TechTalk: Finishing

By Staff


Blockless edging continues to grow in popularity because it can help to automate yet another function inside the lab while increasing efficiency. It certainly doesn’t replace a skill position, but it complements the team quite nicely by doing a lot of the “bread and butter” work very fast, and with high quality results.
As labs try and determine if it’s worth the extra upfront costs to purchase a blockless edger there are some key points to consider: First, what are your hourly and daily production requirements? Blockless edging will normally be slower than using a standard edger, in order to accommodate for the added time needed to measure and align the lens properly before the edging process. Second, labor costs are a concern, and depending on your situation going blockless may allow you to reallocate a position or two or more away from finish blocking to a more value-added position within your lab.Third, you need to consider available space. Most blockless edgers are larger and require more space due to the more complex processing involved. Consider how this can impact your current space requirements and workflow. Fourth, consider the reduction in consumables (blocks) you will realize when going to blockless edging. This can be significant and can lower you overall cost per pair to finish a lens. So when you are thinking about which direction to go, consider the above points and have a good conversation with the machine manufacturers so you know exactly what you can expect.
--KEVIN CROSS, Vice President Sales, North America, Schneider Optical Machines Inc.


Today’s high-production automated edgers produce more sophisticated treatments, including angled, or “inclined” bevels, T-bevels and variable step-back bevels. Plus, many sport, wrap, and active lifestyle frames require radical features such as notches or hooks to facilitate new mounting systems unique to each manufacturer. While these processes can be applied to jobs on manually-operated equipment, they haven’t translated well to automated
production environments.
The DVI VISION system offers several methods of controlling and managing these functions based on wide-ranging job criteria. Setups can be defined within the frame database or on a machine-by-machine basis for frames requiring special features, such as drill coordinates or specific edge types or treatments. With the system, functions and commands are passed seamlessly to edgers in automated production lines for an uninterrupted job flow. Wrap and other elliptical frame shapes require strict 3D sizing control throughout manufacturing. It can be difficult for a laboratory to know or understand what compensation may be made by tracers, edgers or sometimes both. The VISION system uses precision 3D size control that adjusts for the dynamics of the frame/ lens base/bevel curve relationship.
--GUY GOOSELAW, Technical Support Specialist, DVI


With all of the technology and innovative features available now, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the basics of finishing. If equipment isn’t properly maintained and calibrated, it doesn’t matter what brand or features are used, the final product won’t meet your customers’ standards. While “hot” features such as blockless and five-axis edging can reduce labor and consumable costs—and even open new markets—it’s ultimately the product quality going out your door (and not in scrap) that impacts your bottom line the most.
Now’s the time to review your owner’s manual for appropriate maintenance and calibration procedures and schedules. Regular dusting of surfaces and cleaning of grinding chambers is good practice, but more sophisticated maintenance is needed to ensure peak performance. If time or experience is an issue, consult your equipment manufacturer—most have service programs for detailed maintenance. If you’re concerned about costs, ask if they offer a trial period for their service programs. This is an excellent way to preview these services and an opportunity to learn the proper maintenance procedures from a factory-trained technician. Investing in a regularly scheduled maintenance program helps your bottom
line in a variety of ways: reduced scrap, increased equipment uptime, fewer costly repairs and extended equipment lifetime.
--KEVIN PADDY, Director – Finishing, Satisloh and National Optronics 


Labtalk June 2020