Page 1

March 2017






on’t bother with new lenses; if a patient complains about problems with their vision, just check they are cleaning their teeth properly. This puzzling advice sounds like nonsense, but it seemed to be the message conveyed to the public by journalists reporting on a recent United States study. Researchers at the State University of New York undertook a study of the dental history of 119 patients with glaucoma and 78 people with no history of the disease. They analysed the bacteria in each person’s mouth, as well as looking at the extent of dental work they had had and the oral health routines followed by each patient. Their preliminary findings were that streptococci bacteria were more commonly found in the mouths of glaucoma patients and that people who had undergone more dental work had a higher rate of glaucoma. The findings complement those reported last year in a much larger Florida study. Correlation and causality are two very different things. The US researchers will certainly have understood this, but, sadly, newspaper reporters can be somewhat hastier in jumping to conclusions. Until there is clearer evidence of some plausible associative pathway between the amount of dental work a patient has had and the pressure of fluid in their eyes, the jury remains outon whether these studies are signposting a route for achieving better eye care or whether they are merely noting a coincidental correlation. If the correlation proves to be spurious, it would not be the first: statisticians noted astonishingly close correlations over a ten year period between the divorce rate in the US state of Maine and the per capita consumption of margarine. They noted an equally precise correlation over a decade between the per capita consumption of cheese and the total revenue in the United States generated by skiing facilities. Annual cheese consumption and skiing revenues both also correlate precisely with the number of people in the US who die each year by becoming tangled in their bedsheets (shockingly, this is the apparent cause of death for between 400 and 800 people a year). It seems unlikely that any causal link will ever be found between dairy produce, winter sports and bedsheet mortality. Perhaps the dentistry/ glaucoma link will prove equally elusive.



CONTENTS March 2017 Volume 45 · Number 388

INTERNATIONAL SCENE 2 · A supergiant in ophthalmics

OUTLOOK 4 · Essilor in Hong Kong partnership 5 · Peter Reeve steps up at Stepper 6 · Keeler turns 100 years old 7 · Hoya Vision Care acquire 3M 8 · Record breaking London optical show

FEATURES 10 · Need we brand lenses? Consultant Editor Richard Chaffin poses the question 14 · The Global Optical Revolution Chris Hunt discusses how to cope with the challenges 18 · Survey Lens tinting equipment and consumables OW technical consultant Peter Wilkinson examines the global picture

OPTIPRODUCTS 26 · Refractive power/corneal analyser 27 · Sizing and screw inserting plier Published nine times a year

Copy dates:

28 · UV and blue light analyser

Associate Editor: Selwyn Ward LLB

Annual subscriptions: £99 United Kingdom €195 Europe £150 overseas by seamail £185 overseas by airmail


Technical Consultant: Peter Wilkinson

United States: $245 seamail, $290 airmail

Design by: Quick Brown Fox

30 · A to Z of optical websites


Consultant Editor: Richard Chaffin

Cheques and money orders: Payable to Optical World Ltd 258a Fairfax Drive Westcliff-on-Sea Essex SS0 9EJ, UK © OPTICAL WORLD LTD

Printed in the UK by:

31 · International Suppliers Guide

by Optical World Ltd 258a Fairfax Drive Westcliff-on-Sea Essex SS0 9EJ

(44) 1702 345443 Facsimile: (44) 1702 431806

Editor and Publisher: Gerald Ward

Publishing Director: Russell Ward Assistant Publisher: Jenny Barnes

Editorial: First of the month preceding publication Advertising: 15th of month


The Magazine Printing Company ISSN 0969-1952


March 2017



A supergiant in ophthalmics Y

our reporter has long been one of a seeming minority among commentators on optics to find strange the relative lack of crossover between the two sides of the spectacle industry, frames and lenses. Even the growth and development of the sunglass sector in recent years did not appear materially to change this. Express surprise, and experts from both sides of the divide would frown at you in puzzlement: frames and lenses were two separate, different industries. Why should basic ideas, designs, technologies, marketing campaigns embrace both? Separation was the natural order of things. There were always groups who went against the trend, supporting and co-ordinating lens with frame developments, including Rodenstock and recently Hoya. Now, however, the complementary development concept has received the biggest fillip, probably, that could ever be imagined. Essilor and Luxottica are to combine. Essilor International is buying Luxottica SpA. The resultant holding company will be identified as EssilorLuxottica, operating as Essilor International. The 81 year old Sr Leonardo Del Vecchio (‘Italy’s


richest man’ says a business press report) will be executive chairman and chief executive officer. Essilor CEO Hubert Sagniéres will be executive vicechairman and deputy CEO but will have ‘equal powers’. How fascinating to be a bilingual (Italian and French) fly on the wall at the early meetings of the new group; or better yet, at the meetings of the two teams preparing for those meetings! ‘Global behemoth’ The new group will have combined annual revenues of well over £13 billion and a total market value of £45 billion, with Luxottica contributing slightly more than Essilor. ‘A global behemoth’ says a business press reporter. Is this the ophthalmic supply industry’s biggest corporation ever? In terms of today’s values, taking both Essilor and Luxottica as part of the supply sector rather than retailers the answer is surely yes. Historically, a cursory first review suggests we have here also the industry’s biggest business group ever. Between them Luxottica and Essilor already operate in 150 countries worldwide and have human resources numbering into the 140,000s.

InternationalSCENE One would expect consolidation to represent the first phase of the new ‘Essilor + Luxottica’ relationship. But this, given both firms’ proven past appetites for expansion and growth (and Sr Del Vecchios’ fabled impatience with those he perceives as the over-cautious) may not last long. What will the new Essilor International do next? Is ‘more of the same’, including new retail acquisitions, the early answer? The Essilor + Luxottica combination should give a needed shot in the arm to modern spectacle and sunglass marketing, given the two firms’ different but powerful past activity records in this sphere. If the rest of the industry is astute this should provide worldwide spin-off benefits. Essilor, we are told, already owns nearly 500 prescription laboratories, multiple links of several of the world’s major ophthalmic supply chains, and a growing share of digital ophthalmic retailing. Luxottica has a substantial slice of retail ophthalmics, notably in the world’s leading ophthalmic market, the USA. It has also created and promoted a clutch of high-end, high consumer recognition brands, among them RayBan (as worn by the UK’s Prince Harry) and Oakley. In recent years Essilor has been moving into the increasingly internationalised, increasingly digitalised contact lens world. Growth in any or all of these sectors could accelerate as a result of the new group’s activities. The recent pattern of corporate acquisitions suggests that Latin America could be an increasing focus for EssilorLuxottica. Ophthalmics’ new megagroup might also look at eyecare sectors where, so far, it has made relatively few inroads. The fact that the UK’s savvy Specsavers is opening a series of new ‘Eye Health Clinics’ in its practices indicates a possible direction of travel for Essilor Luxottica, into clinical instrumentation and diagnostics. There are companies in this field that might welcome an approach. Essilor already has five research and development centres spread across the world and a strong reputation in instrumentation albeit, for dispensing rather than diagnostics. What else could follow, these interesting times? Moving ahead on Brexit Fast approaching as this issue goes to press: the March 31 deadline UK Prime Minister Theresa May has set herself to invoke Article 50 of the European Union’s Maastricht Treaty. This is the

never before used mechanism which will trigger the process of the country leaving the EU. Might the deadline be missed? The Government still seems confident that it will not, despite this January’s UK Supreme Court ruling. We at least know a little more now about the UK Government’s aims in the negotiations that will follow the invocation of Article 50. Globalism, it is clear, leads the wish list. ‘A truly global Britain’ is the Prime Minister’s objective, defined in her first major speech. The country was not seeking, she said, any form of EU associate membership – or membership of the single market … though the EU Customs Union which (for example) sets tariff rates might be a case for sectorial exceptions, maybe Associate Membership. Priorities Priorities would include delivering ‘a deal that works’ for the whole of the UK, without promoting EU break-up. The UK would seek to restore control of immigration and to end major annual contributions to the EU budget. A high priority: reciprocity on residency rights for EU expats in Britain, British expats in the EU, and to continue working together across the channel on R&D projects, as well as in security and intelligence matters. ‘We are leaving the EU; we are not leaving Europe’, said Mrs May, adding that it would be sensible to phase in implementation of negotiated agreements to avoid the ‘falling off a cliff edge’ effect business leaders fear. She has promised a White Paper to follow shortly. The UK, Mrs May said, had already registered interest in future trade deals from, among others, Australia, Brazil, China, the Gulf States, India, New Zealand and the USA. Mrs May has met already with new – and very different – US President Donald Trump. His early priorities appear to emphasise re-creation of US manufacturing jobs, opting out of multi-lateral trade deals (‘buy American, hire American’) and – yes – building that border wall on the frontier with Mexico. A meeting with Mrs May covering trade (she has also talked with Turkey’s President Erdogan) and US support for NATO was followed within hours by President Trump banning some Muslim nationalities and all refugees from entering the USA for at least 90 days. Interesting times indeed! W

March 2017



Essilor in Hong Kong partnership

Essilor has formed a new partnership by taking a 50 per cent stake in Photosynthesis Group, a Hong Kong-based company that markets sunglasses and corrective lenses under a range of banners including MJS. It primarily operates through a network of franchised shopping mall stores in China and has begun expanding abroad in Southeast Asia. The partnership will help to drive faster growth in the Chinese optical industry, while enabling Essilor to broaden its footprint in the promising sunwear segment. Separately, Essilor has also agreed to purchase a 55 per cent equity interest in Jiangsu Creasky Optical, an ophthalmic lens manufacturer and distributor based in Danyang, China. Jiangsu Creasky Optical employs more than 300 people and primarily serves the domestic market. Its acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, is designed to expand Essilor's offering in the Chinese mid-range segment. Together, these two partnerships attest to Essilor's strong acquisitions dynamic in 2016, which is expected to result in a scope effect of around 4 per cent for the year.



Safilo licensing agreement for Rag & Bone eyewear collection Safilo Group, the fully integrated Italian eyewear creator, manufacturer and distributor has entered a new license agreement for the design, manufacturing and worldwide distribution of the Rag & Bone collections of sunglasses and optical frames.The agreement will run for five years starting from January 2018 until December 31, 2022. ‘With Rag & Bone we add a directional brand to our growing designer portfolio that benefits from an interesting market shift towards new, trendy and experimental brands. The brand speaks to a very precise target through its distinguishing combination of British understated heritage and modern edgy New York inspired design, and commitment to impeccable craftsmanship from the finest materials. Thanks to our recently established New York based design studio, we are able to capture with precision such new directional design, and cross fertilize it across our worldwide design studio network,’ comments Luisa Delgado, CEO of Safilo. ‘This license thus opens different new business growth opportunities, especially in the US and the UK. It is consistent with our strategy to diversify across segments capturing growth spaces, innovate through trend setting brands, and leverage our leading product and distribution capabilities accordingly.’



Optician helps the less fortunate Eye testing equipment donated by Keeler was recently used by Ruth Easton, an optician from Specsavers in Merthyr Tydfil, on a charitable mission to Uganda. Ruth spent two weeks at the House of Joy charity’s school in the Kasala region running an eye clinic, where she and two friends set up a temporary eye clinic. While there they treated more than 700 people using the Keeler ophthalmoscope and retinoscope set. Almost three hundred pairs of frames — all donated from her local south Wales community — were also given away.

W Some of the clinic’s patients




Since his appointment to Stepper (UK) Limited in 2003

Transitions’ new VP, global marketing

Peter Reeve has had a pivotal role in the company’s UK

Transitions Optical have appointed Darragh O’Connor vice

success. Peter has seen the UK business grow to become

president, global marketing. He will be based in the Tran-

one of the most successful distributors worldwide for this

sitions Optical global brand headquarters in Dublin.

Peter Reeve steps up at Stepper

In his new role, O’Connor will direct the Transitions

innovative ophthalmic brand. Following Stepper UK and Stepper France’s acquisition

brand strategy and be responsible

by Arts Optical in 2014, Peter’s role was expanded to

for all global marketing. He will

include wider commercial responsibilities as part of the

lead the global marketing team

Stepper Eyewear’s international team. This

to strengthen the Transitions brand

meant helping oversee business develop-

as a leader in photochromics.

ment for distributors worldwide in addi-

O’Connor joins Transitions Op-

tion to his commercial director role in

tical from Google’s European headquarters in Dublin where,

his home market. Most recently Peter has been

since 2014, he was a senior

appointed managing director

digital sales manager

of Stepper (UK) Limited with

(branding division, large

overall responsibilities for

client sales) for the UK

the company’s domestic performance.

and Ireland.


W Darragh O’Connor

Peter Reeve


March 2017



Revised Shamir standard Published in September 2015, the ISO 9001: 2008 has been revised and renamed: ISO 9001: 2015. Shamir UK has been certified a year early. Although one year still remains before the policy becomes compulsory, Shamir UK has been keen to undergo the inspection, and as a result, have now been registered by NQA as a company maintaining a quality management system above standard. By introducing the revised policy, companies are required to ensure all products are consistently produced to relevant statutory and regulatory standards as well as ensuring the constant improvement of management systems to enhance and reinforce customer satisfaction.


Keeler turns 100 years old British ophthalmic instrument manufacturer Keeler turns

100th anniversary brochure listing key milestones in the

100 on April 30 this year. To celebrate, the company is

company’s history and demonstrating how the company

planning a number of events over the coming months, in-

has been at the forefront of optometric and ophthalmic

cluding a lecture at the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

technology for a century — and is still innovating to

Keeler will also be producing a special limited edition

this day.



Porsche Design extend Rodenstock licence 10 years The Rodenstock Group and the Porsche Design Group are

Jan Becker, spokesman for Porsche Design, told OW:

extending their license contract by a further 10 years

‘The spectacles sector, and particularly the sunglasses

until 2027.

sector, has a very long and extremely successful history at

Porsche Design will again grant Rodenstock the global

Porsche Design. In Rodenstock we have found a strategic

licence for the development, production and sale of

partner with whom we not only share the same values but

frames for sunglasses, correction frames and complete

with whom we also intend to continue to expand this im-

reading spectacles.

portant segment for us over the next few years’.



Safilo Group distribution partnership with Seeone Safilo Group of Italy have agreed a distribution agreement in South Korea with Seeone, the commercial eyewear operator. Seeone will become Safilo’s exclusive distributor for the South Korean independent optical market, starting February 1, 2017. It will ensure a seamless transition and smooth continuation of customer service to all optical retailers for all Safilo brands, including supply of products and after sales service.


In Brief Marcolin Group, a worldwide leading eyewear company, and PAI Partners, a leading European private equity firm, have appointed Massimo Renon as worldwide commercial general manager. ★ Uganda is celebrating the successful completion of an extensive child eye health program. The number of children screened across age groups exceeded the target by more than 2.5 times, reaching 1,672,945 children. Many of these children received spectacles, low vision devices, treatment or referrals for further care where necessary. ★ Gareth Hadley has been reappointed as chair of the General Optical Council (GOC), for the next four years until February 17, 2021. Building on four successful years in the role, Gareth brings to his second term in office extensive experience as a senior leader and the strong relationships he has forged with GOC stakeholders.



Hoya Vision Care acquire 3M Hoya Vision Care, a division of Hoya Group, has announced a definitive agreement to acquire the safety prescription eyewear business of 3M. This safety prescription eyewear business is an industry leader with over 90 years’ experience in North America and provides Hoya with a comprehensive line of frames, prescription lenses, and premium coating options in a custom-made solution, serviced by a network of eyecare professionals. In addition to its strong North American presence, the business also currently provides safety prescription eyewear or frames in Latin America, Europe and Asia. The acquisition enables Hoya to provide business and industrial customers as well as consumers with a strong global safety prescription eyewear protection solution.


Hilco Vision acquire Croakies Inc. Hilco Vision, the creator of smart optical solutions since 1956, have acquired Croakies Inc., the Wyoming-based originator of eyewear retainers and associated outdoor lifestyle accessories. ‘Hilco Vision strives to lead the industry in the optical accessories category through product innovation and brand authenticity. Croakies is synonymous with eyewear retention and has built an incredibly loyal customer base through its focus on comfort, design, and functionality over the past 40 years,’ explains Ross Brownlee, CEO, Hilco Vision. ‘We are very enthusiastic to build on this tradition of innovation and invest in the continued global growth of the Croakies brand.



Silmo Istanbul 2016 Silmo Istanbul Optical Fair took place in the Istanbul Fair Centre, Yeşilköy from December 8-11, 2016, with 8,871 visitors attending. The fair will become international this year, taking place from November 30 — December 3, 2017.



March 2017



Record breaking London optical show The UK’s largest optical trade show, 100% Optical, delighted

Awards for the first time and always proud to provide a

visitors and exhibitors at its biggest and best show yet.

platform for the next generation of young designers to

Record numbers of delegates

kick-start their career by entering

attended the London show on

our eyewear design competition

February 4-6, 2017. Visitors left

in partnership with the Royal Col-

feeling inspired by the world

lege of Art.’

class education programme, en-

The show, which is claimed to

ergised by the fashion forward

have housed over 175,000 dif-

catwalk shows and excited by

ferent eyewear frames, saw more

new products.

than 75 new brands exhibiting

The show’s event director, Nathan Garnett told OW: ‘100%

Shamir’s busy stand

for the first time. ‘2018 is our fifth anniversary

Optical really has cemented itself as the optical event of

and we’ve already started working up plans to evolve the

the year by bringing the industry together to learn, be in-

show with a new look, new partnerships and innovative

spired, do business and network all under one roof.

new ways to showcase the future of optics,’ said Nathan

‘We’re honoured to have supported the prestigious AOP



AOP award winners Winners of the AOP Awards 2017 were announced on

charity work. He has influenced optometry significantly,

February 5 at a national awards ceremony in London. Run

both at home and internationally.’

by the Association of Optometrists and sponsored by Alcon

Wolverhampton based optometrist, Prabhjit Boparai,

Academy for Eyecare Excellence, the awards recognise the

won the Optometrist of the Year category, in recognition of

highest levels of achievement in UK optics.

her exceptional commitment to patient care and work to

With a career spanning more than 50 years, optometrist

raise the profile of eye health.

Bob Chappell received the Lifetime Achievement award in

Taank Optometrists in Cambridge received the Practice

recognition of the pivotal role he has played in driving the

of the Year award, in recognition of its outstanding and in-

profession forward in a wide range of areas in UK, Europe

novative service to the local community.

and globally.

Henrietta Alderman, AOP chief executive, said: ‘The AOP

On presenting the award, AOP chairman Kevin Thompson

Awards give us the opportunity to celebrate those who

commended Mr Chappell for his work saying: ‘I’m delighted

have given so much to the public and the profession. Our

to be giving this very special award to someone who has

2017 finalists have demonstrated some extraordinary achieve-

been involved in every aspect of optics – from practice

ments. I would like to congratulate all of them and especially

ownership and industry to optical body presidencies and

the winners on their commitment and passion.’



Volk Optical appoint new president Volk Optical have appointed Jyoti Gupta president, following the move of long-time company president Pete Mastores to the position of chief commercial officer on Volk’s board. In her new role, Dr. Gupta will be responsible for leading Volk Optical, providing strategic and tactical direction to support the future growth of global sales and operations. This includes driving the development of new products to serve unmet needs in ophthalmic imaging, diagnostic and surgical areas

W Dr. Jyoti Gupta



VFT-orbit 2 &^d^d'EZdKZKEd,W>Ed



Need we brand lenses? asks Consultant Editor Dick Chaffin

here are famous brands for everything from breakfast cereal to automobiles. Everybody knows Rolls, Mercedes, BMW or Ford. Brands are recognised and well known by the public because of what they are and the many millions of dollars that are spent on advertising. They sell their products by having their brand/name in front of the consumer. It does not matter whether it is ice cream or perfume, products are sold by brand identification. Will ophthalmic lenses be branded? In our industry, lenses do not usually have any visible markings on them. At one time Bausch & Lomb briefly promoted the idea that visible markings could be put on lenses. The idea was really not to promote a particular brand of lens but to advertise or say something about the wearer.


Influence of Luxottica/Essilor merger The lenses could show a college, a place or even a preferred beer. The idea, however, never went anywhere. Now the only markings on lenses are invisible to both the wearer and the viewer. Will the merger of Luxottica and Essilor change 10

things around and sell lenses on the basis of brand? Clearly, Luxottica’s success has to be based on selling frames with brand names of famous designers. These are brands Luxottica has exclusive rights to for frames. These designers’ names are not famous because they are on spectacle frames, but because they are advertised and sold on other consumer products such as shoes, lingerie, dresses and suits. These brands are known to the public and are sold by Luxottica to the consumer on sunglasses or in optical shops. Brand names on frames can be placed easily on the temples. People will see the names and ask for those brands. Can a designer name be put on a lens? Yes, it can, but not easily and then what would it mean? Can the public recognise or know a particular design of lens by looking at it? Even if a designer’s name were visible on lenses would it be a selling point? Lead set by progressives and photochromics Some might argue that lenses are already branded, particularly in the case of progressive and pho-

CHC-20 twenty coated lenses per hour, three coating stations as standard in a small foot-print

CHC-60 the world’s most popular ophthalmic hard coating machine - sixty lenses per hour, three or four servo-driven coating stations option

CHC-150 more than one hundred and fifty lenses per hour, three or four coating stations perfect for growing labs moving into bigger volumes

CHC-200 cleaning and coating carried out by two robotic handing systems, two hundred lenses per hour with four coating stations. The ultimate coating system with separate cleaning and coating environments

Call to discuss our full range and custom build options: +44 (0) 1462 491 616

tochromic lenses. Essilor, Zeiss, Hoya and others all have names for their lens designs. However, who among spectacle wearers would ask for a lens design such as Autograph’, or any other lens by name. There may be some exceptions to this rule. Essilor spent years and years advertising Varilux progressive lenses to the consumer. Is the lens brand Varilux or Essilor, the manufacturer’s name, what sells the product to the consumer? For his part, the consumer can ask for Varilux but he cannot buy it on his own. Transitions has also spent millions of dollars in advertising to the public its photochromic lenses. Transitions may be a brand of photochromic lenses but the person who wants to wear those lenses cannot buy them directly. On-line glasses may be another exception where a brand of lens could be sold directly to a consumer. Also to be considered in the branding of lenses is the difference in the way in which spectacle frames and lenses are sold. Almost universally frames are displayed on a rack or counter or even on a computer screen so that the buyer can try them on. Frames are sold basically on cosmetics. How they look. Although fit is certainly important, the consumer can pick out a frame and then have it fitted. Lenses are sold very differently. There may be choices offered for lenses, but it is unlikely that the purchaser knows what they are or what to ask for by brand. Lenses cannot be tried on before being made into glasses. There are displays and machines that demonstrate various lenses but lenses have to be worn to judge their effectiveness. Role of the dispenser Another complication in branding lenses is the dispenser. In an attempt to brand lenses it is the dispenser who becomes the consumer and not the wearer. The dispenser is the key to the lens sale. He may like a particular lens brand or company for many different reasons unknown to the lens wearer. The dispenser is really a filter in the lens branding process. The dispenser may use a brand of lenses that is available from the laboratory. In that case advertising to the public a lens brand does no good unless the laboratory offers it. Another factor is the groups and chains that own many retail outlets. They determine the 12

lens brands that are made available to their dispensers. Again, examining the proposed Luxottica/ Essilor merger, what does that mean for selling lenses by brand? Luxottica started out as a frame company but has acquired a strong position in optical retailing. Does Essilor want to use that strong retail hold to market its lenses with a brand? From all appearances Essilor does not need Luxottica’s name to sell lenses, branded or otherwise. Laboratory control Essilor for many years has been following a policy of owning laboratories or creating their own laboratories in all their markets. This strategy has been eminently successful. That means Essilor does not need to advertise to the wearer or the public a particular brand of lenses. A further consideration is the fact that Luxottica and Essilor do not yet own the whole optical market. They may control 30 to 40 per cent of the market but the rest of the market is served by their competitors and are independents. Therefore, to increase their market share Luxottica and Essilor have to try and control more retail outlets. Luxottica might do this by having more frame brands with designer names. Essilor is different. Essilor has to buy lens manufacturers to bring new lens designs or continue to develop them in house. Neither of these strategies will change the branding of lenses. Lenses are a highly technical product. They cannot be sold to the public without the help of professional advice. Even reading glasses over the counter do not advertise a brand of lenses. They benefit from pragmatism. They either work for the wearer or they do not. The reading glass buyer may know a brand name of the company selling the glasses but has no idea of the lens brand. Therefore, there seems to be very little reason to brand lenses to the public in general or even to the glasses-wearing consumer. Educating people about lenses and how they work in eyesight is valuable. But the public still cannot choose a lens and then go out and buy the lens directly. Lenses are calorie free. They do not go from 0 to 60 mph in four seconds and are not the breakfast of champions. These are statements that all belong to well known consumer brands. Lenses are for vision, providing a clear view whatever the brand to the seeing world.

The Global Op cal Revolu on Coping with the challenges Chris Hunt*


n April 1982, for an audience drawn from international captains of optical manufacturing I gave a talk entitled ‘Survival of the Independent Prescription Laboratory’. The event was the 6th international symposium of Manufacturing Optics International. I spoke on the challenges and opportunities which would arise from technologies originating in the computer world and said: ‘in glazing, modern equipment is making it possible to achieve new levels of efficiency. With computer programming for surfacing-instruction already working from the fundamental lens size and shape we cannot be many light years away from computerised edgers in which the glazing former is replaced by an electronic memory.’

Electronic data transfer At the time, laboratories were machine cutting plastic glazing formers via a shape tracer. The more archaic were even cutting aluminium formers with scissors! I remember well, the titters from the audience and the pleasant, but nonetheless, condescending discussions which took place after my talk. My comments were based not on crystal ball gazing, but on the pioneering work I had seen within the international company Pilkington Brothers, my then employers, as part of the new and emerging technology of fibre optics. It was during my association with scientists working in this field that I was first familiarised with the new world of electronic data transfer. No one in my circle of associates had guessed in 1982, that in only another eight years a computer scientist named Tim Berners Lee would have invented the world-wide web and changed the world of data transfer forever. Suddenly, those transmitted lens shapes could travel the world. In the 1990s under my stewardship, Rodenstock UK became the first UK laboratory to offer fully edged lenses, for both rimmed and Supra frames, manufactured from an electronic trace taken in the optical practice or workshop and transmitted electronically. The rest, as the saying goes, is history. In that 1982 talk, I asked the audience five key questions: • How are the consumer’s needs changing and what will be the effect on the profession? • Is the market changing in structure and/or physical distribution methods?

• How are our direct competitors changing? • Who are our emerging potential competitors? • Could the customer become a competitor? Those questions of 30 years ago surely underline why business strategies must always remain the subject of review. The digital revolution which has so dramatically changed almost every aspect of the communication world we live in is still in its infancy in ophthalmics but developing at a rate which few admit and even fewer are dedicating enough resources to address. It is never a pleasant task to look at the shifting sands which sometimes surround pyramids. The digital revolution and free-form At the Autumn 2007 meeting sponsored by OPTICAL WORLD of the Ophthalmic Lens Manufacturers and Distribution Association (a constituent organisation of the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians), I drew parallels between my 1982 electronic glazing predictions and current free-form surfacing. I questioned that semi-finished blanks would continue in their present form and suggested that for superior lens performance both lens surfaces would ultimately be free-formed. This development has not progressed as fast as I first imagined and in my view, free-form technology in terms of its promotion and marketing, has been something of a damp squib. But market developments will, I believe, change this and with the emergence of the 3D printer bring exciting new methods of blank manufacture. I am also surprised that virtual reality technology has not been more engaged by retailers to demonstrate lens performance, coatings and tint absorption effects. Diagnostic technology Consumer needs are most certainly changing and the impact on the structure of the profession is already being felt. An increasing ageing population brings with it greater demand for specialised services in health care, including multiple forms of eye disease. Modern life style is causing an increase in obesity and with it, diabetes and its associated eye problems. Myopia is on the increase; prevalence in Europe is now about 30 per cent, with increasing levels in children. Global figures

*Chris Hunt has had more than 45 years’ experience in retailing and ophthalmic lens manufacturing at chief executive level. He is an honorary life member of the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians and Association of British Dispensing Opticians, Immediate Past President of the Association of Optometrists, Past Chairman of the Optical Confederation and a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers. He now operates as a consultant in the sector working with private venture capitalists.


for myopia are much higher, in some countries approaching three times the European figure. Financial and resource issues in health care provision are putting more emphasis on cost effectiveness in the delivery of services. Here technology, within our industry, can play a pivotal role. The greatest element of eye care costs is in the treatment of disease and the social costs for those affected; early diagnosis is therefore crucial. It is here that the optical manufacturing world can take centre stage. The use of scanning laser ophthalmoscopy and optical coherence tomography is still in its infancy but further development to combine the two, providing 3D imaging, will inevitably progress. Retinal photography is progressively being replaced by more advanced screening methods. Will manufacturers continue to sell this sophisticated equipment to optical practices of all sizes and skill sets (many of which, will struggle with the initial capital investment and update costs) or seek to establish their own networks of diagnostic centres? With digital transfer, the skill needed to interpret the images can be centralised, thus reducing the level of costs at the point of execution by removing the need of a high cost professional to operate the technology, in much the same way, as diabetic screening is being executed now. Every time an eye is screened it provides another image for a data bank that could be anywhere in the world. Technology can compare images with those of a normal healthy retina for an individual of that age/sex/ethnicity and in doing so, flag up abnormalities which will need skilled interpretation and treatment. Change in optometry It is my contention that optometry belongs in this specialist sector and that the eyes of the healthy majority and those requiring specialist knowledge and treatment will become two well defined but quite separate sectors. In consequence, the clinical specialist practitioner will become more clearly separated from the commercial eyewear provider. This will be the result not only of improving the public’s perception of optometry but also driven by the individuals who will elect to up-skill or enter the profession to become clinical specialists. Optometry as we know it today must change. Why? Remote diagnostics, and with this, the challenge to ‘restrictive’ regulatory powers, will impact on the optical world with greater ferocity than most wish to acknowledge. Consumers world-wide are being encouraged to become more health conscious and proactive in their own care. One generation already expects to manage most of their requirements remotely through electronic devices and there is a developing generation which has never known anything else. Technology employing app-based monitoring is already here and as I write this article, the American based company EyeQue has launched its EyeQue Personal Vision Tracker which, for a little under 30 US Dollars will permit ‘the first in-home vision testing solution to combine an optical miniscope, a smartphone application, and secure cloudbased technology platform to form a low-cost, uniquely precise option for people to gather corrective vision measurements whenever and wherever they choose.’ 16

Company promotional material adds that refractive data from the test can be used either as information for one’s eyecare professional or to purchase eyewear on-line. Autorefraction has also reached such levels of accuracy now that almost all the old arguments relating to the risks of using data from it for eyewear provision have worn very thin. Customer, competitor The market is changing in both structure and/or physical distribution methods thanks again to the world-wide web. The need to have physical retail outlets with personal contact with purchasers is being challenged by internet purchasing; the biggest retailer in the world does not own a single store. The high-street distribution channels through which optical manufacturers have always had to reach end users are progressively being pressured by a new form of retailing in which B2C distribution is sitting uncomfortably alongside long- established B2B. Does this mean suppliers and retailers in optics are increasingly going to be competitors? In my view, yes. Some manufacturing companies will have to decide in which camp they fall, whilst the more astute in both camps will realise the benefits of forming strategic alliances. I can even see wisdom in retail and trade associations merging as the interests of high street retailers and manufacturing internet retailers become more closely aligned. It is a big picture out there for those brave enough to address it. One thing is certain, optical manufacturers must not sit back with blinkered or timid indifference and watch internet optical retailing develop through those not associated with the optical sector or its history, who see only global market opportunities. A new consumerism We can already see that internet sales of contact lenses are overriding the clinical codes of individual markets. Whilst practitioners argue that a specification relates to the entirety of the lens including the material, internet suppliers are openly offering product substitution based on the willingness of the consumer to switch for price advantage. It is what some call the paracetamol effect. Yes, overdosing could kill you, but for the majority paracetamol provides a safe, easily obtained, low cost treatment for their specific needs. As consumers are better educated via the internet and other data sources, and increasingly encouraged to take greater control of their own health needs, it will become harder to argue against this type of consumerism. The refractive surgery sector has not, thus far, grabbed as much of the ‘alternative to corrective spectacle’ market as was once predicted, but as implant technology advances and less invasive methods are introduced, it will be assisted both by the growth in myopia at younger ages and an increasing volume of presbyopia. Within this sector I can also see the push for remote diagnostics as standalone businesses. For the industry to believe that this technology driven, consumer demanding market will not radically impact on our sector is to live in cloud cuckoo land. For me, the question is not if but when. The solution (just as it was way back in 1982) is for us to work in greater unity to adopt and adapt to technological advance by embracing it and turning it to advantage for those we serve.

Lens tinting equipment and consumables Peter Wilkinson, OW Technical Consultant The subject of ophthalmic lens tinting is very wide, ranging from the tinting of individual pairs of lenses in a retail environment and in small prescription laboratories right up to large volume tinting of special products including such items as plano sunglass lenses. In a retail environment tinting is usually limited to treating resin or hard coated polycarbonate lenses, but on a larger scale other materials including glass may also require tinting.


he advent of hard and AR coated ophthalmic lenses can raise particular problems both optically and physically. By optical problems we refer to things like how an AR coating affects the relationship between the transmission value and the observed absorption value, and by physical problems we refer to the difficulties of tinting a hard coated lens. There are also some legal and ethical aspects of tinting because a dark tint causes the pupil of the eye to contract, thereby letting excess ultra-violet into the eye so the topic of UV absorption will also be discussed. For large volume tinting there are also problems associated with obtaining consistency. Because of the wide range of topics this article has been divided into three sections. Part 1, dealing with small volume plastic and resin tinting, takes in tinting of resin lenses in small volume; problems associated with hard and AR coating and polycarbonate; UV absorption of plastic and resin lenses; tints for medical and VDU use; and graduated tinting of resin and plastic lenses. Part 2, covering large volume tinting, glass lenses and special products, embraces large volume plastic lens tinting, glass lens tinting, and special products, while Part 3, which completes our survey, dealing with equipment and 18

consumable suppliers, encompasses plastic lens tinting equipment, plastic lens consumables, and glass lens tinting

Part 1: Small volume plasc and resin nng First we will describe how to tint a pair of CR39 resin lenses and later we will talk about the different procedures needed for other materials, AR coated lenses etc. Tinting dye is normally supplied in small bottles which should be shaken first because the dye and solvent tend to separate out. The dye is put into a tank and the bottle rinsed to recover all of the dye. Water is then added and gradually brought up to a temperature of about 150ยบF/65ยบC stirring occasionally. To avoid contaminants it is recommended that pure (deionised) water is used. With the tank lids removed the temperature is then raised to about 200ยบF/95ยบC for the tinting process. If there will be a delay between tinting lenses the lids can be replaced and the temperature lowered. The temperature should be checked with a temperature gauge and the liquid stirred frequently. In an adjoining tank it is suggested that a lens


Digital Printing on hydrophobic lenses


| | | |

Environmentally friendly | Economically | Proven | Easy handling |

th COTEC´s


Since 1997 your expert in functional coatings.

Meet us at:

ent v l o S free

prep is available which should be used after rinsing and cleaning the lenses. When transferring lenses from the dye to any other tank they should always be rinsed to prevent cross-contamination. How long to leave the lenses in the dye is a matter of experience and obviously depends on the concentration of the dye (which will gradually reduce with usage), the temperature (which can affect colour as well as darkness) as well as the lens material. Not all CR39 lenses have the same absorption rate because the hardness and amount of chemical crosslinking of the molecules varies by manufacturer and lens age. Also some CR39 lenses (for example executive bifocals) are softer because they include a small amount of acrylic to ease the problems of casting a lens with a ridge. These are the reasons why tinting CR39 is considered an art rather than a science. The dye is gradually absorbed into the lens and the further into the lens it goes the less it will fade when washed and wiped and with age due to UV bleaching. Therefore it is always recommended that lenses should be tinted about 10 per cent darker than is required and then bleached back so that the dye near the surface is removed. Water will gradually evaporate from a dye tank and more water will need to be added with time. As the dye is used the concentration will reduce and either more dye must be added or the contents of the dye tank totally replaced. Tinting hard coated CR39, polycarbonate and high index lenses Tinting hard coated CR39 lenses depends very much on the type of hard coat. Some hard coats are even non-tintable but those that are tintable usually do so slower and often produce a slightly different colour. Remember that stock hard coated lenses will have hard coat of both sides but Rx lenses may only have a hard coat on the front surface. All polycarbonate lenses for ophthalmic use must be hard coated because uncoated polycarbonate can be scratched extremely easily. There is a great variation of different types of high index lenses so advice from the manufacturer should be obtained. Not only will the rate 20

of tinting be affected but also the colour obtained. Also, remember that many types of high index lenses cannot accept a high temperature and the surface coating may rapidly craze. Tinting AR coated lenses Because AR coating is virtually always produced in a vacuum by evaporating very thin layers of special chemicals (that are glass-like) they will not allow a tinting dye to be absorbed into the lens. Therefore AR coating should always be done after tinting. This produces a few problems. Firstly the tinting dye can be bleached out of the lens surface by the ultrasonic cleaning that is done before AR coating. The procedure recommended in the previous section to over-tint by about 10 per cenr and then to bleach the dye out of the surface layer is certainly essential and if this is done then the amount of tint left in an AR coated lens will be similar to that in a non-AR coated lens. However, this only means that the colour absorption value will remain the same, not the transmission value as will be explained below. The diagrams on the next page give the values of absorption, transmission and surface reflection from a lens surface without an AR coating. The surface reflection is directly related to the refractive index of the material and this is 4 per cent per surface for CR39. For higher index lenses the surface reflection value is higher and the reflection figure given will need to be modified. Note that double internal reflections etc means that these values are not absolutely precise but give a very good idea of what is happening. In the following examples it can be seen that a ‘clear’ CR39 lens with no absorption tint has a 92 per cent transmission value rather than the 100 per cent value that is often assumed. In a lens with 30 per cent absorption the transmission value is actually approximately 63 per cent. Because the human eye/brain perceives absorption (rather than transmission) it often assumes that a ‘clear’ lens has a 100 per cent transmission which is certainly wrong. When ordering tinted lenses the method of specifying tints varies. In most countries opticians would often incorrectly request an LTF (lens transmission value) of 100 for an untinted lens and

a 70 per cent LTF for the tinted lens shown below. In some other countries (e.g., Germany) it is the absorption which is specified so for an untinted lens they would specify zero absorption and for the other tinted example shown they would specify 30 per cent absorption. Whichever method is used is not important, it is the communication between optician and manufacturing laboratory that matters. For lenses that do have an AR coating the situation is much simpler. Let us assume that the AR coating is perfect and that there is no reflection.

It can be seen that the absorption value does not change when the lens has an AR coating so the method of specifying absorption is very easy to understand. If LTF is specified then it is important that the optician and the manufacturing laboratory understand each other. Other tints including UV and for safety reasons In addition to ‘plain’ tints, graduated and rainbow tints are sometimes specified. To produce these a graduated tinting device is needed. Very W

March 2017


simply it just dips the lens in and out of the dye so that a dark tint is obtained at one edge of the lens and a pale (or no tint) is obtained at the other edge. Obviously the lens must be inserted into the dye upside down to obtain a graduated tint that is darker at the bottom of the lens when worn. Specific colours can be specified for VDU use and for medical reasons and these often include the blocking ultra-violet light. However there are some very good practical and legal reasons for including an ultra-violet blocker. It must be remembered that the pupil of the eye can vary in size and enlarges when the light level is low. This is not usually seen on humans but the size variation of cat’s eyes is well known. The problem is that when the pupil of the eye enlarges it lets in a much larger amount of ultraviolet light which may in extreme circumstances damage the eye. Therefore the darker a tint in a lens the more important is UV blocking. All sunglass lenses obviously incorporate UV blocking. (Sunglass lenses made of glass rather than plastic potentially have a problem because glass does not normally absorb UV light.) With plastic lenses it is very easy to include a UV absorber by a tinting process, which should be done before adding the tint colour. There are International Standards for the amount of UV that must be blocked in tinted lenses with different levels of darkness. However, these rules are rather complicated and the author takes the attitude that adding close to 100 per cent UV absorption is so simple that this might as well be done for any tinted lens. In fact there is no reason why lenses without any tint should not have a UV absorber and this is very common in countries like Australia where bright sunlight is very common. All CR39 lenses do include a very small amount of UV blocker to minimise deterioration of the chemical links inside the CR39 but this is not sufficient for full eye protection. This raises the question of how far into the visible spectrum the UV needs to be blocked, because there is no exact dividing line but a gradual merging from UV to visible light. The generally accepted dividing line is that UV light stops at 400nm and then blue light extends to about 500 nm. There are conflicting opinions 22

about whether blue light can cause damage to the eyes. Certainly the blue light very close to where the ultraviolet starts at 400nm wavelength may be a potential problem. The region from 380nm to 400nm is just on the limit of human visibility and if it is blocked then a clear lens would appear to have a slight yellow tint. Other regions of the spectrum, such as infra-red can be blocked by tints but these are special situations that should be investigated only if necessary.

Part 2: Large volume nng, glass lenses and special products

Most of the readers of OPTICAL WORLD will not be involved in large volume tinting or in glass lens tinting so these subjects will only be covered briefly. Large volume tinting is carried out by sunglass manufacturers and the priority is to obtain precise consistency. To do this, special measures are taken, including using only plano lenses that have been cast in bulk in ways that provide uniform tinting dye absorption. Also by using special low concentration dyes the tinting time may be extended to typically 24 hours and done in large baths where the temperature is very accurately maintained and the liquids are circulated and filtered continuously. The UV absorption required for the safety of sunglass lenses is provided by adding UV absorber to the CR39 monomer when casting the lenses rather than adding it after casting. Glass lens tinting This was obviously very common many years ago (before the introduction of CR39) and until about 30 years ago most of the larger Rx laboratories had glass lens tinting units. There were also some subcontract glass tinting companies that provided a service to the smaller Rx laboratories. The process was relatively simple (and rather similar to AR coating) where the lenses were placed in a vacuum chamber and coloured chemicals were evaporated onto the back surface of the lens. To prevent distracting reflections an AR coating was often applied to the front of the lens in the same way.

Part 3: Equipment and consumable suppliers The following companies have kindly submitted details of their products for this survey. Full details can be found on their websites. Shades Pro lens dyes, launched very recently, nt up to 20 per cent faster and claim much greater stability of BPI are probably the best known company for the supply colour over me. Also, by skilful blending of the dye inof lens n ng dyes. They also offer n ng equipment, gredients the Cerium R&D team have been able to inlaboratory equipment and dispensing accessories and clude a higher level of dye which means that many more lenses may be nted from each bo le of dye. Dye is supprovide technical advice on n ng procedures. BPI dyes are available in a huge range of colours, rang- plied in 3.5 fl.oz or 32 fl.oz bo les to make 1 or 10 litres ing from standard black and brown through yellow, red, of n ng solu on. Other n ng products available from Cerium are the pink, blue and green. BPI also offer solar and avi- Shades Eco range which is supplied in bo les or in disator nts, therapeu c solvable bags for less waste and cleaner use. Shades Hi-Index dyes have been specially formulated dyes, UV and IR dyes, as well as special office and to avoid the normal problems of n ng high index VDT dyes, a range of fash- lenses of very slow n ng and obtaining the wrong ion and sports nts and colour. Used for 1.6 and 1.67 index lenses they are availspecial dyes for use on un- able in grey, brown and G15 (cactus) colours. The Shades sunglass range is available in cactus, ebony, autumn BPI tinting tank and consumables coated acrylic and polycarbonate. Other chemicals are for heat gold, grey, laurel and caramel colours and complies with transfer, lens prepara on, neutralising and AR removal. sunglass eye protec on regula ons. Shades Cool dyes have been designed to nt at a BPI have a large range of n ng tanks in many different sizes as well as equipment to produce gradient nts lower temperature of 88ºC instead of the normal 97ºC which is par cularly relevant to that have either computer or cam operated dipping n ng hard coated lenses that mechanisms. Vent hoods to remove fumes can ‘craze’ at the normal n ng from above the n ng tanks are also availtemperature. Shades Sport range able. are six special dyes which offer Tin ng associated equipment available improvements to visual confrom BPI includes photometers, spectrast and visual acuity by retrophotometers, ultrasonic cleaners, light ducing the width of the visible boxes, lens racks and lens holders etc. For spectrum at the blue end. The display purposes at op cal retailers BPI Shades lens dyes by Cerium tennis nt is rather yellow, while can provide both clear lenses and lenses with standard nts. the shoo ng, sailing and snow nts are more orange and the golf and recrea on are less orange. Shades Blue blocker has some similar proper es to the Sport range. Cerium Specifically it blocks the blue colours in the 400nm to Cerium Op cal produce a wide range of lens n ng 500nm range. Shades Wipe Out Red works at the other products which are available through their regional of- end of the spectral range to the blue blocker by wiping fices in Australia, Cyprus, Netherlands, Singapore, the out excess red colour. Cerium’s Shades HX n ng addi ve is designed to help UK and the USA. In addi on to their Shades brand of lens colour nts they also offer UV protec on dyes, a customers achieve truer and deeper colours on some of blue blocker dye, a few different types of lens edging today’s new higher density lenses. Shades UV400 Clear is a rela vely new product which is designed for lenses pads and many other related products. Shades lens dyes are available in over 50 colours. They requiring full UV protec on without lens coloura on. Shades UV absorber may be used before or a er are easy to use, clean and safe and are biodegradable.



March 2017


dyeing a colour into the lens and will absorb 99 per cent of UVA light (from 400nm down). Shades Superfast UV can provide 100 per cent UV protec on below 380nm in approximately 1 minute. Cerium also provide products other than dyes that are related to n ng:

Coburn Coburn provide (in addi on to their lens making equipment) a range of UV coa ng consumables including Dura-UV, UVMax and UVAR. Dura-UV is ntable to a grey3 and maintains a high abrasion resistance. UVMax is a quick n ng formula which can produce a grey3 in 15 minutes. UVAR is a non- ntable coa ng that has excellent compa bility with AR coa ng. UV coating consumables

tles in over 40 different colours, providing the most consistent, uniform colours in the least amount of me. Also available is a UV protec on dye which provides wearers with full sun protec on. Mainline claim it is a 1 minute UV advanced formula, which is non-yellowing and has a long shelf life. Mainline’s RG400 UV meter is available for laboratory and dispensing use to check the lens requirements for UV and LTF. The unit is ba ery operated and portable, which makes demonstra ng to customers easy. It includes a fully automa c setup and is self-calibra ng.

Norville Norville offer both equipment for n ng, including nt baths, gradua ng arms, heat transfer fluid and neutraliser, and also nt dyes from SeeGreen and BPI.

from Coburn

DAC Vision DAC Vision provide a full range of nt dyes in every colour imaginable that are suitable for all lens materials. In addi on, they have UV treatments, neutralisers, heat transfer fluids, cleaning solu ons, scratch resistant treatments etc.

Useful for retailers are also items such as the Ishihara colour test books and the City University colour vision tests.


Pads4Labs Hoya do not provide lens n ng equipment or consumables but they do offer a full range of nts on lenses manufactured by themselves. As well as colour nts they offer UV and Blue light absorbers, mirror coa ngs and special drivers’ nts. Pads4 labs are best known for their wide range of surfacing and finishing pads and edging pads but also offer blocking tape etc. Most relevant to this survey is their UV cured hard coa ng which is UV cured and applied by spin and is fully ntable. Pads4Labs claim that its major advantage over exis ng products is its good adhesion to high index materials. This TC-3920UV coa ng is manufactured by a subsidiary of SDC Technologies who provide coa ng materials to most of the very large TC-3920UV coating op cal companies. Key technical from Pads4Labs factors are the 12 month shelf life and the excellent performance provided in tests for crazing and X-hatch QUV adhesion.

Mainline Mainline Op cal provide a range of nt units in different sizes, from a six pot nt unit all the way up to a 12 pot nt unit. The robust thermostat creates uniform temperatures resul ng in a be er colour shade consistency. The nt baths can also be sunk into the work bench for an aesthe cally pleasing look. The company also supply lens dye packets and botMainline tint baths


SeeGreen dyes from Norville

Phantom Research Laboratories Phantom Research Laboratories (based in California) provide both equipment and consumables for n ng plas c and resin lenses. The Op safe Super Tinter has a single quart (946 ml) tank hea ng system combining digital temperature control, variable s rring ac on, split lid and non-s ck tank for hea ng lens n ng solu ons. The detachable temperature probe is immersed in the nt solu on which is a more accurate method than the more common method of regulating the temperature of the hea ng fluid. Mul ple units may be aligned side by side to create a complete n ng system. Phantom also provide a water soluble, environmentally safe, non-hazardous, biodegradable hea ng oil blend. Other equipment provided by Phantom Research includes a colour matching unit which simulates daylight to assist with the visual matching of lens Phantom Optisafe nts as well as inspec on to easily see if Super Tinter there are any signs of blotching or spo ng. Also offered is a transmission meter which provides a digital value of both UV and visible transmission. Tin ng dye is also available in packets instead of the more normal system of dye bo les. This offers a number of advantages including no loss of dye due to spillage because the en re packet (pouch) goes unopened into warm water to provide a mess free consistent colour n ng solu on. The lens dye packets have been formulated by Phantom a er many years research and development to provide consistent, uniform colours. The molecular composi on of the dyes allows for rapid penetra on into the lens matrix as well as excellent resistance to fading. A wide variety of colours is available which can be used on CR39 (hard coated and uncoated), polycarbonate and hi-index lenses. The wide range of colours available is illustrated in the Op safe brochure which is available from Phantom Research.

Schneider Schneider provide the TFA semi-automated mul -tank n ng unit which has many advanced features and is suitable for a larger laboratory.

The TFA n ng unit features computer controlled process parameters, an integrated rinsing tank and an integrated drain box for dyes. Temperature sensors and control loops ensure minimum temperature varia on per tank of ± 1 C. A magne c s rrer guarantees a homogenous temperature distribu on. The n ng tanks include powerful heaters for a fast and uniform heating of the dye. For full and graduated nts the TFA n ng unit can be equipped with a flexible mul -purpose li and the computer controlled oscilla ng Schneider’s TFA semi-automated li automa cally dips the multi-tank tinting unit lenses and li s them based on freely definable intensity profiles. An extrac on hood is also available. The unit is available with either 5 litre tanks (maximum 12 lenses) or 10 litre tanks (36 lenses)

Super Optical Super Op cal provide a wide range of equipment and consumables for the smaller laboratory, as well as the Fastgrind surfacing system. They offer a range of n ng units from three pan to nine pan which are manufactured from high quality 304 grade stainless steel and include a hea ng element that is not in the pan (which eliminates any possibility of leaks and greatly increases the life of the element) and also allows the use of water as an op on instead of heat transfer fluid. Also offered in a wide range of colours, are Super Optical’s Dura-Dye nts which have been newly formuDura-Dye tints lated from premium French dyes which are long las ng and fast dyeing.

Western Optical Supply Western Op cal Supply provide a proprietary dual lens clamp for plas c lens n ng. Made of delrin and stainless steel, the jaws are spring loaded for secure cradling of a pair of lenses. The clamp is available in both black and white. Dual lens clamps from Western Optical


March 2017


Refractive power/corneal analyser The OPD-Scan III VS refrac ve power / corneal analyser introduced

visual performance simula ons and MTF graphs for a variety of

by Nidek Co. Ltd is an aberrometer providing op mal

condi ons. The Eye Diagram Image Report helps

and facilitated spectacle prescrip on with de-

to visually understand eye condi ons ranging

tailed measurement data.

from eye fundus to cornea with the eye

This device measures corneal shape and re-


frac ve error, clarifying causes of vision difficul-

A wide range of display pa erns, includ-

es through wavefront analysis of informa on

ing MTF graph, OPD map and Instantaneous

measured over a wide area.

map, can be displayed in the reports. By com-

The three types of easy-to-understand reports dis-

munica ng with the Nidek refractor, the high qual-

played on a tablet (not included or sold with the OPD-

ity measurement and fast examina on provide

Scan III VS) allow simple explana on of examina on results.

an even more enhanced experience.

The Basic Informa on Report is useful for general overview

For further details email:

of pa ents’ eye condi ons. The Simula on Report offers

Sports leisure sunglasses The Bri sh eyewear brand Sunwise have launched the new innova ve sports leisure prescrip on Rx model Nolan. An upgrade on the Sunwise Rx model Trafalgar is distributed by the Sunwise UK op cal distributor Arena Eyewear. The transeasonal, versa le and stylish Nolan model is named a er a Sunwise sponsored cyclist in the Sunwise Cycology team. It is available in five eye catching colours. For further details email:

Autumn/Winter colours

With the seasonal colours coming in fashion, Norville’s range of tort models are ideal to complete the winter look. Frames at Norville range from brown, grey, red and tort, allowing a wide range for men, women and children to choose from. The collec on offers everyday frames at affordable prices. For further details visit:

Arch Crown catalogue Arch Crown’s new 40-page catalogue features over 100-style stock, preprinted and custom printed Op-Tags and labels, including a full-line of bar code technology products. New Poly-Lam thermal transfer computer string and barbell style tags are stronger than polyester and Kimdura and provide superior print quality; text and bar code images will not rub off. TT364 with adhesive-free loops are available in gold, silver, white, yellow, green, blue, pink and orange. TT340 and TT369 ma e finish tags are ideal for handwri ng or for computer prin ng. For further details visit:


Sizing and screw inserting plier A new plier from Western Op cal is designed to check the size and shape of the lens inside the eyewire. While holding the eyewire closed around the lens, one can easily insert and ghten the eyewire screw. New parallel jaw design holds the eyewire closed more securely. This me saving plier reduces the possibility of damage to the lens or frame by keeping the screwdriver p from slipping off the eyewire screw head. For further details visit:

London Collection sunglasses New from Bri sh designer Tom Davies is a limited edi on sunglass

bines pure tanium with a touch of co on acetate and contem-

range called the London Collec on,

porary detailing. Each frame comes with a high quality solar

which provides a modern twist to the

sun lens.

classic aviator shape.

For further details email:

This hand-made collec on com-

Hoya launch 3D tailored eyewear Hoya have launched Yuniku, claimed to be the world’s first

Advanced software calculates the ideal position of the

3D tailored eyewear that is designed entirely around the op-

lenses in relation to the eyes, and then designs the frame

timal vision of the wearer. Yuniku is the result of a highly

based on those unique parameters. 3D printing facilitates

successful partnership with Materialise, leading provider of

tailoring the frame according to the visual, comfort and

3D printing software and services, and collaboration with

aesthetic needs of the customer.

Hoet design studio, pioneer in innovative eyewear designs.

The range features an exclusive selection of frame designs,

Regular frames and lenses can be customised only to a

colours and finishes. These are complemented by a choice

certain degree. The frame and fitting are a given, and lens

of premium progressive, single vision or indoor lens

parameters have to be adjusted to suit them, providing the


best possible – though not always ideal – vision experience.

Yu-ni-ku is Japanese for ‘unique’. It is actually the phonetic,

Yuniku, by contrast, uses a revolutionary vision-centric ap-

Western spelling of the Japanese word for unique. It stands

proach. It begins by assessing the wearer’s visual needs and

for dynamic, intuitive and innovative; for one of a kind.

facial features.

For further details visit:

Secret Garden collection by Okia The Secret Garden collec on recently introduced by Okia takes inspira on from the beauty of flowers and the enchan ng meaning hidden behind them. Okia have created a refined proposal of unique frames that aim to express the natural feeling and magic of blossoms. 3D blocks – extraordinary blends of high defini on colours and sparkling solid materials – are laminated inside the acetate in order to strengthen the feeling of gradient colours. The bold colour contrast highlights the flowers’ details and makes each pa ern even more realis c. For further details visit:


March 2017


INVU collection Norville have launched their 2017 INVU collection which contains over 25 new models encompassing the latest trends, at impulse purchase prices. Every frame is supplied with UV400 ultra-

Nose pad adjusting pliers

Western Optical Supply’s MicroTool 8030S pliers measure just 5 inches in length. Designed to get into hard to reach

polarised lenses with glare-free vision. For further details visit:

places, they securely and safely adjust all types of nose pads. The cupped jaw for cradling the pad is matched to a slotted jaw for securely bracing the nose pad box and arm. For further details visit:

Costa sunglasses

Costa Sunglasses have introduced five new sunglasses to their Core collection. Styles include the Bloke, Kiwa, Reefton, Tasman Sea, and Whitetip and are all available in plano and customised Rx. Built for an improved experience on and around the water from biodegradable

Contemporary styled frames

Dana Buchman has launched six new

resins made from reclaimed castor oil, these new sunglasses are claimed to be more

frames to its collec)on. Very few mature

resilient and durable than those made of petroleum. The Bloke, Kiwa, Reefton, Tasman

ladies’ brands have such contemporary

Sea, and Whitetip are all designed to withstand the outdoor elements while simulta-

and updated styling, allowing for a deep

neously providing a comfortable fit.

B measurement without overwhelming

The 2017 Core collection lenses also feature Costa’s patented 580 technology that filters out harsh yellow light and harmful shortwave blue light, while enhancing red, green, and blue hues, making them a great fit for any activity on the water, especially sighting

features. The colours of the new models range from the classic shade black to gun-

fish. The sunglasses are also 100 per



cent polarised and available in vari-


ous frame colours and Costa’s five

wine, lilac and cherry all with their own

glass and polycarbonate lens colours

unique decora)ve detailing along the tem-

that are built with changing light con-

ples. Each frame comes with its very own cream-coloured, crocodile paern case.

ditions in mind. For further details visit:

For further details visit:

UV and blue light analyser A new instrument from BPI is designed to check the UV and blue light transmiance of lenses and provide a figure of merit to use in comparing and producing lenses that protect from radia)ons in this wavelength range.

comparison of the lens’ photopic transmission with its blocking ability for high-energy (blue/violet) wavelengths. The meter also has cau)on indica)ng LEDs which indicate if the lens transmission is higher than that which would be provided by a linear drop in transmission

The analyser uses LED light sources centered

with wavelength from its Tv value down

at 400nm, 430nm, 470nm and 505nm to evaluate

to zero in the UVA. Air (no lens) lights all

lens transmission in these regions. The luminous

cau)on LEDs and has a Wertheim Protec-

transmiance, Tv, of the lens is also provided. The transmission percentage at each range is displayed along with the Wertheim Protec)on Factor, a figure of merit based on a


)on Factor of ‘0’. For further details visit:

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)




Fair & Cheer Inc


AIM Specialty Materials

Fil-Tech Inc

Arch Crown

Automation & Robotics

Bühler Alzenau GmbH Business Area Leybold Optics

PBG Piezoelettrica Business General Srl

Federation of Manufacturing Opticians

Groupe Couget Optical

Hong Kong Optical Fair

Phantom Research Labs Inc

POMDI-Herramientas De Diamante S.A.


Cerium Optical Products

Schneider GmbH & Co. KG

Coburn Technologies

Comes Fratelli Colombo S.r.l.

SEIKO Optical UK

Comexpo – Silmo

Stratox Ltd

Contact Lens Manufacturers Association –


Reed Exhibition Companies

Norville Autoflow

OLA (Optical Laboratories Association)


Wenzhou Int’l Optics Fair, China


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

March 2017



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


March 2017


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



Do you receive your own copy of

OPTICAL WORLD? Email us at: To be included on our distribuon list W

March 2017


2017 EXHIBITION DIARY 9-11 March

SILMO Sydney International Convention Centre Australia

10-12 March

Opta 23rd International Fair for Eye Optics Optometry and Ophthalmology Brno, Czech Republic

1-3 April


20-22 April

DIOPS – 16th Daegu International Optical Show Daegu Exhibition & Convention Centre, Korea

24-27 May

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

30 November to 3 December

SILMO ISTANBUL Instanbul Fair Centre, Turkey




JUNE ISSUE Survey: Hard Coating If you wish your company to be included in the above surveys please send relevant information to

Contact: Jenny on (44) 1702 345443

our technical consultant Peter Wilkinson



Spotlight on Asia www.easypower

www.darwinopti .tw

Hong Kong O Manufacturers A ptical ssociation

www.hkoptical.o www.thintechlen ww

Optical World March 2017  
Optical World March 2017