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eople are lazy. They are careless. They cut corners and they readily slip into bad habits. Few opticians would openly insult their patients and customers by labelling them in this way but those of us involved in the contact lens industry are all too aware of the need constantly to reinforce compliant hygiene regimes. Last month’s Love Your Lenses campaign, run in the United Kingdom by the General Optical Council from March 25‐31, offered a timely reminder of the need for contact lens wearers to take greater care in the way they look after their lenses, and the need for them to attend for regular check‐ups. The GOC campaign was prompted by research that showed shockingly high levels of non‐compliance with professional advice on safe contact lens wear and care. Disturbingly high numbers of wearers wet their lenses with saliva. Most are blissfully unaware of the risks of amoeboid infection that can be picked up by rinsing lenses with tap water. As many as 44 per cent of those surveyed confessed to wearing their contact lenses in the shower. Campaigns like this are necessary from time to time but they are forced to walk a delicate tightrope. On the one hand, they need to grab attention and overcome innate resistance. On the other, they need to avoid generating such alarm that prospective new users are deterred from having lenses fitted. Campaigns also need to avoid seeming to make demands that patients perceive as being impractical or unfeasible. Most of the advice proffered by the GOC seemed eminently sensible, though they need the reminder with which few would take issue, that wearers should wash and dry hands prior to handling lenses. Some advice proved more contentious, however. Several of those we spoke to voiced scepticism at the GOC’s instruction to ‘replace your lens case at least monthly’. Engendered by notoriously overcautious supermarket ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ labelling, many wearers remained disbelieving of the GOC insistence that they should ‘discard lenses and solutions that are past their expiry date’. We live in an age where customers and patients are slow to comply but quick to complain. We need regularly to pass on clear and convincing instructions and advice, so kudos to the GOC for its lively campaign. It immediately followed Britain’s annual Comic Relief charity Red Nose Day. Let’s hope it has contributed to fewer red eyes.



CONTENTS April 2017 Volume 46 · Number 389


OUTLOOK 4 · Safilo digital museum for eyewear 5 · Optical Technologies management buyout 6 · Inspecs’ new chairman 7 · Silmo marks half century 8 · World Congress of Optometry

FEATURES 9 · Do lens materials matter? Consultant Editor Richard Chaffin explains just why 12 · Southbridge Heritage Museum charts the changes 14 · European optics market continues to grow 15 · Scene at Mido 2017 OW correspondent reports from Milan

OPTIPRODUCTS 21 · Fastgrind’s new photochromic lens

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April 2017



Myopia W

hat was the global incidence of myopia, back in the Middle Ages, when spectacles were invented twice over, in China and in Europe, as a ‘blessing to the aged’? Their purpose then, clearly, was to correct presbyopia, not short sight. We simply do not know whether the vision defect that is myopia was generally recognised. If statistics from today’s surviving hunter-gatherer societies are anything to go by, perhaps five per cent of the population were myopic (and five to 10 per cent, some of them very likely the same people, were literate, therefore potential beneficiaries if they lived long enough, of new fangled, nose-borne, spectacles). Who were these medieval myopes? Probably, some would have been male civil servants in China, and their equivalent, monastic scribes and book illustrators in the west. There are few tales of which we are aware of famous men and women spectacle-wearers, then as now. As for the warriors who populated the era’s reallife Games of Thrones: Crusaders, Teutonic Knights, warlords following Genghis Khan, Italian condottieri or their respective bands of spear-carriers probably would not have survived long enough with short sight to reproduce future myopic generations. Most myopes in the Middle Ages were 2

probably part of the illiterate peasant (or huntergatherer) majority who begat most of us, peering into their native fog alongside their emmetropic neighbours, knowing nothing other than their own reduced visual acuity. This may not have changed essentially until little more than a century ago. The human animal is a supremely adaptable species; even today, many opticians know non-patients who (alas) cope surprisingly well with a dioptre or more of uncorrected myopia. It was still the booklearned, relatively affluent, minority who, living long enough to experience presbyopia, provided the foundation on which the modern lens industry has built. Growing world population That was then; this is now. Myopia today is accorded the status of ‘a global epidemic’. By 2050, the experts predict, half the world’s population, around four billion people, will be myopic; by the end of the century, when total population is forecast to be 11 billion, there will therefore be over five and a half billion myopes. That’s a lot of pairs of glasses! The incidence in the Far East, where Chinese-race anatomical features predispose people for myopia, could then be 65 per cent overall: myopia will be the rule, not the exception, up to

InternationalSCENE the onset of presbyopia for all. (Will more myopic presbyopes pose new challenges to tomorrow’s lens designers?) What are the causes of myopia? A longer-thanstandard eyeball, is the standard answer, combined with other deviations from ‘normal’ in the ocular components. Myopia is inherited; a pair of shortsighted parents are particularly likely to have shortsighted children. Myopia has traditionally been associated with ‘being a bookworm’, spending much time in close-work tasks. More recently, major studies in the USA, Australia, Singapore (where at least 80 per cent of today’s population are myopic) and elsewhere in the Far East seem to have confirmed that time spent indoors during childhood and adolescence, when vision is developing, promotes progression. From this researchers have deduced that too little early exposure to ultraviolet radiation, especially UVB, could be implicated. How is myopia categorised? There seems to be general agreement that a refractive error of 0.50D.Sph. is the baseline at which myopia begins. A generation or so ago, in the UK, when ophthalmology was still fighting a rearguard action to have all myopia classified as an ‘eye disease’ questions used to be raised within the National Health Service about the legitimacy of prescribing for ‘low’ myopia (say -1.00D.Sph. or less), which was argued to be unnecessary. Generally myopia between -3.00 and -6.00D.Sph is regarded today as ‘moderate’. Some ophthalmologists regard -5.00D.Sph as a more appropriate threshold at which ‘high’ myopia begins; laboratories have tended to agree that some 85 per cent of minus prescriptions fall below 6.00D. The American Academy of Ophthalmology defines -8.00D.Sph, with an axial length of eyeball greater than 32.5mm, as the beginning of ‘pathological’ myopia, beyond which a host of complications from retinal detachment to cataract may arise. ‘The economic burden of health interventions … is to be considered’. As Dr Annette Parkinson pointed out in a recent survey of the subject for OPTICAL WORLD’S contemporary the Optician, this burden falls on the state as well as the individual; in Singapore today, the cost of vision-correction for an 80 per cent myopic population is already over $750 million. In the 21st Century, myopia correction, along with attempts to control its progression, is shared between spectacles and contact lenses – including the 1930s-originated contact lens principle of

orthokeratology to reduce or retard progression – various forms of refractive surgery such as LASIK, clear lens exchange, and daily instillation of lowdose atropine, traditionally used for pupil dilation. This last seems so far to be the most successful approach, says Dr Parkinson, but has not yet been tried outside the Far East; its long-term effects on children’s eyes remain unknown. Spectacle lenses remain the myopia remedy in widest use. Researchers so far conclude that, though the causes of myopia as an ‘epidemic’ are complex, its association with the processes of industrialisation and urbanisation seems clear. As they continue, so presumably will the growth of myopia. The spectacle industry at least, should be happy – and should stand ready to furnish scientists with data from the vast repository of global myopia statistics it must hold. Merger and innovations It is unlikely that other spectacle industry companies were awaiting Essilor+Luxottica’s lead to set up their own enterprises marrying lenses with spectacle frames. These developments take time to bring to fruition. Nonetheless, a whole crop of these has been sprouting across the world since Essilor+Luxottica announced their intention to merge. The merger, incidentally, is expected to be complete by the end of this year. Hoya, which has set out on an acquisitions trail of its own in the upper echelons of the lens market, in fact beat E+L to the draw with its launch of Yuniku, one of the headline stories at Opti 2017: a venture which utilises the potential of 3D printing to create a new form of lens-centric spectacle customisation. Maui Jim, the high-end plano sunglass specialist which has been gaining an international reputation not just for distinctive style, but for lens innovation and quality, is opening a lens laboratory in Germany focusing not only on tints to prescription but clear lenses too. Meanwhile Silhouette, already branching ot again into fresh areas of frame development, is opening a prescription laboratory near its traditional HQ in Linz, Austria: another significant advance at the high end of the spectacle market. As for E+L: the two companies are each reported to have innovations in the pipeline before they merge. Essilor is already signalling plans for its top lens brands, while Luxottica is introducing RayBan to prescription in what will be by far the world’s largest ever spectacle business. W

April 2017



Safilo launch digital museum dedicated to eyewear Debuting at Mido 2017, is the newest

experience and share the wonder of a museum visit from

digital museum in the world entirely dedicated to eyewear,

the preferred device, making the most of social networks

its history and technology. A project that highlights the role

with intuitive features and language.

of Safilo Group as the historical leader and founder of the

Every guest visiting the will have the

Italian eyewear manufacturing tradition, the forerunner of

opportunity to register and create a personal gallery,

the industry, as well as the company that owns one of the

selecting and downloading the favorite pieces from the 300

most important private collections dedicated to eyewear in

unique pieces of Safilo’s permanent collection on display.

the world, collected over many years in the memory of its historical owner Guglielmo Tabacchi. was developed and produced in collaboration with RedFarm and Cantiere di Comunicazione, a

Designed for global smart-visitors, as well as for scholars,

company of the Group Take. It is a project that dovetails

researchers and for those who are curious about the history

with the company’s 2020 Strategic Plan, and aims to enhance

of costume and the eyewear industry, is

and preserve the heritage and the tradition of craftsmanship,

a Cloud-based digital project that allows visitors to discover,

along with the company’s digital vision statement.


LVMH tighten eyewear grip French luxury goods group LVMH will set up a design and manufacturing joint venture with spectacles maker Marcolin, and take a 10 per cent stake in the Italian company, to give it more control over its prestigious eyewear brands. LVMH is following rival Kering's lead in moving away from the traditional licensing model, which boosts eyewear manufacturers' sales while brand owners earn royalties. Marcolin said in a statement it would make eyewear for LVMH's Celine and Louis Vuitton brands from 2018, aiming to gradually become the French group's preferred partner in the business. The move could be a blow to Italy's Safilo Group, the world's second-biggest eyewear maker, which currently holds LVMH licenses worth 340 million euros ($366 million), more than a quarter of its annual sales. LVMH will own 51 per cent of the joint venture and Marcolin the rest. As part of the deal, LVMH will subscribe to a reserved 22 million euro ($24 million) capital increase at Marcolin, taking a stake of around 10 per cent.


De Rigo Vision and Chopard renew collaboration De Rigo, one of the world’s leading eyewear companies,and

for perfection and excellence.

Chopard, the prestigious House of fine watchmaking and

De Rigo Group chairman Ennio De Rigo declared, ‘We

jewellery, are to continue their partnership to design,

are very proud of the human and professional relationship

produce and distribute worldwide Chopard Eyewear pre-

that has tied us to the Scheufele family and the Chopard

scription glasses and sunglasses.

brand for over ten years. The early renewal of our part-

The collaboration between the De Rigo and Scheufele

nership strengthens a collaboration that will allow us to

families is an example of how two international companies

seize new growth opportunities for this exclusive and

can share the same fundamental values: a constant quest

prestigious brand’.



LensWare International GmbH subsidiary Thanks to LensWare International’s successful development in the Brazilian market, as well as in many South American countries, it became necessary to establish a subsidiary in the economic capital of the region, São Paulo, in order to create closer technical support, and to build a foundation for a sustainable market development. LensWare Brasil Limitada is located in the district of Liberdade, in São Paulo Center City. ‘It is a major move for our company, and we are proud to carry on with such an ambitious development to provide more efficiently our advanced solutions to the Brazilian market,’ said Dr. Freyermuth, CEO of LensWare International GmbH.




BCLA conference will celebrate the best in contact lenses An inaugural awards ceremony will celebrate the world’s

The conference will see the BCLA mark its 40th anniversary

finest contact lens and anterior eye professionals —with

by looking to the future of contact lenses as well as cele-

the BCLA honouring the very best in the business.

brating the industry’s proud past.

The first ever BCLA Awards will be handed out at the or-

Hundreds of eye care professionals are expected to

ganisation’s forthcoming Clinical Conference and Exhibition

attend the event, which will include world-renowned guest

as part of its 40th anniversary celebrations to be held in

speakers, hands-on workshops and a spectacular 40th An-

Liverpool on June 9-11, 2017.

niversary dinner.


BCLA president Brian Tompkins said: ‘Reaching 40 gives us the chance to celebrate the huge strides the industry regards to embracing the new technology we have at our

Optical Technologies management buyout

disposal, and the future looks incredibly exciting for us all.

Optimal Technologies, the UK based global leader in the

has made over the past four decades, particularly in

‘The industry is full of incredible talent and these awards

design and production of ophthalmic lens cleaning and

will help to recognise that, giving people the perfect

coating machinery, report a management buyout led by

platform to showcase their talents and get the accolades

the managing director Dean Thompson and business

they so thoroughly deserve.’


Further details of the awards will be available on the

The company will continue to operate under the new

BCLA website shortly, with eye care practitioners able to

leadership of Mr Thompson and the same team, backed

apply themselves. The closing date for applications is

by the support and advice of the original owner Trevor

Friday, April 7 2017




April 2017



Lord MacLaurin joins Inspecs as chairman Lord MacLaurin, the former chairman of Tesco, Vodafone

Robin founded Inspecs in 1988 following a career as an

and the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) has joined

international investment banker in the city. It fast became

Inspecs Group, the Bath headquartered eyewear design

a global business by licensing notable brands, as well as

and manufacturing company, as its new chairman.

producing a number of house brands. The company

Commenting on the appointment, Robin Totterman, In-

designs, manufactures and distributes eyewear products

specs chief executive, said: ‘We’re very fortunate to

under licence for Superdry, O’Neill, CAT and Radley,

have Lord MacLaurin on board. His experience in world

amongst others. Inspecs also owns Algha Works (founded

leading retail and sports makes him an invaluable asset

1889) in London, where the iconic Savile Row brand is

to the company’.



Bausch + Lomb launch digital hub Bausch + Lomb, a company of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, has launched their enhanced digital hub, With over 160 years of eye care heritage and devoted international expertise, Bausch + Lomb remains at the forefront of visionary innovations. Introducing their next generation website — a destination for patients and healthcare professionals to access the latest information on eye concerns and associated eye care advice — which will become a hive of activity for eye care professionals, delivering educational materials, news, product information and expert insight. The innovative hub has been built to feature enhanced navigation and architecture, plus a new visual design to display the dynamic content, facilitating a more intuitive, clear and user-friendly experience.



Mondottica Group acquire Cogan Mondottica Group continues to strengthen its position as a rapid-growth challenger in the premium and luxury eyewear market, with the acquisition of French eyewear manufacturer and distributor Lunettes Yves Cogan. The integration of French-made luxury eyewear manufacturing capability will underpin Mondottica Group’s expansion into the ultra-luxury market through its dedicated luxury business unit Brando, and provide further technical manufacturing and innovation capability to the group’s new proprietary brand division, Spine Optics. The acquisition will also afford synergies in management and distribution which will support the continued growth of Cogan’s existing business in key markets. The company will continue to be based in Jura in the heart of France with no planned workforce reorganisation.

Obituary: Mr Philippe Lafont Philippe Lafont, president of Lafont, Paris, passed away suddenly on March 6, 2017 at the age of 70. A well-respected leader in the optical market, he was a tireless advocate of the ‘Made in France’ movement, serving as president of Silmo as well as with his contribution to GIFO (Groupement des Industriels et Fabricants de l’Optique), the French eyewear association. Lafont’s sons, Thomas and Matthieu, will continue to support their father’s efforts promoting the ‘Made in France’ campaign. The Lafont company, founded in 1979 by Philippe and his wife, Laurence, will continue the family’s legacy as a pioneer and innovator of luxury eyewear made in France, upholding the company’s core values of integrity, craftsmanship and elegance. W




Silmo Paris — 50 years of commitment 2017 is a key year and an anniversary year, as Silmo Paris

Since Silmo was founded, the trade show has extended

2017 (scheduled for October 6-9) is celebrating its half

its sphere of influence by launching strategic offshoots —


Silmo Istanbul and Silmo Syd-

Over the past 50 years, Silmo

ney — with the aim of meeting

Paris has demonstrated its

the high expectations of high

adaptability and close rela-

potential markets. This ap-

tionship with sector businesses

proach seeks to bolster Silmo

while managing its own ex-

Paris’ international dimension

pansion, incorporating the new

and help interested businesses

generations of brands and de-

to explore growth markets.

signers, adapting to market

Silmo Paris is an influential,

developments, offering an ef-

pioneering and groundbreaking

fective business platform and a consistent quality level in

Silmo Paris

trade fair. It is also a proactive trade fair, working with and

order to optimise the investment made by exhibitors and

alongside all the stakeholders in the optics and eyewear

visitors alike.

sector in France and worldwide.



April 2017



World Congress of Optometry The second World Congress of Optometry, with the theme ‘Accessible, quality vision and eye health’, is being held in Hyderabad, India from September 11-13, 2017. This biennial congress is a World Council of Optometry initiative in partnership with its members the Asia Pacific Council of Optometry and the India Vision Institute. This year’s theme ties into the WHO ‘Universal Eye Health: A global action plan 2014 - 2019’, the target of which is a reduction in the prevalence of avoidable visual impairment by 25 per cent by 2019. One of the ways to accomplish this is to have in place a strong and equitable eye health system within which optometry plays a valuable and essential role. The World Congress provides optometrists, vision scientists, educators, researchers, students and other visual health professionals with an exciting programme, including lectures and workshops in a variety of areas including ocular disease, binocular vision, glaucoma, low vision, contact lenses. At a strategic level the Presidential Forum will convene presidents of national optometric associations, deans of schools of optometry and key industry stakeholders to discuss the progress of optometry and shape the future of the profession across the world.



L’Amy license agreement with Condé Nast L’Amy America, part of International Luxury Group, has entered into a multi-year license agreement with Condé Nast to market and distribute sunglasses and ophthalmic frames for the Glamour brand under the name Glamour Editor’s Pick. ‘Glamour is a leading voice in fashion and beauty among influential millennial audiences, and we are thrilled to leverage the brand’s signature aesthetic and style expertise in an exciting new eyewear collection called Glamour Editor’s Pick,’ said Cathy Hoffman Glosser, senior vice president of licensing at Condé Nast. ‘We have found incredible partners in L’Amy America and look forward to introducing consumers to this new line, which will reflect Glamour’s mission to empower and inspire women.’ ‘We are pleased to partner with Condé Nast and Glamour to create eyewear collections for one of the most well-known and respected women’s brands in the United States’, said Stephen Rappoport, president and CEO of L’Amy America.



Do lens materials matter? asks Consultant Editor Richard Chaffin


ebster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines a lens as ‘a piece of transparent material (as glass) that has two opposite regular surfaces, either curved ….’. Ophthalmic lens material has traditionally been primarily glass. Other materials that are transparent may have been used but none as successfully as glass until approximately 75 years ago, when it was found that a new transparent material, plastic, might also work well as an ophthalmic lens. Webster defines plastic as a ‘plastic substance — any of numerous organic synthetic or processed materials that are mostly thermoplastic or thermosetting polymers of high molecular weight and that can be moulded, cast, extruded, drawn or laminated ….’. The word plastic comes from the Latin word plasticus of moulding, a material that can be moulded. Plastic lenses are moulded. Although glass lenses are also moulded they are not plastic. Plastic is an organic material and glass is an inorganic material that is often referred to as a liquid in a solid state. Both glass and plastic can be transparent. What is the history of plastics? Plastic material dates back to 1866 when John Wesley Hyatt created celluloid (cellulose nitrate) as a replacement for ivory billiard balls. In 1907 a Belgian born American, Leo Hendrik Baekeland, created the first syn-

thetic polymer, a thermosetting resin of phenol and formaldehyde that was called Bakelite, a hard stable material used extensively on appliance handles and later by the military in World War II. Polymer plastic has played a large part in plastic or organic ophthalmic lenses. It is interesting to note that military applications of plastic played a major part in the development of spectacle lenses. CR-39 was a plastic resin developed during WWII as a replacement for glass on the windshields of military aircraft. CR-39 is approximately half the weight of glass. PPG Industries was the supplier of CR-39 to the United States military. At the end of the war, PPG was left with a railroad tank car of material. Dr Graham, who was the scientist that developed the material, bought the tank car with the idea CR-39 could be used as a lens material. In the late 1940’s that was the start of plastic, thermoplastic, or thermosetting plastic as a lens material. Until that time no one had thought of plastic as a material for spectacle lenses. Key requirements for a lens material What are the important characteristics of a lens material? The answer is a complex mixture of physical, chemical and practical considerations. Starting with transparency, the amount of light that passes through the lens and the speed of that W

April 2017


light, the index of refraction, are two important factors. Abbe value is important. This is the measure of how light breaks down chromatically, causing aberration. Many years ago Zeiss, in patient trials, established a level of 40 for Abbe value as a minimum. Values below 40 are considered optically less than ideal. The weight of a material is important as plastic has proven. Physical characteristics such as scratch resistance, stability, strength, and safety are also to be considered. The chemistry of lens materials may include some of the same items, plus heat and substance resistance. The ability to colour and coat lens material are further considerations. In addition to all of these factors, there is the practical aspect of how the material can be manufactured into a prescription lens in the laboratory. How well can the material be drilled and edged? After years of working in the laboratory with glass only, there was a steep learning curve and new technologies necessary to grind and polish plastic material. That was not accomplished easily or quickly. Crown glass Crown glass with an index of refraction of 1.523 has been, and may remain, the major lens material worldwide. Glass is universally accepted as the best lens material optically. An inorganic material, glass as a lens has always been available with higher indices of 1.7, 1.8, and 1.9. These glasses were originally very heavy due to lead in their formulas. The substitution of titanium for the lead in these glasses has reduced their weight. Glass has superior heat and chemical resistance but is almost twice the weight of plastics. The safety or shatter resistance of glass is not as good in general as plastics. CR-39 is a thermosetting plastic with an index of refraction of 1.499. Next to glass CR-39 has the best optical qualities of any of the plastic lens materials. CR-39 has the largest share of the plastic lens materials in the world eyewear market. An ideal plastic material for most prescriptions (80 per cent) CR-39 is also the primary plastic progressive lens material. Polycarbonate is a thermoplastic polymer with an index of refraction of 1.59. Injection moulded, polycarbonate is a soft material that has to be coated for scratch resistance but has excellent safety characteristics. Polycarbonate was another lens material developed originally for military use. 10

The helmets used by US military pilots are made with a visor of polycarbonate. The US is the only market that has a large proportion of lenses made with polycarbonate. The reason for polycarbonate’s success in the United States is its safety. The US is the only country in the world that requires a drop ball, impact resistance test for lenses. Trivex is yet another example of military research creating an ophthalmic material. Trivex has an index of 1.54. A thermosetting polymer, Trivex is a material incorporating urethane. Polyurethane is basically a rubber type material that can be extremely flexible or hard as rock. Trivex is the lightest weight of all the plastic lens materials and has good safety features. It is recommended for children’s glasses. Range of indices Indices 1.60, 1.66, 1.70, and 1.74 are all varieties of polymer plastic using urethane in their mix. For many years plastic lens materials were thought to be unable to reach higher indices. Mainly through research and development in Japan plastic lens materials have advanced in index of refraction to where they are now. However, as plastic indices advance they have also sacrificed some important lens material characteristics. Abbe values are one of these as well as colour and coating ability. Higher index plastic lens materials are more costly and save very little in weight and thickness for most prescriptions. The future of lens materials may include more than just the traditional materials outlined above. There are glasses that use liquid lenses that can be squeezed or shaped manually or automatically to form a lens. There are highly sophisticated glasses with electronic lenses that will recognise where a person is looking and in milliseconds adjust the lenses for the appropriate correction distance, near or far, but these lenses would eliminate the need for progressive lenses or multifocals. However, this idea has not been perfected as yet. New discoveries in plastic or even glass materials are possible at any time. There is no question, lens materials do matter. What are the most important factors, optics, chemistry, weight, workability, or economics? That answer seems to be up to the laboratory, the dispenser and the wearer to decide. One thing is for sure, however, the optical world will always demand lens materials that provide good vision, look good, and feel good.

Leading technology and services for the ophthalmic industry. Bühler e is one er on ne off the e world d’s lead ding sup uppl pliers of indus ustr us t ia al eq equipm pmen pm e t wiith th a prese ence in ove v r 140 coun untr un trie ies. Ou O r in n-depth exp xp pertise in th he fifie eld d of optical proce essssses ess and e nd dep epo ep ossititio ion systems is farr io superior to an any ot othe he h er p pllayyerrs in n the field of vacuum thin-film coatititing ng g. Jo oin n us as a we look towards the future and rea ap th he be ben fits of highly efficient ecobene nomic solutions. s.. Got a qu Got ques esti tion on? ? Le L t’ t s ta talk lk abo bout bo ut it. leyb le ybol oldo dopt ptic ics@ s@bu buhl hler e gr g oup. com

Innovations for a better world.

Southbridge Heritage Museum charts the changes How spectacles became a lifestyle accessory


he biggest breakthroughs in optics in the 21st century are driven more by technology than fashion. The result is a wide array of lifestyle‐ specific eyewear customised for patients’ different activities and needs. We are still in the early stages of this revolution, and in the not‐so‐distant future spec‐ tacles might be more like smartphone apps than tra‐ ditional glasses. Yet lifestyle eyewear is actually more than 100 years old, and its sur‐ prising history is now revealed in photos and documents shared on‐ line by the Optical Heritage Museum in Southbridge, Massachusetts. These images, many of them unseen for decades, come from the archives of American Optical, now owned by Zeiss. ‘These innovations from the past laid the groundwork for the high tech eyewear of today,’ explains Zeiss vice president, Karen Roberts. ‘Lifestyle needs have changed sig‐ nificantly in the last hundred years. Now we have Zeiss Digital Lenses for smartphone users and Zeiss DriveSafe lenses for today’s drivers. But the basic idea of matching eyewear to specific activities hasn’t changed.’ The word ‘lifestyle’ didn’t even exist in the English language when American Optical launched a major marketing campaign in 1916 to promote the dispensing of customised eyewear for different activities. In fact, the word didn’t show up until 1929, and almost nobody used it until the 1970s, when suddenly everyone started talking about lifestyle products. In 1967 the Chicago Tribune only used the word ‘lifestyle’ seven times during the course of the entire year, but during 1972 it appeared 3,300 times in the pages of that same newspaper. We now take it for granted that spectacles are a consumer lifestyle prod‐ 12

uct. But as far back as 1913, American Optical used the term ‘Fits‐U Eyeglasses’ to describe this concept. Over the next decade, the company introduced a range of spectacles to meet the diverse needs of the market. In an era when most people saw spectacles as a med‐ ical device, American Optical laid the groundwork for its later reinvention as a consumer product. The options for eyewear users ex‐ panded with the passing decades. In a 1950 brochure,American Optical was already touting its specialised eyewear for 22 different lifestyles ‐ including theatre glasses, hunting glasses and sportswear glasses. ‘You won’t miss a trick at the bridge party if you’re wearing all‐ purpose trifocals,’ the brochure promised. The pitch for shaving glasses declared that they would ‘bring every whisker into sharp focus.’ ‘We’ve come a long way since those days,’ Roberts comments. ‘Advanced coatings and tints en‐ hance the performance of today’s lifestyle eyewear, and our innova‐ tive progressive designs have made those trifocals obsolete.’ The activities have changed too. ‘Driving glasses in 1916 were like goggles, and needed to protect wearers from dust and debris in open‐air vehicles,’ says Optical Heritage Museum executive director Dick Whitney. ‘But today, drivers need more help seeing the complex dashboard controls at mid‐vision range as well as traf‐ fic and obstacles in the distance.’ What does the future bring? ‘High tech lifestyles cre‐ ate new vision needs and also new risks to our eye‐ sight,’ Roberts notes. ‘People may think that specta‐ cles are old technology, but they will probably play a key role in how we navigate the lifestyles of the next century.’

European opcs market records over % billion in $%, with growth of $." per cent GfK reports connued European growth


fK, the world leading market research institution, has announced its latest figures for key European retail optics markets (Italy, France, Spain and Germany), confirming a turnover of €17,6 billion for 2016, giving sales value growth of 0.9 per cent compared to the previous year. GfK published the findings to coincide with the international Mido 2017 trade fair in Milan. The GfK Optics Panel tracks sales data in the optician channel for sunglasses, frames, spectacle lenses, contact lenses and solutions for contact lenses. The 2016 figures show a year-on-year increase of 0.9 per cent of the optical market for Italy, France, Spain and Germany, with a total turnover of over 17 billion euro. These four countries register varied performances: Italy and Germany drove the growth with sales value increases of 3.4 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively, compared to the same period last year. Spain, on the other hand, recorded a negative performance with a decrease of 2.6 per cent. However, it was France, which accounts for 38 per cent of the European market in terms of value, that pulled down the region’s overall performance, with a flat trend of -0.5 per cent for sales value.

Spectacle lenses The spectacle lenses and spectacle frames categories, which represent 80 per cent of the overall optics market, have positively driven the performance of opticians in Europe with a sales value growth of 0.9 per cent and 2.2 respectively. Contact lenses and care products (representing 9 per cent of the total optics sales value) show a modest growth of 0.3 per cent. Despite a remarkable growth of 7.0 per cent in 2015 versus 2014; the sunglasses category is the only negative market this year, with a decline of 1.3 per cent versus 2015. ‘The European eyewear market is showing many interesting developments and dynamics, among which the ‘combination’ sector (plastic and metal together) is the fastest growing, standing at over 14

50 per cent growth compared to 2015’, says Francesco Foffa, GfK senior global product manager for optics. ‘Spectacle lenses market growth is driven by premium products in which innovation is influencing the performance more and more positively. Looking at market segments, the constant growth of organic progressive lenses (+4.6 per cent in EU4) and high refraction index lenses is key to sustaining the overall category growth’. ‘The European contact lenses market witnessed a growth of the daily segment, which is now giving its own positive contribution not only in the spherical part of the business, but also via smaller and more technical sides of the market such as the astigmatism and multifocal’. ‘The industry is currently going through an important process of consolidation, as well as of vertical integration, both at manufacturing and retail level’, comments Gianni Cossar, GfK’s global director for optics and eyewear. ‘GfK is currently supporting leading players within the optics industry in over 28 countries. Not only have we expanded our presence in emerging regions such as India, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, but we have also further consolidated operations in Europe and South America by expanding into the Czech Republic and Chile’. About GfK GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices. For more information, please visit or follow GfK on Twitter:

Scene at MIDO 2017 OW correspondent reports from Milan


hanging the game in the ophthalmic chain. More than 1200 of these players were enindustry’ was Satisloh’s choice of title rolled to exhibit at Mido 2017, held as usual in a for their copistring of halls at Milan's ously attended press congiant Rho Perro centre, ference at Mido 2017. A with well over 50,000 good choice, too, for the visitors. first Mido to take place How and where the following the announcechanges and repercusment of a truly gamesions following the Eschanging merger besilorLuxottica merger will tween Satisloh’s parent play out will probably Thomas Molkenthin, Novacel, Hans Dieter Jung, Schneider, and Essilor and Luxottica of have begun to be seen by Novacel president Rüdiger Düning, look on as Gunter Schneider, president of Schneider demonstrates the CCB modulo Italy. Each already a the time of Mido 2018 world leader in their re(February 24-26). The spective sectors of the spectacle industry – 2017 show featured its now customary enclave broadly, lenses and frames – Essilor and Luxottica of frame as well as lens making equipment manare coming together over the ufacturers grouped together in course of this year to create by Hall 5 amid a vast phalanx of far the largest, most diverse and mostly Chinese frame and suninternational business group the glass specialists, underlining the industry has ever seen, with an fair's identity mainly as a showoverall market value estimated case for the world’s endless vaat £45 billion, annual revenues riety of fashion-related ophof £15 billion, a collection of thalmic products. Here firms world-recognised ophthalmic like Satisloh nonetheless flew a brands from Varilux to RayBan, valiant and successful flag for and a strong foothold – one the industry which underpins might say a platform – in optical the frame and sunglass market. retail both off and on line. Satisloh showcased continuCoburn Technologies’ David Short in Changing the game indeed, for ing new product developments discussion with Hugh McAllister, sales engineer of KY Diamond, ultra-precision all its worldwide players, whatdesigned to move lens manudiamond tool manufacturer, Canada ever their places on the supply facturing further and faster to-


April 2017


wards the goals of improved accuracy, control and streamlining through automation. At Mido 2016 the focus had been on the smaller laboratory, and bridging the gap between manufacturing and retailing. This year Larry Clarke, Satisloh president and COO, unveiled the next-generation

Pictured on the Cerium stand are Olatz Areitio and Tomás López, Alens, Spain, Robert Krug, Cerium and Alejandro Arana, Alens

1200-DLX-2 anti-reflection box coater, specifically designed to meet the requirements of major lens laboratories and producers for stock, which will become available in Autumn. Features include an ‘intelligent’ shield system for automated pumping speed and lens surface protection, which helps sustain higher productivity yet reduces energy use and simplifies maintenance. The 1200-DLX-2 can be coupled with Satisloh's new Integrated Smart Conveyor (ISC) incorporating the MES-360 ‘smart’ lens manufacturing system. To finish: ES-5 blockless edging. MEI, the Italian lens edging specialists who are themselves ‘changing the game’ with their revolutionary milling technology, underlined their commitment to lens finishing with two stands. One in the far pavilion of the Lens Hall (Hall 3) focused on the EzFit machine range, including the latest EzFit NoBlock, for small laboratories and the retail sector. Their Tech Hall (Hall 5) stand featured the new computerised, contactless Direct Calibration Unit (DCU) designed to quickly and automatically identify the parameters required for axis optimisation of MEI edgers in major laboratories. France’s SCL International showcased the CTE250 P and 500 P, new automatic machines for in-line lens cleaning, utilising brushing and pres-


sure post-polishing. These machines are selfmaintaining. OptoTech’s exhibit featured the Flash Twin-A digital surfacer, with faster than ever spindles and twin tools to process two free-form lenses at a time to the highest quality standards. It complements the firm's high-throughput ESM TwinA and the versatile ASP 80 Twin-A polisher. Also on show: the latest 60 lens capacity (70mm diameter) OAC 75 anti-reflection lens coating system, which can also produce tinted and mirrored lens finishes. Schneider followed the two-stand pattern, at one location featuring their ground-breaking Nano Line mini-lab concept, while focusing at their main Hall 5 stand on alloy-free blocking, the new semi-automated LCV80 brush cleaning system for the small-to-medium lens laboratory, and the high-volume EBC1400 AR box coater. Given the diversity of materials in use on the lens scene today it is no surprise that equipment for both hard and AR coating featured prominently this year. Bühler of Germany showcased the Leybold Optics CCS 610, ‘the unique modular coater … that grows with your business’. The firm also offered the compact Star4/90 sputter coater together with its own design ‘turnkey’ micro-lab amid a range of start-up and upgrade lab options,

Alexander Friedl, Karl-Heinz Raffin and Peter Frank, Carl Zeiss Vision GmbH, being shown OptoTech’s ASP 80 Twin-A automatic cleaning station by OptoTech’s vice president Oswin Lack and general manager Thomas Krausgrill

along with the traditional Leybold offer of largecapacity lens cleaning and AR coating systems. One focus of in-house R&D: sports lens and environment-friendly coatings. Comes of Italy showed a new range of AR coating units, designed to meet the requirements of

Nidek’s Ryoji Shibata, deputy general manager (development), Eye Care Division, pictured on the company stand with the AES-2200 with Stacker Unit (Nidek Intelligent Conveyor System)

DAC Vis ion’s bu sy


Verena Kern printer to , sales and m ark Linards Kovalevs eting, Cotec, d emonstra kis and Jurijs Sa ting the veljevs, Matrix 3 Likor, La .0 tvia

X-Cube ting the monstra c, Serbia e d , e p ti ro Teco Eu , Pol Op anager, savljević l sales m nd Dejan Rado a n o ti a ća tern outin, in to Miloš Petrovi Florie M l printer a it ig d s len

ead iorno, h xt io Bong ro Anton -DLX-2, the ne e G d n ,a 00 tisloh AG veiling the 12 utumn 2017 a S , O ly, un ble A nd CO sloh, Ita system, availa sident a gy, Sati rke, pre g Larry Cla oating technolo volume coatin c high of R&D tisloh’s on of Sa generati


April 2017


laboratories of all sizes. The ‘Made in Italy’ AR6, AR10 and AR14 (respective vacuum chamber capacities, 44, 126 and 246 70mm diameter lenses)

Pictured on the Comes stand are Claudio Celotto of LTL, being shown the AR-6 vacuum coating machine by Comes managing director Giovanni Colombo and Matteo De Vita

offer faster processing on the full spectrum of modern lens materials plus a variety of applications including mirror and gradient colour coatings. Centrepiece of Coburn Technologies display was the innovative Velocity spin hard coater, making its Mido debut following a highly successful US launch which, it is rumoured, will see the machine appearing in big-name industry contexts internationally. Capable of integration into fully automated lab systems, the Velocity (capacity 120 lenses per hour) pre-washes lenses in auto-loading mode, and so can take – for example – polycarbonate lenses direct from the surfacing and polishing line to hard coating, thus earning its name while streamlining the production process. The choice of lens coatings available from Coburn now includes the durable, tintable UVMax. This display also featured the Cobalt LTE ‘mist cutting’ lens generator, with its advantages for the smaller lab looking to upgrade. New from Automation & Robotics was the ProMapper, a compact, table-top size lens checking and inspection unit, completing A&R’s range of ultra-reliable lens inspection devices. Designed for maximum ease of use, Pro-Mapper makes possible a fast, accurate battery of checks on finished lens conformity with Standards and with design/order parameters, registering measurements at all points over the whole lens surface. The company’s digital inking technology can be incorporated with the Pro-Mapper.


Teco’s X-Cube digital printer can now be fully automated utilising a new RM module. Cotec focused on their readily integratable, fully automated Matrix 3.0 progressive lens marking system; maintenance is also automated. The Matrix technology can also be provided as a standalone unit, in semi-automated or manual form. Advances in lens processing are necessarily underpinned by innovation in tools, dyes and lab consumables. Cerium showed a huge variety of Surface Saver tapes, made in their own Kent, England, HQ. The choice includes Pre-Cal, which incorporates a glue-free strip for easy removal from the lens after processing. Also on show, Cerium’s latest formulation of their Shades lens dyes, now faster to use thanks to improved temperature resistance. Shades can be supplied in liquid or – reflecting the company’s substantial global sales – in readily reconstitutable powder form for identical post-mixing performance combined with reduced shipping costs. Briot’s new Altra Evolution edging system, designed with the optical retail market in mind, in-

Coburn sales manager David Short demonstrates the Velocity spin coater to Sean Donnachie, operations director, Norville Group

corporates brush-free motors for quieter operation, a novel optical tracing system and quicker blocking capacity for all-round faster, high-accuracy performance. Nidek showed a wide choice of edgers – just part of a comprehensive display catering for every aspect of eyecare and eyewear service – ranging from the Xtrimer SE1 dry edger for high volume operations to the start-up lab’s LE700. The growth in popularity of super hydrophobic top lens coatings has prompted the development

SCL International president Denis Gehrig demonstrating the CTE-250 cleaning system to Noureddine Sahnoun, technical director, Opty Lab, Tunisia

MEI president Stefano Sonzogni chat’s with Matt Schmidt, OptoTech

Antonio C Brazil, ch arlos S. de O liv atting w ith Auto eira and Fábio mation Matsu & Robo tics’ CEO mura, Braslab O Christia n Closse ptical, t

Phantom s n eting at nd mark hantom Auto Le a s le sa of eP director monstrating th , n a rg l 95 Jeff Mo s, pictured de e mode machin h Lab Tinting Researc

DAI Optical’s impressive stand


April 2017


of Axis STAB (Superhydrophobic Torque-resistant tional’ progressives, a new aspheric single vision Adhesive Blockpad) edging pads to add to the design, bifocals and specialist low vision lens dePads4Labs consumables range shown. Pads4Labs sign software created by Gaetano Volpe’s team also featured tintable Lti hard coat for the new using advanced wavefront ray tracing (WFR) techgeneration of higher index lenses. nology. Also in Hall 3 Phantom Research Laboratories Procrea were among the companies located in of California offered a huge range of laboratory Lens Hall 3; also exhibiting there, leading spectaaccessories and consumables; prime emphasis cle lens names including Essilor, Hoya, Rodenthis year was on Optisafe lens dyes (available in stock, Younger Europe and Zeiss, along with Italy’s long lasting packet form) for a range of materials own Ital-Lenti and tinted glass lens specialists including polycarbonate and high index organic. Barberini, together with a wealth of contact lens The company also showed a choice of UV-block- companies. Nidek too, were there emphasising ing lens coatings including its AR compatible For- the separation of this hall with its retail-optics mula 3 in gel paste packet form. appeal from the manufacturing-orientated Tech GKB of India showcased an interesting con- Hall. cept in NightVision As ophthalmics anti-headlight glare changes its game, coating. with the global deFastGrind, as well as marcation lines befeaturing one of the tween the laborashow’s most memotory and retail rable stand strap lines sectors blurring, (lens surfacing for will this always be dummies) showcased the most logical ortheir compact inganisation of exstore lens processing hibits at this most system. This offers vital European fair? free-form advantages Are the Asian frame at less cost based on and sunglass comDr Karl Matl, head of optical sales, Bühler Group, Leybold mid-index lens usage. Optics demonstrating the CCS 610 vacuum coater panies (at least 150 Coating is optional. of them with WenThe proliferation of new lens processing equip- zhou in their company names) still best served by ment has led to growth of the market in spe- separation in the ‘Fair East’ Hall 7, surrounding cialised tool making. DAC Vision showed Forma the alien island of manufacturing equipment? On Flex digital polishing tools. From Canada, KY Dia- the first day at Mido 2017, it was not clear that mond, having successfully utilised a 2016 Mido the bulk of visitor-buyers were braving the trek to exhibit to show their range for prescription man- reach them. Yet their absence would leave a huge ufacturing laboratories, were this year extending hole in Mido’s exhibitor list. their offering among prime lens manufacturers Meantime, this vital world fair enjoyed good too. spring weather and a strong supporting inforFree-form lens market development has opened mation programme for retail and industry visiup fresh lens design opportunities. One interest- tors alike, with a pair of presentations on global ing exhibitor of lens design software was Novar market trends by GfK and Future Concepts Lab of Buenos Aires and Florida, whose Continuum as its centrepieces. It is expected to have attechnology developed by their R&D team over tracted a higher total of visitors from markets an eight year period aims to deliver more comfort across the globe than ever this year. Mido has and wider reading fields with personalised pro- always shown its ability to change and adapt gressive designs. Equally interesting: Procrea, a as the times in optics change around it. How division of Italy’s DAI Optical, offered in addition will this process demonstrate itself in 2018 and to a family of software programs for ‘unconven- onwards?


Fastgrind’s new photochromic lens Super Optical International have recently introduced their all new Conversion photochromic FT28 lenses at Vision Expo East in New York. The Conversion technology quickly changes from light to dark and back, while blocking harmful UV rays, completing the entire line of Conversion technology, along with the ADDvantage HD Plus digital progressives. The Conversion brand is proprietary to FastGrind, which enables the production of lenses in-office with immediate dispensing. FastGrind is the ‘all-in-one’ modified lens surfacing system intended for small to large independent practices. It offers the newest and best lenses that cost far less than the leading name brands to ensure the maximum return. For further details visit:

BPI spectrometer The BPI spectrometer covers wavelengths from 350nm to 710nm

the UVA transmi ance of the material being tested along with

with a resolu on of be er than 10nm. The

the numerical colour characteris cs. (L*, a*, and b*).

transmi ance spectrum results may be used

This provides a means for numerical colour

for quality control purposes, such as com-

descrip on. L*, a* and b* are

paring nted lenses as well as providing

the familiar CIELAB co-ordi-

informa on about what nts need to be

nates. L* is brightness (or

added to match the colour of another

lightness) ranging from 0

lens or a customer-supplied sample spec-

(black) to 100 (white). The a*

trum. The unit is free-standing, with in-

value goes from about -80

ternal light sources. It can also be

(green) to +100 (red), while the

a ached to a PC via the computer's USB

b* value goes from about -80


(blue) to +100 (yellow). The PC

The available so ware requires Microso Windows and PC (not included in purchase). The test results can be saved to an integrated database and can be printed out to any compa ble printer. The spectrometer

so ware displays a transmission curve and allows one curve to be overlaid upon another. For further details visit:

provides informa on on the visible transmi ance (Tv) as well as

Polarising display Polarising plano and prescrip on sunglasses are the fastest grow-

able exclusively from Swiss Eyewear Group, allows op cal retailers

ing segments in the industry. Op cians around the globe have

to showcase the benefits of polarisa on in a self-explanatory,

embraced this trend because polarising sunglasses offer their customers a true advantage that jus fies ‘upselling’ to a be er product.

modern and head-turning way. ‘The feedback from op cians who have been part of the pilot roll-out of

Un l now the stumbling block has

this display has been unbelievable.

been how to demonstrate the unique

INVU ultra polarised sunglasses are fly-

benefits of polarised lens technology to

ing off the shelves and the en re po-

customers in an eye catching way that

larised category, including prescrip-

fits the modern environment of today’s

ons lenses, has seen a huge sales

op cal retailers.

increase’ says Jerry Dreifuss, CEO of

INVU ultra polarised by Swiss Eyewear

Swiss Eyewear Group.

Group has the perfect solu on. The revolu-

For further details visit:

onary LCD display technology that is avail-


April 2017


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)

Acreas Fair & Cheer Inc



AIM Specialty Materials

Arch Crown

Automation & Robotics

Fil-Tech Inc

Federation of Manufacturing Opticians

Groupe Couget Optical

Hong Kong Optical Fair

Phantom Research Labs Inc

POMDI-Herramientas De Diamante S.A.


Bühler Alzenau GmbH Business Area Leybold Optics

PBG Piezoelettrica Business General Srl

Cerium Optical Products

Comes Fratelli Colombo S.r.l.

Schneider GmbH & Co. KG

Comexpo – Silmo

SEIKO Optical UK

Contact Lens Manufacturers Association

Stratox Ltd –


Norville Autoflow


OLA (Optical Laboratories Association)


Reed Exhibition Companies

Wenzhou Int’l Optics Fair, China


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April 2017



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


April 2017


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



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April 2017



Expo Abióptica 2017, São Paulo, Brazil

25-27 May

Thailand Optical Expo – THOPIX 2017 BITEC, Bangkok, Thailand

6-8 September

30th China International Optics Fair China International Exhibition Centre Beijing, PR China

14-16 September

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

6-9 October

SILMO 2017 Parc des Expositions, Villepinte, Paris, France

11-13 October

IOFT 2017 30th International Optical Fair Tokyo Big Sight, Japan

8-10 November

25th Hong Kong Optical Fair Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre Wan Chai, Hong Kong

28-30 November

Indo Optical Expo 2017 Jakarta Expo Centre, Kemayoran, Japan

30 November to 3 December

SILMO ISTANBUL Istanbul Fair Centre, Turkey





Survey: Hard Coating If you wish your company to be included in the above surveys please send relevant information to our technical consultant Peter Wilkinson Email:

Optical World April 2017  
Optical World April 2017