in the same way traditional SV was already being used in the VISION system. No additional software setup is required to try and “feed” the design system the proper lens. No additional space is required to store the new lenses. No restrictions on what coating you are able to supply are imposed. No additional personnel are required to shuttle the special digital lens choices around the stock room.

Dan Lundberg, software consultant, Digital Vision, Inc.


Satisloh’s new MES for "Lab 4.0" in the ophthalmic industry

Today’s industry focus lies on process optimization, improving flexibility and transparency. In this context, the term "Lab 4.0" was born. "Lab 4.0" borrows from an initiative launched by the German government known as “Industry 4.0”, the so-called fourth industrial revolution.

In lens manufacturing, the fourth revolution is the “industrialization” of labs, i.e. networking people, intelligent machines, and processes. The goal is a smart factory that intelligently controls materials flow, products and information. Satisloh’s MES (Manufacturing Execution System) merges industrial infrastructure with the Internet of Things and Cloud Computing. Utilizing MES generates transparency and guarantees optimal machine and equipment uptime, continuous high quality and yield, process safety, and proactive/scheduled maintenance.

For most efficient planning, controlling and optimization, digitizing as much information as possible is critical. Modern ophthalmic machines and equipment should be able to provide as much usable information as possible for these kinds of systems. Equally important, a good MES system provides an open platform that allows collecting data from any manufacturer’s equipment. Data can also be collected using the facility LMS, measuring instruments, final inspection, etc., and consolidated in the central MES database. MES software analyzes the data and helps localize causes of defects/errors and unused productivity.

Rejects, for instance, are often only discovered during final inspection. Depending on what caused the reject, other successive orders may also fail. Using MES, production process intervention happens at an earlier stage to avoid more rejects. Another MES benefit is detecting and eliminating productivity shortfalls. Many factors can impact productivity from planned and unplanned maintenance to bottlenecks in capacity to insufficient supply of jobs to feed the equipment and MES can help pinpoint those losses and eliminate them.

Areas where MES can deliver important information and data for optimizing lens production processes include: efficient use of resources, optimization of yields, machine up and down time analyses, and the availability of real-time machine status.

Ian Gregg, director surfacing products, Satisloh North America

Eliminate Process Steps and Improve Consistency and Accuracy

The main goal for production laboratories has always been the elimination of process steps while improving consistency and accuracy in the final product. To do this, one of the best technologies available today is blockless edging- soon to become an industry standard.  It has already taken hold in recent years, and Schneider now cements the trend with its new HSE Modulo BLS.  BLS is a system that eliminates the finish block and extra labor step in aligning lenses for finishing.  Let a machine do it automatically and correctly the first time if possible. Get rid of consumable and labor costs if possible. Take away the variable of human error if possible. The new HSE Modulo BLS makes all those goals achievable. The system handles virtually any type of lens and blocks it accurately each time, using a fast and proven non tactile measuring system.

BLS measures sphere, cylinder and prism position to determine lens positioning as well as recognition of both visible and semi visible progressive markings. The advantage of eliminating a labor and cost intensive process step is clear.  In addition, blockless edging brings full, touchless automation closer than ever before. 

In addition to blockless edging, the Schneider HSE Modulo uses fully independent double spindle multi axis edging to create precise sizing and bevel accuracy at high speeds, even for extremely complex shapes and bevel types.

Kurt Atchison, president, Schneider Optical Machines, Inc.


Labtalk June 2020