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April 2015








ther than in the most remote regions of the globe, there can be few people who have not been exposed to video games. A generation ago, these were merely crude moving blocks on a screen. Yet, amazing as it may seem to younger readers, folk sat mesmerised for hours on end moving a ‘paddle’ up and down to bounce a ‘ball’ from one side of the screen to another. Video games have come a long way since Pong. Graphics are now so lifelike that characters on the screen appear almost real. Blockbuster video games now have budgets that rival and may even exceed those of Hollywood movies. French and Montreal‐based games company Ubisoft is among the big names in the industry. It is perhaps best known for its popular and long‐ running Assassins Creed series of games, each of which recreates in almost photorealistic detail a period of history, such as the Third Crusade, the Italian Renaissance and the American Revolution. It is big news then that the company’s latest venture is a game designed to treat the condition known as ‘lazy eye’. The upcoming game, Dig Rush, is designed to run on a tablet computer and draws on ideas developed by academics at Canada’s McGill University. Developers claim that the therapy offered by the game significantly increases the visual acuity of both children and adults who suffer from amblyopia, and without the use of an eye patch, which has long been the traditional treatment, as well as being an essential accoutrement in the pirate‐themed Assassins Creed Black Flag. Given Ubisoft’s track record in developing appealing games, Dig Rush is likely to prove a hit with children, in particular, who suffer from ‘lazy eye’. For adults who lament the amount of time their offspring already spend playing video games, the appeal may be less strong. They will applaud the availability of a new therapy for amblyopia but may bemoan the fact that the treatment is giving their children yet another excuse for sitting passively in front of a video screen. As they see it, the cure for ‘lazy eye’ may be cured, but at the expense of a ‘lazy body’.

CONTENTS April 2015 Volume 44 · Number 371

INTERNATIONAL SCENE 2 · Two shows, one market

OUTLOOK 4 · Essilor’s vision for life 5 · Patient information sharing 6 · Marcolin open Swedish branch 7 · Nikon-Essilor partnership 8 · Silmo reinvents itself

FEATURES 10 · What about progressive multifocals? Richard Chaffin poses the question 14 · Record breaking Mido 18 · Survey Blocking and de-blocking

OPTIPRODUCTS 25 · Polarised photochromics

MARKETPLACE 26 · A to Z of optical websites 27 · International Suppliers Guide 32 · Classified

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April 2015



Two shows, one market


hile the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians stands ready to open its first National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, Optrafair in partnership with the Optician journal, the UK (currently Europe’s third largest retail ophthalmic market) has already seen one optical trade fair this year. Independent events organisers Media Ten staged its second 100% Optical show at the Excel venue in East London in mid-February, claiming over 6,000 visitors in the course of a three day event. This year’s 100% Optical was held in partnership with the UK’s national organisation for optometrists, the Association of Optical Practitioners.

Frames show As established at the initial staging in February 2014, 100% Optical is first and foremost a frame (and sunglass) show, with Silhouette as a notable recruit to its 2015 ranks, displaying new collections both in its distinctive rimless idiom and in full-rimmed SPX styles. ‘Names’ from the ophthalmic lens sector included Nikon, Rodenstock, Shamir and Carl Zeiss. An expanded optometric instrument group featured Grafton, Haag-Streit, Hanson and Heidelberg, along with Rodenstock and Zeiss – a reflection, no doubt of AOP backing. The lucrative and growing eye supplements sector was represented by Moorfields Eye Hospital and Scope Ophthalmics. Lens edgers achieved an appearance


thanks to Eastern Optical, featuring equipment by Indo of Spain alongside Japanese-made Grand Seiko ophthalmic instruments.

Can the UK support two trade shows? Does the UK market have profitable room enough for two optical trade shows a year? The organisers of 100% Optical say firmly that they are planning a 2016 London show, again expected to focus principally on spectacle frames (which represent some 35 per cent of the approximately £3 billion total retail ophthalmic market in the UK. Around 20,000 people are believed to work in UK retail ophthalmics overall; of these, 100% Optical 2015 therefore attracted a little under 30 per cent while Optrafair has historically notched up between 8,000 and 12,000 visitors. These figures contrast with Opti Munich 2015’s nearly 26,000 visitors and a recordbreaking 49,000 plus at MIDO in Milan last month. The figures from a business review of 2014 compiied by our contemporary the Optician indicate that the UK national eye test total, the key retail market figure, may have risen in 2014, perhaps to around 17.5 million tests – but the share of this total carried out by independents as opposed to the UK’s still expanding chains (Specsavers, Boots Opticians, Vision Express) has continued to decline numerically. Optician’s review, which takes in only returns from independents, seems to confirm that UK independents

InternationalSCENE are following their Continental European counterparts’ lead by focusing on the market’s high end: carrying out fewer tests, but improving their return per test. This was up to an almost unprecedented £177 by the close of 2014, though still, only some two-thirds of eye tests yield a spectacle prescription. Sales of progressive lenses, anti-reflection coated lenses and photochromic lenses all rose in 2014. The proportion of total eye tests paid for by Britain’s National Health Service (‘free’ to the patient at the time of testing) fell slightly over the year, though only to just under 74 per cent of total. Practice owners who supplied data for the review expressed more optimism over prospects in 2015 than a year ago; will this translate to higher order values at Optrafair later this month (April 18, 19 and 20)?

Is the future robotics? Pundits, among them US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, agree that the internet and its outgrowths in the social media have been the dominant innovatory sector in the past decade. Not all agree, though, that these have thrown off the golden shower of other innovatory sparks often confidently predicted. ‘The tailwinds of technology are strong but so are the sociological headwinds’ holding dynamism back, Mr Summers has mourned, with annual growth in US gross domestic product beyond three per cent no longer to be hoped for. UK commentator Matthew Lynn, however, thinks the future is brighter. The next big thing, he argues, is robotics; and robotics has the potential to create whole new industries, let alone new products, where the internet has mostly just modified and refined existing ones. Not always with lasting effects. A few years back, ebooks were predicted to render printed ones obsolete. Now printed book production and sales are expanding again. If robotics really is ‘the key technology of the next 20 years’ ophthalmics is already in on the ground floor and building up the superstructure. The exhibits of firms like Automation and Robotics, Nidek, OptoTech, Satisloh and Schneider at Mido last month underlined the fact that this technology has already proved its capacity to revolutionise spectacle and sunglass processing, not only shortening individual order turn-around times and eliminating opportunities for human error, but streamlining entire production operations. Robotics contributed greatly to the uptake of freeform technology internationally; it has enhanced vital

accuracy, reduced waste, and helped the entire ophthalmic industry – the contact lens sector included – rise to the challenges of the post-recession marketplace. Even if the robots involved are less humanly engaging than Satisloh’s Nox (see news report elsewhere) their long term applications for industries like ophthalmics are clear. Of course there will be ‘sociological headwinds’ here too. Could prescription order delivery drones some day feature on someone’s ‘to do’ list? Now, it appears, states and cities are already enacting bylaws to prevent the use of delivery drones (through fear of overhead collisions or jihadi misuse, perhaps). But with Google, for example, said to be spending over £5 billion a year on research, can new outlets for robotics be far behind? As Matthew Lynn concedes, we don’t yet know precisely ‘what innovations robotics will spark to compare with the transformative achievements of the internal combustion engine, or household electrification. He believes, however, that there could be much-needed major improvements in worker productivity if folk, especially women, were set free by robots from chores like house and garden care, driving (driverless vehicles are about to make their modest debut on the streets of conservative Britain) and even child-minding. Conceivably, too, there could be new optical, if not ophthalmic, product opportunities in the fields of robot design, manufacture and maintenance. ‘In time the robots will start designing and building new robots themselves’ – but until they do, ophthalmics will be one industry well placed to gain advantage from prior robotics experience. Have the pundits seen the future, and that it works?

General Election furore Next month (May 7) will see the UK general election. Pundits consider the result ‘too close to call’. A minor party or parties could take on a king-making role if neither of the traditional opponents, Conservative or Labour, wins a decisive victory. The campaign phase of this election brought an unwonted and probably unwanted moment in the limelight for UK chain Boots Opticians. When its continental European-based boss Warren Pessina, who heads up the Walmart Boots alliance, was asked for his view he opined that a Labour victory could be bad for business … only to be jumped on with both feet and a great deal of indignation by Labour leaning commentators.


April 2015




Essilor recently announced the creation of the Vision For Life program,

Partnership to transform eye health

a pioneering step in the company’s mission to improve lives by improving sight.

The Brien Holden Vision Institute, a

The Group has committed 30 million Euros to this initiative, making it the largest

global non-profit organisation aimed

global strategic program dedicated to eliminating uncorrected refractive

at eliminating avoidable blindness, and

error (URE).

Essilor, the world's leading ophthalmic

Essilor creates Vision for Life programme

URE, or poor vision, is the most common disability in the world, and an

optics company, are joining forces with

estimated 2.5 billion people do not have the vision correction they need. Visual

the Malawi Ministry of Health to improve

impairment has significant social and economic repercussions — the latter

access to affordable eye care in Malawi.

calculated to cost as much as US$272 billion in lost global productivity every year.

Inaugurated at the launch of its first

Vision For Life aims to accelerate initiatives targeting poor vision through

vision centre in Lilongwe. A Sustainable

awareness-raising, capacity-building and the creation of basic vision care infra-

Vision Care Model Project aims to trans-

structure. The sustainable development of local vision care will create jobs, help

form the state of eye health in Malawi

alleviate poverty and bring socio-economic development to individuals and the

by strengthening the delivery of eye

communities in which they live.

care services across the country. The

‘The launch of the program is a natural sequel to the creation of our Corporate

Brien Holden Vision Institute and Essilor

Mission division in 2013 and provides impetus to our efforts to bring good vision to

are supporting this comprehensive proj-

everyone, everywhere in the world’, said Hubert Sagnieres, chairman and CEO of

ect to develop existing government

Essilor International.

eye health infrastructure and provide


accessible, affordable and quality eye care to rural Malawians by establishing


over 50 vision centres within public

Rochester Optical set safety standard for Google Glass

hospitals by 2019.

Rochester Optical announced it has successfully secured a safety rating for its

Below poverty line

Smart Safety Shield for Google Glass, becoming the first and only optical man-

‘Ninety per cent of the Malawian pop-

ufacturer offering safety solutions for glass.

ulation live in rural areas, with 55

Patrick Ho, CEO of Rochester Optical comments, ‘This is absolutely tremendous

per cent estimated to be living below

news. Not just for us as a company but for the optical industry globally. We are

the poverty line’, said Professor Kovin

pushing the boundaries on every level and across every sector in the smart

Naidoo, the deputy CEO of the Brien

glass optics arena and this we see as a significant step forward’.

Holden Vision Institute.


In addition to supporting the establishment of vision centres by pro-


Marcolin renew licensing agreement with TBL Licensing LLC

viding the start-up equipment for comprehensive refractive error services, the project will contribute to

Marcolin SpA and TBL Licensing LLC are to renew the licensing agreement for

the development of qualified and

the design, production and worldwide distribution of Timberland optical

skilled personnel to deliver high-qual-

frames and sunglasses.

ity eye care community outreach pro-

This agreement extends the partnership duration until December 31, 2018, with the possibility to expand it for an additional two years.

grams that will also focus on providing health promotion activities and ma-

Giovanni Zoppas, Marcolin CEO, affirmed, ‘Timberland is a brand of

terials to schools, communities, clinics,

worldwide relevance with a precise position in the lifestyle market and in

hospitals and other high volume areas

our portfolio of brands.

to educate the public on the impor-

‘We are very pleased therefore to continue on with this successful partnership’.



tance of eye health and regular eye examinations.



Essilor report sharp rise in growth and margins Announcing an operating profit of 989 million Euros in

deployed a strategy of broadening its playing field, with

2014 (up 15.4 per cent). Hubert Sagnières, chairman and

the sustained support of its original model of innovation

chief executive officer of Essilor, said: ‘The quickening

and partnerships. In 2014, this process drove an increase

pace of growth throughout the year culminated in an ex-

in the company's presence in corrective lenses and in the

cellent performance in the fourth quarter. Our mission of

percentage of revenue coming from North America, to 45

improving lives by improving sight has expanded the com-

per cent, and from the fast-growing countries, to 22 per

pany’s playing field and led in 2014 to transformational


acquisitions in the photochromic, sunwear and online businesses.

Essilor deepened their presence in the photochromic segment by completing the acquisition of the remaining

‘While remaining focused on its core ophthalmic optics

51 per cent of Transitions Optical — their largest acquisition

business, Essilor is increasingly capitalising on the inter-

to date — and in the online business with the acquisition

connections between all its activities and moving closer to

of, a major e-tailer of optical products.

the consumer in the marketing of its brands and solutions.

Essilor also developed a sunglass offering combining the

‘In a structurally expanding ophthalmic optics market

company’s premium sunlens production expertise and FGX

and with a more favourable currency environment, 2015

International’s distribution capabilities.

promises to be another year of strong growth in revenue

The sunwear business was also strengthened by the ac-

and contribution from operations. Our teams are fully en-

quisition of the mid-range Bolon and Moision brands in

gaged and energized about maintaining this momentum

China at the end of 2013, and of the Costa brand in the

over the medium term’.

US performance sunglass segment at the beginning of

In a mixed economic environment, Essilor successfully




Agreement on patient information sharing The Royal College of Ophthalmologists and College of Optometrists have issued new advice for members on the sharing of patient information following referral. The agreement aims to improve the care of the patient and future patients, by providing useful feedback about diagnosis and management for the referring clinician. Unless hospital policy specifically prohibits sending copies of letters to optometrists, ophthalmologists will routinely send copies of GP letters to the referring optometrist after confirming consent by the patient. David Parkins, president of the College of Optometrists, said, ‘Feedback on referrals is very important for continuity of care and to provide learning. Having this information to hand when the optometrist sees the patient again helps avoid unnecessary re-referrals and will reduce the duplication of tests’.



April 2015



Marcolin open a new Stockholm branch Marcolin SpA are to open a branch in Sweden, based

Nordic market and the relevance that the optical seg-

in Frösundaviks (Stockholm). Named Marcolin

ment has for us and for this area. The wide range

Nordic, the new branch has been established in

coverage of our offer and the direct control will

order to oversee the market of Nordic countries

allow us to respond optimally to the needs of the

(Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland and Sweden)

market and strengthen our partnerships with local

in a more controlled and focused way and dis-



tribute all the brands in the portfolio. Valerio Giacobbi, Marcolin general manager


of sales, marketing and business strategies

Vision Express open new Nottingham HQ

declared: ‘The decision to establish a branch in Sweden comes from the potentials of the

A desire to improve the service Vision Valerio Giacobbi


BCLA Liverpool conference

Express delivers to its UK stores and customers has led it to relocate its store support centre to Ruddington Fields Business Park in Nottingham.

The British Contact Lens Association has launched a bold new style programme

Vision Express CEO Jonathon Lawson

for its 39th Clinical Conference and Exhibition — calling on all eyecare

comments ‘Vision Express has based

practitioners to come together for three days of research, hands-on sessions,

its support operations in Nottingham

posters, education and products and technology dedicated to contact lenses

for 26 years and we’re pleased to be

and the anterior eye.

part of the regional business economy.

There are more practical workshops than ever before, covering topics such

This relocation is a significant step

as binocular vision, dry eye, keratoconus, sclerals, gonioscopy, presbyopia,

for the company, following a sustained

communication, slit lamp techniques and more. Many of the workshops mirror

period of growth’.


the education sessions so delegates can put their newly acquired knowledge into practice. Kicking off the programme is an entire day devoted to myopia management (on Friday May 29).



Vision conference chairman


VAO founder Brian Ellis returns to Africa Vision Aid Overseas’ founder and honorary vice president Brian Ellis recently returned from Ethiopia, where he in-

Michael Sobanja, National Health Service Alliance director of policy, is to chair

spected the charity’s programme. It

the Vision UK 2015 conference on Thursday, June 18, 2015 at Central Hall,

is the first time in ten years that he

Westminster in London.

has travelled to the country. Accom-

Titled ‘Working together to deliver the UK Vision Strategy’, the seventh

panying Mr Ellis on the visit was VAO’s

annual Vision UK conference will feature a brand new format, with delegates

deputy country director for Ethiopia,

able to choose from one of five conference streams, focused on delivering

Michele Devaal.

aspects of the UK Vision Strategy and tailored to different professional interests.

The main purpose of the visit was

The NHS Alliance is a leading authority driving forward the role of primary

to establish locations requiring VAO

care and is a provider of practitioner-led solutions across the sector. Unique in

projects. One of the main highlights

its approach, the NHS Alliance brings together primary care providers, practi-

was visiting two schools in Yirgacheffe

tioners, general practice, social and independent enterprise, NHS trusts and

to assess the need for eye care








Partnering with optical market leaders

To widen fields of research, 2009

Maui Jim in ATP tennis tournament partnership

has been a cornerstone of Essilor’s

saw the creation of the Nikon-Essilor

Premium polarised sunglasses brand

growth. This year, the Group celebrates

International Joint Research Center

Maui Jim is entering a new global

15 years of its successful joint venture

(NEURC) with a dedicated team of re-

partnership with the ATP, in which the

with Nikon.

Nikon-Essilor: 15 years of partnership

searchers focused on long-term inno-

Hawaiian company becomes the Official

The partnership began in 2000 with

vation in fields like opto-electronics,

Eyewear of the ATP World Tour.

a strong focus on innovation and the

precision optics and advanced mate-

ambition of significant business growth


As part of the three-year agreement, Maui Jim becomes an Official Supplier

in Japan and overseas. Technology,

Nikon benefits from strong consumer

of the ATP World Tour, as well as the

marketing and leveraging the Essilor

brand recognition, in 2012 Nikon-

season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour

Group network has strengthened its

Essilor launched an international I SEE

Finals at the O2 arena in London. Ben-

ophthalmic optics standing in Japan

marketing campaign featuring Nikon

efiting from global marketing rights

and success in overseas markets has

'visionaries' and brand ambassadors

as well as an onsite presence at many

followed. Continued research and de-

such as Olympic rowing gold medallist

tournaments throughout the season,

velopment has brought a series of in-

Hamish Bond and Michelin-starred chef

the agreement will enable Maui Jim

novations in materials, coatings, designs

Yoshihiro Narisawa. It has helped draw

to further engage with tennis fans

and processes. These include high

nearly 1 million international followers

around the world across traditional

index materials (1.74), among others.

on social media.

and digital platforms.




April 2015



Silmo Paris reinvents itself At Silmo 2015, the focus will be on renewal. For its next

and identify new ones. They also wish to meet their

edition, scheduled to take place from September 25-28


2015 at the Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition centre, the

Underpinned by all these expectations, Silmo has re-

World Optical Fair is adopting a more retail-oriented ap-

designed the ‘shopper’ experience for visitors around four

proach. Organised around four themes, it is also revamping

themes that characterise the show. Silmo Fashion showcases

its communication strategy by launching a high impact

the latest collections from eyewear manufacturers, frames


in truly eclectic styles, luxury/sports selections and trends

In order to meet exhibitor and visitor needs more effectively and further bolster its status as a leader, Silmo is

forums. Silmo Health brings together lenses, low vision solutions and contact lenses.

undergoing a major facelift. No longer just a trade fair, it

Silmo Innovation shines the spotlight on the Fab Lab,

is now spotlighted as the world’s largest flagship store

which highlights the latest technological innovations, along

dedicated to vision. Under one roof, it brings together the

with specialist makers of optical equipment, POS furniture

optical sector’s most comprehensive offering, confirming

and ‘connected opticians’, while Silmo Training offers the

its role as a key driver of business for all its participants.

Silmo Academy with its symposium and workshops.

Visitors to Silmo Paris come in search of new experiences

Adopting a broad-based yet selective strategy, this new

likely to enhance their business performance. They want

approach provides participants with bespoke services and

to be given a sneak preview of new technologies and inno-

practical tools to grow their business: creative solutions

vations, original designs and upcoming fashions. They

to enhance their day-to-day performance, an impressive

require access to information and training on products

array of the latest trends to offer inspiration and generate

and the latest trends. They come to meet existing suppliers

new business opportunities.



FMO’s Midlands Spring meeting Leading frame, lens, equipment, and finance companies

Brighton Conference looks at the future of optometry

gathered together at Aston Villa football club for the

The College of Optometrists welcomed over 700 delegates


to East Sussex on March 8-9 for its annual conference and

meeting of the Federation of Manufacturing

AGM. Held at The Brighton Centre on the city’s picturesque

Opticians ‘Always keen to inspire members with an exciting venue

seafront, the conference offered delegates the opportunity

and a broad range of speakers, our latest event proved to

to earn interactive CET points, network with colleagues

be as thought provoking as ever,’ said the new FMO chief

and visit the conference’s largest trade exhibition to date.

executive Kevin Gutsell.

The extensive two-day programme saw optometrists dis-

New member benefit provider the Buying Support Agency,

cussing topics such as the management of macular degen-

made the case for ‘Best Practice Procurement’, with

eration, innovation in contact lens practice, and orthoker-

director Matt Roper explaining how the company is geared

atology and children.

to bring benefits to members. ‘Up to 34 per cent savings

The George Giles Memorial Lecture, ‘What you don’t see

can be achieved with the right procurement policy,’ he

can hurt you — vision and driving’ delivered by Professor

said. ‘We are looking at introducing cost savings across

Joanne Wood, was one of the programme highlights.

some 30 different categories. After staff costs, plus sales

Professor Wood, a leading expert in vision and driving

and marketing, procurement often has the most critical

based at the Queensland University of Technology’s School

effect on the company’s profit, as every pound that you

of Optometry and Vision Science in Australia, said, ‘While

save hits the bottom line.

previous research has failed to show that increased crash

‘Best practice procurement is all about getting value

rates are associated with reduced vision, more recent

and gaining a competitive advantage to your business,’

evidence supports a strong relationship between driving

said Matt.

performance and functional vision measures.’




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What about progressive multifocals? asks Consultant Editor Richard Chaffin enjamin Franklin, an American printer, who was also a statesman and inventor was perhaps the first optician to think of presbyopia and the need for glasses with more than one focal point or correction. He tied a key on a string in a lightning storm to draw electricity. That may have been when the idea for a multifocal came to him. He also invented a stove and various other items. However, his idea to combine two different lenses in a single frame for near and far vision was a simple and clever way to create a multifocal. Although the word multifocal is not generally found in the dictionaries, it is common usage in the optical industry. A multifocal, as the word implies, is any lens that incorporates more than one focus or correction (bifocal, trifocal, etc.) together. Through the years multifocals have taken on many different looks, shapes and forms. In the era when lenses were being made of only glass it does not appear that the concept of a bifocal was very popular. It was not until some time in the early 20th century that bifocals were made by pasting or gluing a reading portion on distance glasses. The reading segment was of the same



index and necessarily bulged out being somewhat unsightly. Soon it was determined that with different indices of glass, lenses could have a high index fused segment for the reading portion. The lens blank (major) would be ground with a countersink and a ‘button’ of higher index glass that would be fused into it, thereby creating a bifocal with uniform curves on both sides of the lens – concave and convex. This process varied between the United States and Europe. In the US the reading portion was fused on the convex side of the lens. In Europe Zeiss fused the reading segment on the concave side of the lens. That difference may be the first instance of the discussion of which side of the lens is most critical or advantageous for correcting vision. In both cases the reading addition was in a round configuration. This type bifocal was referred to as a ‘kryptok’, or a curve top.

Straight line bifocal, trifocal, & Executive

In England the idea of a flat or straight top bifocal was developed, the thought being that it was better for vision to have a sharp demarcation from far to near. To manufacture a straight top bifocal, a

second piece of glass of the same index as the major was fused to the top of high index button and filled in the countersink, leaving a flat top. A further development of the straight top bifocal was the trifocal that incorporated two pieces of glass of high and higher index. Trifocals had two distinct lines separating far, intermediate, and near vision areas on the lens. In glass these lenses had one uniform curve on each side of the lens. Another style of bifocal goes back to the Franklin bifocal in design. It is referred to as an Executive type. Executive bifocals are not fused but are made of only one piece of glass that has two different curves ground across the full width of the lens. The lower portion of the lens allows a complete reading area across the lens. There are several types of bifocals made from one piece of glass with reading and distance portions. There have been many other styles of multifocals that have emerged over the years leading up to today’s progressive design. Several variable focus lenses have been tried in the past. The idea was to blend or grind seamlessly different curvatures on the front or back surface of the lens. None of these lineless or seamless lenses were very successful. The technology was not adequate and the process to create a progressive surface had not been developed.

Variable focus lenses

More than 50 years ago Essilor brought a variable focus lens to the market. An Essilor scientist had the idea for a design which was called Varilux. A lens with no lines has come to be referred to as a ‘progressive’ lens. Progressive lenses are not ordinary lenses with a variable curve. They are not asymmetrical surfaces but aberrated surfaces that have a certain area where the curve is varying, the reading channel. The eye finds a position on the reading channel where it sees sharply. That position is determined by how far away the object is. The design of progressive lenses is now in its seventh or eighth generation. Each succeeding generation improves on the aberrated surface and the channel design. Every company manufacturing a progressive lens has its own design principles. However, they can all be characterised as either soft or hard designs, depending on the channel.


Progressive lenses have become specialised in their efforts to serve more of the marketplace. They are designed specifically to provide near and far vision for things as varied as golf and tennis or fishing and boating. To keep up with frame fashions they have short channels that will fit into frames with small ‘B’ (height) measurements. Now progressive lenses are digital as well as the traditional factory semi-finished. In some designs the progressive reading channel is on the concave side of the lens and in some cases may even be on both sides of the lens. The progressive principles are even being carried over to single vision lenses with slight added power in the lower portion of the lens.

Variable focus vs. multifocals

Are progressive lenses multifocals? They fit the definition. Are progressive lenses as good, the same, or better then traditional multifocals? Multifocals are not aberrated. They do not have to dispose of the material from the reading channel somewhere on the lens, the problem for progressive lenses. They can provide a full field of corrected vision for both near and far. But they are not cosmetically as correct as progressive lenses. Multifocals have the tell tale lines that show a person is of a certain age and presbyopic. However, what if multifocals did not have lines? What if there was a lens that combined the best of progressive lenses with the best of multifocal lenses; a multifocal variable focus lens? That lens would have no lines and be like a Benjamin Franklin or executive bifocal; or like a curve or straight top bifocal with sharp correct vision all the way across the far portion, not aberrated and as much or as little reading portion as desired.

What does the future hold?

At one time there was a proposal to melt a glass with a variable index to form a bifocal type lens. That was thought to be a possibility. Today, plastic lenses are available with indices high enough for Benjamin Franklin to make his bifocal with one curve on each side. Plastic has struggled for 60 years to match the indices of glass and is now as high as 1.74 or perhaps higher. How soon will there be a variable index that travels over a range large enough to be a progressive multifocal? The optical world is moving faster and faster with new technologies every day. Is it time for a new lens?

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Exclusive Distributor for the UK and Ireland The Norville Group, Magdala Road, Gloucester GL1 4DG Tel: 01452 510308 • Email:

Record-breaking Mido A record number of 49,000 visitors attended Mido this year, up 8.7 per cent over 2014


he new communication campaign, the new logo, the pavilions located closer to the subway, the revamped and more streamlined layout all made for a considerably larger exhibition area (up 10 per cent) and more exhibitors, an additional 150 new companies. Attendees took advantage of the more visitor-friendly layout to visit all the theme areas, Fashion District, Lenses, Far East Pavilion, and Design Lab with the new Lab Academy area, which was particularly successful. The Otticlub info meetings also attracted a keen, interested audience, which is another sign of the dynamic atmosphere pervading the industry. The ‘Two Trains for Mido’ service helped to increase the number of Italian trade people visiting. However, a prevailing widespread desire for the domestic market, which has been sluggish for some time now, to get back on track certainly did its share.


Mido’s importance was also recognised by the Ministry of Economic Development which included the exhibition in its special Made in Italy promotion program, as well as a memorable event whereby a significant number of international buyers and journalists were invited. Two years after their integration into the Bühler Group, Leybold Optics presented itself in the new corporate design. Highlight of the show was the demonstration of the new sputter coater Star for single-pair production of anti-reflection and mirror coatings. Bühler offer all services from ultrasonic cleaning over hard coating and vacuum coating to quality inspection, training and process know-how. Among the noteworthy MEI exhibits was the prototype of their new finishing unit that integrates lens inspection, TBA blocking features, and high speed 4RacerTBA finishing unit from MEI on the market edging in a single unit to beatlaunched beginning of 2016 with small footprint and reliable industrial-like design. Based on the well-known concept of the indexing table, fully exploiting MEI knowledge on CNC machining, this new unit aims at setting a new standard for

Nidek's Distributor Summit Meeting

the lens finishing process. The machine is the 4RacerTBA and will be launched on the market at the beginning of 2016. There was a big attendance for Nidek’s Distributor Summit Meeting which provided an excellent opportunity to share and learn more about company products, activities, and vision between Nidek of Japan and lens edger distributors all over the world.

Optotech’s prototype FLASH Twin-A: A real crowd puller

OptoTech once again underlined its standing in being one of the most innovative companies in the industry, showing several world premieres on two booths. On their main booth, the firm showed a fully automated production lab for free-form lenses. Their world novelty Flash Twin-A has been a true crowd puller. The up to date fastest turning machine on the market was named as a true exhibition highlight by many visitors. Besides the Twin-A, OptoTech showed their high performance production cell the Auto-Taper OTT 16

80-A, the auto-blocker OTB 80 CNC-A1, the innovative stacker IQ-Star, the surfacing/ turning machine Flash-A Plus, the automated polisher ASP 80 CNC Multitool DT-A, as well as the CO2 Autolaser OTL 80 CNC-A. On the second booth the company presented its extremely compact smartLAB superstoreconcept with the product novelties CombiTwin CNC combined polishing and engraving machine, OTL 80 store, low priced CO2 laser marker and the new pad printer OPP1 store. Also shown were coating machines, including the world premieres OAC-90 AR-coating system for midsized and the large labs, equipped with up to two pumps and OSC-24 low priced sputter coating system. There were also live demonstrations of the new B2Me tool EyeWizard and lab management software OproCalc. Satisloh presented their new concept: Lab 4.0, the focus of which lies in latest generation equipment combined with the best software support systems and ecological production. Satisloh identified these three pillars as key

Nox the robot pictured with Satisloh's Hanspeter Eigenmann and Dr Frank Breme

factors to future competitiveness in an increasingly challenging market. Highlight of the display was the NOX robot. As guest star, the 2.4 meters high, walking and talking high-tech machine entertained visitors and asked Hanspeter Eigenmann (head of EMEA and India) and Dr. Frank Breme (chief technology officer) for the news at the booth. Both presented Lab 4.0 details. Different production lines were presented, showing how software, machines and ecological aspects can optimise production. Satisloh’s MES (Manufacturing Execution System) was also demonstrated. This software support system creates the necessary transparency to schedule and control production and maintenance and to track yield and uptime by machine.

With their new Nano Line, Schneider take another step forward in free-form history. Extremely low investment costs combined with minimal space requirements make the unit the perfect choice to produce high quality free-form lenses virtually anywhere. Despite its small size, Nano Line offers the same flexibility that the firm’s Sprint and Modulo Line systems provide, with no compromise on geometry, range or lens quality. Schneider’s Nano Line Decentralised production sites especially benefit from the Nano Lines’ independence as there is no need for an industrial environment. A pre-configured bundle of LMS, lens design software and consumables allows for smooth and consistent lens production.


April 2015


Blocking and de-blocking equipment Tony Jarratt, Technical Editor


or many years, metal alloys have

gressive is being worked. Any change in

water bath, where the metal melts

been used for mounting ophthalmic

alignment during the surfacing cycle

from the button and, due to its

lenses for surface generating, fining

would produce a lens which would be

weight, falls to the bottom of the

and polishing. Before this, pitch was the

‘off axis’ or would have the wrong prism

tank. It can be recovered by draining

substance used to mount the lens blank

base or progression direction.

from the tank. The metal alloys used

to the metal holding button. This was a

To achieve this alignment, the lens is

are similar to the alloys used in the

messy process, not easy on the operator

attached to a carrier or button – historically

automatic fire sprinkler systems in

and when alloys became available, they

metal but now either metal or resin –

major stores and offices.

quickly became the preferred mounting

the button having two or more holes or


indentations in its back surface (possibly

To ensure that the alloys work effec-

Environmental pressures have, however,

a slot on some systems). These ‘holes’

tively, they are formulated to have a

resulted in most manufacturers now pro-

accept the ‘prongs’ or fittings of the ap-

sharp melting point (eutectic change),

ducing thermoplastic materials that can

propriate machine and thereby hold the

when the material changes from a solid

be used in place of metal alloys for

lens/button in the correct alignment.

to a liquid. If the change took too long,

blocking purposes. The reason behind

the system would be unreliable. Accurate

this change is the composition of the

Metal alloys

temperature control (to within 1 or 2 )

metal alloys, which usually contain some

These alloys are capable of being in one

ensures that the metal can be kept

lead and/or cadmium in their composition.

of two physical states – as a solid or as a

molten, ready for instant use, without

These materials and their waste prod-

liquid. To allow this change to take place

becoming too hot or without the system

ucts are, of course, hazardous and their

within a normal working environment,

wasting too much energy in retaining

use is not as acceptable these days. Both

they are designed and manufactured to

the heat at the correct level.

operator safety and the environmentally

have a low melting point (below that of

In practice, in many machines, the

safe disposal of waste are now issues

boiling water). This has two main ad-

button is placed on the blocking machine,

that have to be addressed under current


centrally within a containing/cooling ring.

legislation and these factors will affect

The lens is placed and held against this

the methods of manufacture and working

1. As the alloy can be melted at a low

ring, again centralised. The liquid metal

procedures for the foreseeable future.

temperature, there is not too much

is then allowed to pour from the holding

energy stored within the metal, thus

tank, through a pipe, into the cavity be-

The process

reducing the amount of heat which

tween the lens, button and containing

To carry out the surfacing procedures –

will be transferred to the lens as

ring. Coolant is then passed through the

curve generating, smoothing and pol-

the metal cools. Too much heat

ring, to speed up the process and to re-

ishing – it has always been necessary to

could lead to distortion of the lens

move waste heat from the lens, thus

employ some form of ‘blocking’. The

material, particularly so in the case

avoiding distortion of the semi-finished

lens has to be held and positioned in

of organic lenses.


the various machines and some method

Some machines have two working

has to be employed to maintain the

2. The metal can be re-melted at a

positions, so a second lens can be

alignment of the lens, particularly im-

reasonably low temperature – usually

dealt with, whilst the alloy is cooling

portant when a cylinder, prism or pro-

by placing on a tray in a heated

on the first.


As already mentioned, there is a move

specifically aimed at organic lens pro-

settings. This obviates the need for any


rings or adjustment during blocking.

same way. Cadmium and lead are haz-

Cylinder and prism working

‘mechanically’ controlled blockers, but

ardous materials to handle, as are their

It will be realised that non-spherical lenses

the majority of today’s machines are

waste products and these metals are

or those with a prism, do have to be cor-

electronically controlled, often from the

normally a constituent of the alloys

rectly aligned in the surfacing equipment.

laboratory computer system. In these


For cylinder working, the orientation of a

systems the setting of the axis and prism

single vision lens when blocking (assuming

angle can often be carried out automat-

Alternatives to alloy

the blank to be circular in shape), is not

ically, thus increasing accuracy and re-

To overcome this most manufacturers

important. However, the lens does have

ducing operator error.

have developed thermoplastic casting

to be aligned when working a progressive

To ensure that aberrations are kept to

materials which have similar charac-

or multifocal semi-finished blank is in-

a minimum, the lens blank must be ade-

teristics to the metal alloys, i.e., they

volved. To achieve this, the lens is rotated

quately supported. This is particularly

can be melted or softened to allow at-

on the blocking platform, before the bond-

important when machining organic lenses,

tachment to the lens and then removed

ing material is cast, using some form of

where the softer nature of the material

at a later stage by the application of

protractor scale. This ensures that the

allows some flexing of the lens. To provide

further heat. They can then be re-used

180 axis of the lens is aligned along the

this support, the diameter of the cast

in the same manner as the alloys.

main axis of the button.

alloy or thermoplastic is kept as large as

towards replacing the metal alloys with thermoplastic materials which act in the

The foregoing comments are true for

Several systems now use these envi-

Another complication arises when prism

possible. This factor is also important

ronmentally friendly ‘wax’ alternatives.

has to be worked on the lens. This is nor-

when surfacing a lens with a knife edge

The general operation of the blockers

mally achieved by either tilting the lens

diameter – the thinnest or knife-edge

is the same whether used with metal

on the button whilst blocking is taking

will always require more support.

alloy or wax, the only difference being

place, or by using a ‘prism ring’ on the

the temperature used to control the

generator to tilt the lens / button combi-


blocking medium. The wax materials

nation to the required angle. In some of

Earlier machines were all manually op-

have a further advantage; they nor-

the latest multi-axis CNC generators (par-

erated, but many of the current offerings

mally melt at a lower temperature than

ticularly when a ball tool or cutter is

are now automatic in operation, often

the metal alloys (although many sup-

used, rather than a cup wheel), the same

with CNC control and possibly using cam-

pliers can now supply alloy produced

effect can also be achieved by using com-

era lens recognition. Some have robotic

to melt at lower temperatures and thus

puterised software to adjust the machine



The following suppliers have kindly supplied material for review. Further details of their products can be obtained from their catalogues or websites. Cerium Optical

the ever changing needs of customers.

that use higher temperature alloy, using

While both these products mirror the

high speed automa c taping units and

Cerium offer several consumables for

best aspects of the Ceri-Guard family of

especially for labs that produce large vol-

blocking and de-blocking. Their Iner a

products they also have their own

umes of very thin organic high index and

de-blocker is a tape manufactured from

unique a ributes.

photochromic lenses.

high density nylon for durability. It is

Ceri-Guard Armour has been pro-

Ceri-Guard Low Tack has been pro-

available in various sizes: 43mm 2000-

duced in response to customers who are

duced to provide a product that has a

132; 58mm 2110-1; and 68mm 2120-1.

looking for a thicker, more robust lens

lower adhesion level when applied to

Also listed are Ceri-Guard Low Tack &

protec on product. This product’s ability

the lens surface. This can be useful for

Armour lens protec on tapes These new

to dissipate heat and its increased ten-

customers who prefer a lower strength

products have been developed to meet

sile strength will be invaluable in labs

peel off, or those doing large numbers of


April 2015


non-hard coated product due to the in-

free-form digital and tradi onal lens pro-

Another system, the Eclipse LX block-

crease of in house AR coa ng. Both

cessing and eliminates the need for alloy

er, offers standard layout and blocking

products are to be produced in 35 metre

by using a reusable, machinable and en-

features, higher throughput, plus several

rolls in blue.

vironmentally safe blocking material.

advanced features, including one-touch

Ceriguard 1000 Lens Saver tape has all

Based on the proven technology of the

blocking, which simplifies blocking from

the benefits of the Ceri-Guard range of

Eclipse system, the Xl features one-touch

layout to chilling. Posi oning on the

tapes with the added benefit that it is

blocking, automa c block and lens de-

blocking ring, 180° axis alignment, and

very easy to de-block a er use, yet it

tec on, full diameter blocking, along

block rota on to the cylinder axis are au-

holds securely throughout the surfacing

with other user-friendly features includ-

toma c. There are mul -block op ons

process. Like all Ceri-Guard tapes, Ceri-

ing superior lens quality with a low cost

for use of standard pin. Acublock and

Guard 1000 conforms to the lens surface

of ownership.

small diameter blocks.

to provide wrinkle free protec on. It has

The system includes surface blocker,

An automa c block and lens detec on

a light, transparent blue colour to permit

s callo p


system alerts the user if a lens or block is

easy layout and surface inspec on.

blocks, blocking com-

not detected. Automa c material fill

Because of the uniform thickness and

pound and de-block-

with overflow sen-

excellent thermal proper es, Ceri-Guard

er. One-touch block-

sors automa cally

1000 tape protects lenses from blocking

ing simplifies blocking

fills the blocking

alloy heat. Used correctly it de-blocks

from layout to chilling.

very easily, peels cleanly and leaves no



chamber, provid-

mul -




glue residue on the surface of the lens. It

block op ons for use of

amount of lique-

is designed to be used with wax and 47

standard pin, Acublock

fied blocking ma-

degrees C (117 degrees F) alloy. Avail-

and small diameter

terial and allow-

able in blue 35 metres long by 100mm

blocks. An automa c

ing the operator

wide paper backed rolls only.

block and lens detec-

to posi on the

on system alerts

next lens for

Op guard Extra is designed to give opmum performance at a compe


the user if a lens or

price without compromising quality. All

block is not detected.

alignment The E2G blocker by Coburn


for batch processing.

the essen al aspects which make for an

Full diameter blocking provides maxi-

There is also an internal front camera

excellent lens protec on tape have been

mum support and stability during gener-

with 10in view screen providing parallax-

enhanced to give Op guard Extra out-

a ng, elimina ng lens edge cha er and

free viewing for precise lens-to target

standing adhesion to the lens during the

form errors associated with non-sup-

alignment by elimina ng through-power

cycle and good adhesion to all blocking

ported areas. An interac ve material

distor on of images.

materials. It enables easy and clean re-

pre-melter automa cally ac vates and

moval from the lens at finish, as well as

deac vates,

easy iner a de-blocking and good lens

amount of liquefied blocking material


protec on quali es. It is suitable for all

for con nued opera on. An internal

throughput rates. It is offered as an eco-

lens types.

camera with 17in view screen provides

nomical device dispensing patented

parallax-free viewing.

Free-bond blocking compound, de-

Cerium also list a high quality metal blocking alloy that may be used success-




With its automa c one-touch blocking feature, users block and chill the lens in simple




Coburn also offer Onyx-Bond, a new

signed to be environmentally friendly.

fully in all blocking machines. This is

lightweight blocking material usable for

The use of Free-bond eliminates the con-

available with mel ng points of 158 de-

all conven onal and digital (free-form)

cerns associated with alloy blocking.

grees F (70 degrees C), 146 degrees F (58

processing that eliminates the harmful

Coburn list a range of consumables, in-

degrees C) and 117 degrees F (47 de-

effects of alloy and eliminates EPA issues

cluding surface blocking tapes, blocks

grees C).

associated with alloy contamina on, as

(including for plas c lenses and small di-

well as removing lens clean-up and

ameter), centres, rings etc.

Coburn Technologies

residue issues a ributed to wax and al-

loy materials. Once de-blocked, the ma-

DAC Vision

Coburn offer two blocking systems, the

terial is placed back into the E2G pre-

E2G with Onyx Bond and the Eclipse LX

melter, where it is re-melted and ready

DAC Vision offer a comprehensive porfo-

with Freebond. The E2G is designed for

for con nued blocking.

lio of products that meet the needs of


blocking and deblocking for both surfac-

including, masks and lens protec on.

tric working with high speed robot, it

ing and edging equipment. These prod-

In the deblocking process, DAC offer

enables up to 200 lenses per hour to be

ucts are widely used in both wholesale

both hand held and bench mounted

blocked without manual labour. Lens di-

processing labs as well as the eyecare

tools for easily removing the block and

ameters 55 to 85mm.


pad assembly from the lens.

oner marketplace.

Model OTB 80 CNC-A-XL for instance

For surfacing, the firm has a wide array of Surface Tapes that provide lens

is ideal for fully automa c alloy blocking


in big laboratories. It has four blocking

protec on and a thermal barrier

sta ons and is designed for professional

whether blocking with alloy or wax

OptoTech offer several blocking/de-

fully automated alloy blocking, allowing

mediums. These tapes have excellent

blocking systems for use with both alloy

uninterrupted blocking with no down-

conformability over all lens curvatures

and non-alloy blocking mediums. Their

me. Blocking chucks and alloy can be

and substrates and remain secure dur

OTB 80M alloy blocker offers two work-

easily refilled during opera on for high

ing sta ons and is the ideal solu on for

economy and there is concentric work-

small and midsize laboratories.

ing with high speed robot. Up to 200

Equipped with an included passive

lenses per hour can be blocked without

alignment system and a 17in flat-

an operator.Lens diameters 55 to

screen monitor, it simplifies the lens alignment and guarantees a non-ex-

The OTB 80 CNC A1 and A2 are CNC

haus ng workplace for the operator.

controlled auto blockers for small,

The axis posi on can be easily set by an

medium and large labs. The A1 version

ergonomic hand wheel.

DAC blocking products


is a single sta on auto blocker and is de-

Accessories include blocking rings,

signed for professional fully automated

blocking chucks, measurement

alloy blocking. It allows uninterrupted

devices, different alloys, chiller,

blocking with no down me. Blocking

cooling plate, de-blocking rings of vari-

chucks and alloy can be easily refilled

ous diameter and, de-blocking tank.

during opera on. This all guarantees

Blocking ring recogni on and an auto-

highest economy.

fill stop feature eliminates operator er-

It combines the advantage of full

ing the surfacing process and remove

rors and improves the performance.

automa on with the opera onal safety

easily during deblocking and wash-up

Lens diameters of 38 to 85mm can be

of the OTB blocking sta ons. The OTB 80

without any adhesive residue.

handled ad the machine has a capacity

CNC-A1 is consequently designed for ul-

A complete line of surface blocks for

mate efficiency, high process consis-

up to 110 lenses per hour.

all of the industry surfacing technolo-

The other three machines offer auto-

tency and simplified usability. The single

gies includes the V-style, wax style and

mated procedures with large capaci es.

blocking sta on is loaded and

base block style. Along with the appro-

The OTB 80 CNC-A-XL, suitable for


priate blocks, they provide the common

the larger laboratory,

an independ-

blocking alloy. For those who u lise wax

for instance, is a fully

ent linear han-

mediums, DAC offer blocking wax in

automa c alloy blocker


blue and red.


and achieves a





The company offer a complete range

having four block-

performance of

of edging blocks in a variety of shapes,

ing sta ons and is

up to 80 lenses

materials and chuck configura ons for

designed for fully

per hour.

virtually all edging machines currently


available. In tandem, they have edging

blocking. It allows un-

is of similar de-

pads in mul ple shapes, sizes and

interrupted blocking

sign, but has two

materials that meet the demand of to-

with no down me.

blocking sta ons

day’s complex edging matrix. Whether

Blocking chucks and

and can achieve a per-

edging standard lenses or those with

alloy can be easily re-

the latest AR technologies, a solu on

filled during opera on for high

can be offered to meet the applica on

economy. Featuring concen-

The A2 version


formance of 150 lenses per hour. OTB 80 CNC-A1 from Optotech


April 2015



blocking using solely organic materials,

dosage of UV-light curable adhesive,

resul ng in high-precision blocking with

using Satisloh’s patented spatial blocking technique.

For alloy work, the Sa sloh layout block-

front-curve measurement and a range

er-PRA offers high produc on blocking

of different curvature block-pieces for

During measurement, the ART block-

with op cal recogni on. It provides a

op mised blocking. The machinable

er probes the exact geometry of the

virtually automa c blocking process,

block offers full support for complex

front curve, which not only allows accu-

with high produc vity, up to 120 lenses

shapes, elimina ng taping and cooling

rate posi oning of the lens, but can also

per hour (two blocking sta ons). Op cal lens recogni on automa cally

me with fast, cold UV-curing. With ART technology Sa sloh offer an

detect front curve errors on spherical blanks. Incorrect lenses can either be re-

verifies the lens posi on, elimina ng len

environmentally safe alterna ve to the

jected or a recalcula on for the back

marking and operator error. The unit of-

tradi onal alloy ophthalmic blocking

curvature can be processed in the LMS

fers virtually error-free blocking, a

process – based on proven Nucleo tech-

system. The UV-adhesive is cured within

‘Go/No Go’ indicator aler ng the opera-

nology, enabling OBM (On-Block Manu-

seconds and the blocked lens is re-

tor when the lens is correctly posi-

facturing). ART u lises a universal,

turned to the original tray, immediately

oned*. Blocking can’t occur if the lens

reusable organic block piece and a UV-

ready for genera ng.

isn’t properly posi oned.

curable adhesive, rather than tape, pro-

The ART blocking system is paired with

tects the lens front. Using this organic

a matching, fully automated deblocking

inates errors due to mechanical transfer

material combina on eliminates haz-

system, ART de-blocker, enabling a lab to

movements, ensuring accurate block-

ardous substances like heavy metals

fully automate its surfacing opera on.

ing. Easy to use Windows displays the

and their discharge into the water cycle,

Easy to integrate in a manufacturing

actual lens posi oning (x/y co-ordinates

helping protect both the environment

flow, it automa cally loads generated

and lens rota on); calibra ons and

and staff.

and polished lenses and returns de-

The single-step blocking process elim-

process parameters are easily main-

To implement ART technology, only a

blocked lenses to the job tray. The de-

tained with a computer control system.

blocker and a de-blocker are needed be-

blocking system separates block-piece,

Download Rx data is by way of the host

cause the block piece fits all

computer via an op onal barcode read-

common gener-

lens by water

er or enter manually.

ators and pol-

jet and then



CNC-controlled, the system automa -

ishers. The ART


cally adjusts prism angle, prism base

blocker can be

sides of the

and the axis of the blocking chuck. Up to

paired with the auto-

lens, making it

120 lenses per hour can be blocked

mated ART de-blocker,

inspec on-

efficiently because of parallel opera on

enabling a lab to fully au-


and increased process consistency

tomate its surfacing oper-

A er sepa-

thanks to block ring recogni on, where

a on. If full automa on is

ra on, it sorts

control so ware automa cally checks

not needed, the manual

blocks by cur-

for the correct blocking ring; only then

ART deblocker-M is avail-

vature and di-

can blocking occur.


ameter, for effi-

A er


The precise auto-fill feature creates a

lenses are ready for all

consistent alloy wafer on every lens,

tradi onal hard- and

minimising operator interven on. Oper-

AR-coa ng processes.


cient reuse. SepaART blocker by Satisloh

ra ng by water jet

eliminates the shock of manual deblock-

ator no fica on for block ring change

The ART blocker automatically loads

ing – reducing spoilage and labour costs.

eliminates errors. Block ring recogni on

blank and block-piece in two steps

Alterna vely available for deblocking

and auto-fill can be ac vated or deac -

from the job tray, recognising any kind

is the small table top unit ART de-block-

vated as needed. The PRA processes

of pattern and thus determining cor-

er-M. This manual system quickly sepa-

prisms up to 5.5° (10.5° with an adapter

rect blank orientation. The blank-to-

rates lens and block piece with the

ring). Blocking diameters from 36 -

block combination is also verified to

same water jet technology used in the

68mm as well as blocking heights from 7

avoid assembling mistakes. After front

ART de-blocker. The manual de-blocker

- 13mm are possible.

curve measurement, the blank front is

is easy to adapt to the different block

Alloy replacement technology (the

applied, correctly orientated to the or-

curvatures by manual adjustment of a

ART system) provides blocking and de-

ganic block-piece with an optimised

cam plate. It is not only easy to operate,


but also easy to maintain. Both de-

centered, de-centered, Rx, PAL and

me. The use of the reusable block

blockers feature closed water cycles, re-

free-form. Benefits include alloy free,

pieces minimises the consump on of

ducing water usage.


blocking media significantly.



block pieces, prisms up to 7, ease of

chanical upgrade the CCU Modulo can be

use, and low investment cost.


From alloy to non-alloy – with a me-

Schneider also produce two fully au-

converted from alloy to Connex. The new

Complemen ng their range of state-of

toma c machines, the CCU Modulo

Connex is a plas c blocking media, which

the-art free-form surfacing equipment,

blocker and the DBA Modulo de-block-

is free of hazardous elements, fully re-use-

Schneider list several blocking systems.

er. The high-performance CCU Modulo

able, and recyclable. This leads to the low-

The CB Bond and Bond-E are basically

blocker automa cally joins semi-fin-

est blocking costs per lens in the industry.

the same machine, with the CB Bond

ished blanks and block pieces with high-

The high-resolu on op cal lens recogni-

being the fully fledged version. Both

est precision. Parallel processing steps

on and alignment system guarantees a

have been designed for high precision

combined with the economical use of

perfect posi on of the lens and the block

manual lens blocking with alloy.

the blocking material brings the whole

piece. Unique CNC controlled prism and

detec on

surfacing opera on up to speed while

axis adjustment and the variable lens

guarantees precise block/lens align-

High-resolu on

op cal

significantly reducing costs. Several in-


ment, and a unique CNC controlled

dependent handling systems enable

blocked lenses no ma er how complex

prism and axis adjustment and the vari-

CCU Modulo to run mul ple ac vi es

the requirements. The result is high preci-

able lens clamping posi on* ensure

simultaneously – lens pick-up, block

sion blocking and consistency over long

consistent results during long periods

piece supply, lens measurement – and

of opera on. The a er-clamping check

the three blocking sta-

Complemen ng the automat-

ensures that every blocked lens meets

ons are placed in a

ed blocker, the DBA Modu-

the ght tolerance criteria needed for

small, easy access con-

lo offers automated de-

premium surfacing and the auto-fill fea-

figura on.

blocking. The fast han-

ture* enables hands-free opera on and consistent fillings. The system ensures high precision

posi on



periods of opera on.

Two robo c arms,

dling system safely trans-

mounted in the middle

fers the job into the

of the opera ng plat-

working cham-

blocking with high produc on yields,

form, work virtu-

ber where the

hands-free alloy filling*, and lens-spe-

ally non-stop. To-

alloy is melted

cific clamping posi on*. There is an op-

gether with an

with hot water in a

erator-friendly touch screen and Win-


mul -step process,

dows opera ng system, interfacing

third loading arm

separa ng the lens

with all exis ng lab server systems. Lens

the system max-

diameters up to 80mm can be accom-



running processes, sig-

The CB Connect expands the all-in-

with high speed


from the block.

nificantly reducing idle

In a ma er of seconds the me

DBA Modulo gently removes the

one surfacing centre – the DSC Prolab

and boos ng efficiency as

with a state-of the-art alloy-free block-

well as throughput. While lenses are

lens breakage that occurs with conven-

ing solu on, using Connex, an environ-

cooling down in the blocking sta ons,

onal deblocking methods. Suitable for

mentally friendly blocking medium. In-

the next lenses are already loaded and

all lens materials and all alloy types, the

telligently interlinked, the two systems

precisely aligned before they meet their

DBA Modulo can be used in any lab

work together to provide maximum

block piece counterparts.


ease of use and a significant reduc on in investment costs.

DBA Modulo from Schneider

alloy without the danger of


A er deblocking the lenses are direct-

process of the CCU Modulo guarantees

ly brought back to the tray while the




A video based posi oning and center-

very economical blocking with min-

block pieces and the alloy are prepared

ing system assists the operator during

imised losses and a cartridge magazine

for immediate reuse in the blocker.

the very precise lens alignment. Block-

containing 160 block pieces enables

The block pieces are collected in a

ing takes less than one minute and the

long uninterrupted processing. The car-

block piece magazine for direct reuse

system handles all lens forms – plano,

tridges are refilled outside of the ma-

in the CCU, guaranteeing a maximum

*Only available with the CB Bond

chine resul ng in no produc on down-

ease of use.


April 2015


G R A N D O P E N I N G – 2 5 S E P T. 2 0 1 5


Norville swimming goggle

Polarised photochromics

Available from Norville, the Blick Junior is

behind the windshield, are now available in single vision Triology Trivex material.

a fully glazeable prescrip.on swimming goggle for children.

Transitions Drivewear lenses, still the only polarised photochromic lenses that adapt Now drivers everywhere can experience Transitions photochromic technology and advanced NuPolar polarisation, along with the high impact resistance and su-

This frame benefits from three bridge

perior optics of Trilogy, all in one dynamic and essential driving lens.

op.ons which broaden its age appeal from

Designed specifically to meet the unique visual demands of the driving task, Tran-

five to 12 years of age. The standard range

sitions Drivewear, available from Norville, are the first and only polarised pho-

within the sports Rx cat-

tochromic lenses to darken behind the windshield of a car, adapting to varying day-

alogue will be

light conditions for a safer drive. In addition, Transitions Drivewear lenses are

+4.00 to –8.00

polarised to block blinding glare, another distinct advantage when driving.

with opposite cyls

Younger Optics’ Trilogy lenses are made from PPG’s Trivex material. This material

to 4.00. Higher

is well-regarded for its thin and light characteristics as well as its impact and

prescrip.ons, including

chemical resistance. Additionally, its higher Abbé value makes this material the

len.cular, are also available. The lens edge

preferred choice for those looking for a lens that is optically superior to

is sealed with a silicon ‘O’ ring to stop



For further details visit: For further details telephone:

+ 44 (0) 1452 510321

or Norville

Customised lenses from Zeiss Zeiss customised lenses are designed to be the ul.mate solu.on for both prac..oners

Stick-on nose pads

and pa.ents. The lenses are op.mised to the visual needs of each spectacle wearer,

Western Supply, Inc have intro-

and enable prac..oners to provide an extensive range of lens designs and dispensing

duced a new line of silicone nose

solu.ons that leave sa.sfied pa.ents.

pads, which

The company’s Progressive Individual 2 lens represents the ul.mate in visual comfort

are fea-

for spectacle wearers. This top .er lens provides the highest level of quality and design

tured in

individualisa.on. Due to the patented

the firm's

EyeFit technology, over 40,000


surface calcula.on points

2015 dis-

are used to provide wear-


ers with op.mal visual

hand tool

performance in every


viewing situa.on.

The ex-

Zeiss Progressive Su-

panded cat-

perb uses the advanced

alogue and

FrameFit technology to allow

website pro-

corridor lengths to be adapted to

vides the op-

the wearer’s exact frame shape and style – in unlimited frame selec.on for pa.ents. Finally, Zeiss Progressive Plus 2 is characterised by its enhanced binocular balance of the progressive zones, providing pa.ents with greater visual comfort and larger fields of view.

.cian with more unique dispensing hand tools and accessories and ‘how to’ informa.on about the extensive Western line. For further details visit:

For further details visit:


April 2015


AtoZ of OPTICAL websites All the companies listed in our A to Z guide are featured on our own Website along with a Hyperlink. Log onto and select the company you are looking for, then simply click on their URL which is highlighted and you’ll be automatically re-directed. Remember to bookmark the Optical World Website so you can easily locate it for future use. If your company’s Website is not shown below, contact us immediately, via our email address – The annual cost of an entry in this guide is £90 (£180 with logo)

Federation of Manufacturing Opticians


AIM Specialty Materials


Fil-Tech Inc

Arch Crown

Automation & Robotics

Bühler Alzenau GmbH Business Area Leybold Optics

Groupe Couget Optical

PBG Piezoelettrica Business General Srl

Hong Kong Optical Fair

Phantom Research Labs Inc

POMDI-Herramientas De Diamante S.A.


Cerium Optical Products

Comes Fratelli Colombo S.r.l.

Schneider GmbH & Co. KG

Comexpo – Silmo

Contact Lens Manufacturers Association

SEIKO Optical UK –


Norville Autoflow

Reed Exhibition Companies

OLA (Optical Laboratories Association)

Fair & Cheer Inc


Omega L.E.D. Ltd “driven with integrity & excellence”

Wenzhou Int’l Optics Fair, China

The International Suppliers Guide Circulates to over 11,500 readers in more than 100 countires

IS YOUR COMPANY FEATURED HERE Telephone: (44) 1702 345443 Email: W

April 2015


The International Suppliers Guide Circulates to over 11,500 readers in more than 100 countires


The International Suppliers Guide Circulates to over 11,500 readers in more than 100 countires


April 2015


The International Suppliers Guide Circulates to over 11,500 readers in more than 100 countires



April 2015




SURFACING MANAGER SOUTH EAST OF ENGLAND An experienced Surfacing Manager is required for a busy optical lab based in the South East of England. Competitive salary and bene its Email: info@optical‐ and quote Box No. 0415 (All applications will be kept in the strictest of con idence)

2015 EXHIBITION DIARY 2015 18-20 April

Optrafair Birmingham 2015 NEC, Birmingham, UK

22-24 April

DIOPS 2015 The 14th Daegu International Optical Show Exco, Daegu, Korea

29 May - 1 June

3-5 July

9-11 September

British Contact Lens Association Clinical conference and Exhibition Liverpool, UK ODMA 2015 Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre Australia 28th China International Optics Fair China International Exhibition Centre Beijing, PR China

17-19 September

International Vision Expo West Sands Expo Centre, Las Vegas, USA

25-28 September

SILMO 2015 Parc des Expositions, Villepinte, Paris, France

6-8 October

IOFT 2015 28th International Optical Fair, Tokyo, Japan

4-6 November

Hong Kong Optical Fair Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

FORTHCOMING FEATURES MAY ISSUE Survey: Abrasive pads, powders and diamond wheels If you wish your company to be included in the above survey please send relevant information to our technical editor Tony Jarratt

The International Suppliers Guide Circulates to over 11,500 readers in more than 100 countires 32

Mr A. JARRATT ‘Dornie’ Carpenters Wood Drive (Opposite No. 53) Chorleywood, Herts WD3 5RW, UK Email:

Spotlight on Asia


www.easypower .tw www.thintechlen

Hong Kong O Manufacturers A ptical ssociation www.hkoptical.o ww

Optical World - April 2015  
Optical World - April 2015