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APRIL 2016


13 care tactics can be a very effective method for achieving a desired result in swaying popular opinion. Certainly that would seem to be the view of those campaigning on each side of the current pub‐ lic debate in the United Kingdom over Britain’s continued member‐ ship of the European Union. Dire warnings of loss of sovereignty and threats of loss of control on one side are being countered on the other with even scarier warnings of threats to the nation’s economy and even its defence and security if it were to ‘leave Europe’. The approach of the government‐backed Britain Stronger In Europe campaign seems best summed up by Hillaire Belloc’s verse: ‘…always keep ahold of nurse for fear of finding something worse’. Indeed, the scare stories on the risks of departure are being put so strongly by ministers that the UK government is beginning to look irresponsibly reckless in cre‐ ating the risk in the first place by insisting on a referendum.


That is always the dilemma with using scare tactics. You want to per‐ suade but you don’t want to risk putting people off altogether. Contact lens compliance is another case in point. A recent survey in the United States claimed that 99 per cent of adults who wear contact lenses ad‐ mit to breaking one or more of the ‘cardinal rules’. These include washing or storing lenses in water rather than contact lens solutions, sleeping in lenses, using lenses beyond the recommended time, and reusing ‘spent’ solutions. Users are gravely warned that these corner‐cutting practices could lead to a wearer going blind. Doubtless that worse‐case scenario is true in extremis but, while we are weighing perils, we should not ignore the risk of scaring contact lens wearers too much about all the hidden hazards to which they may be exposing themselves. There is a very real danger that users overly frightened by horror stories may simply conclude that they may be better off abandoning their contact lenses altogether.


CONTENTS April 2016 Volume 45 · Number 380

INTERNATIONAL SCENE 2 · A ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream – or Nightmare?

OUTLOOK 4 · Nidek’s annual Lens Edger Summit 5 · Silmo Sydney 2017 6 · Hoya Vision Care establish subsidiary in Russia 7 · Essilor acquire Vision Direct 9 · Optical Express appoint new professional development director

FEATURES 10 · Eyewear thoughts for 2016 13 · Cirillo Marcolin offers OW readers an exclusive insight 14 · Vibrant Mido 2016 OW correspondent reports from Milan 22 · Survey Progressive Lenses Part 1: Concept and History

OPTIPRODUCTS 28 · Zeiss progressive lenses app 29 · INVU ultrapolorised collection from Norville

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April 2016



A ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ – or Nightmare? t's official. Britain will vote in less than three months’ time on whether to stay in or leave the European Union. The date appointed with destiny is June 23, just after midsummer in the Northern Hemisphere: one of the semiofficial ‘fools’ feast days’ of medieval England. The announcement followed the unveiling of an agreement secured by British prime minister David Cameron after exhaustive (and exhausting) negotiations with the 27 other EU country leaders. At issue, the UK’s status within the union, in particular its right to opt out in perpetuity of proceedings leading to ‘ever closer union’ in the EU, concessions to redress or reduce the effects of the European predilection for traderestricting red tape and to improve competitiveness; some curbs on EU immigrants’ rights to enjoy UK welfare benefits; and recognition of Britain's right to stand for ever outside the 19 nation strong Eurozone, where growth remains patchy, slow and stuttering. 2

At home, Cameron’s backers included international big businesses operating in Britain. Small and medium-size business enterprises, among whom almost all optical firms would be numbered, were more equivocal. In Europe, the Prime Minister’s significant allies included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with some other Northern European heads of state, and, late in the affair, Mario Renzi of Italy. EU Council President Donald Tusk weighed in behind David Cameron too, urging countries to keep Britain in at almost any cost, lest a ‘Brexit’ be followed by a collapse of the whole European project. Is it unduly cynical of your columnist to wonder what mutual back-scratching benefits may be expected in return? Though it had yet to be satisfied by the European Parliament when this issue went to press, the deal so hard won was proclaimed to Britons as an unexpectedly famous victory. ‘Stay in’ and ‘Leave’ campaigns (supporters

InternationalSCENE may spend up to £7 million on each) were under way at once. Should the ‘Leavers’ win, Brexit will not be an immediate process. The way out of the EU for Britain would involve two years of liaison work by two mentoring countries (selected by Mr Tusk’s Council) to negotiate terms. Whatever the long-term consequences, it is internationally acknowledged that a Brexit would have a deeply unsettling immediate effect, not only on the UK and its business community, but more widely on an EU already staggering under the effects of the ongoing migration crisis (Greece, at a late stage in the British negotiations, threatened to block the whole deal if not helped with its huge migrant problem) coupled with the uncertainty in global markets which has already slowed Eurozone growth to a trickle. Will the ‘Stays’ or ‘Leaves’ win? One set of pollsters recently gave the likely outcome of the June 23 vote as a narrow (53/47 per cent) win for the ‘Stayers’. The end of the affair? Your writer recalls that when last year’s Scottish Independence referendum was being debated, all parties spoke of it as a once-in-a-generation question. Now, however Scotland’s First Minister, the redoubtable Nicola Sturgeon, has been suggesting that, as Scotland is more pro-EU than the UK as a whole, a ‘Leave’ result in the EU vote might lead Scots to demand another vote on independence, so that they could not be dragged out of Europe against their will. It seems there’s no last chapter in sight for this saga! ‘Uncertainty breeding fear’ a summary of commentators’ views on markets’ performance in 2016 so far. Ever since the 2008 crash, business operators overall seem to have slipped into a habit of morbid sensitivity about the volatile nature of international business trends and patterns: a volatility which, one might have thought, is native to most markets most of the time.

‘People are talking themselves into another recession; and this one may be worse than 2008 because banks have no new tools with which to mend it’ one City of London banker told your columnist recently. Interest rises put on hold Thus Janet Yellen of the US Federal Reserve has put on hold plans for a gradual series of interest rate rises this year, following an initial 0.25 per cent hike – the first in nearly a decade – last winter. ‘The markets are panicking about this postponement just as they panicked about the decision to put the rate up’ sighs my City friend. In Europe, Mario Draghi of the European Central Bank is approaching the rate rise question with similar caution; the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is talking ‘this year, next year, sometime’. In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ‘Abenomics’ has led to a policy of negative interest rates, using the argument that if it cost lending banks interest to keep their funds with the central bank, they might be more eager to lend to industry rather than hoarding cash. Some banks, at least, are breaking this jellymould. Three in Italy have put up funds of over £5 million to help long-established optical chain Salmoiraghi Vigano open additional stores. Some three years since, the chain was rescued from threatened insolvency by frames giant Luxottica: an internationalist whose continuing revenue and profit growth surely had a positive impact on potential lenders. Even Luxottica, however, has had its recent losses. Co-Chief Executive Officer Adil Khan had his contract terminated (by agreement, and with what it seems was a generous final settlement) just over a month ago. Assuming Mr Khan’s responsibilities, for this year at least, is Luxottica’s founder and chairman Leonardo del Vecchio. Commenting, Sr del Vecchio said his decision reflected the fact that today’s market conditions call for ‘a renewal of entrepreneurial spirit’. W

April 2016



Nidek’s annual Lens Edger Summit Meeting

Nidek of Japan held their annual Lens Edger Summit Meeting in Milan at the end of February, and there was a large attendance of distributors from all over the world. The productive meeting is an excellent opportunity for both Nidek and its distributors to share product information, sales strategies, activities and vision.



20th annual Transitions Academy 2016 Nearly 500 industry professionals from North and South

all attendees. After attending this year’s mix of courses

America gathered at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Or-

and workshops, I am confident attendees will leave inspired

lando for the 20th annual Transitions Academy. During the

and ready to advocate for the Transitions brand.’

two-day, invitation-only event — themed ‘Enlighten’ — at-

On Friday, Transitions Optical’s new consumer marketing

tendees took part in professional development and product

plans for 2016 were unveiled by Vanessa Johns, director,

technology workshops; heard from experts and educators

Latin America marketing and Patience Cook, director,

on marketing and industry trends; and learned from their

North America marketing during the general marketing

peers and partners during panel discussions.

session. Johns and Cook highlighted 2015 successes and

During Thursday morning’s opening session, attendees

gave a sneak peek at new media and influencer partnerships

were welcomed with an illuminating performance and

that are underway. Thierry Robin, chief business officer,

opening remarks from José Alves, general manager, Americas,

rounded-out the session with his thoughts on how the

and Paddy McDermott, president and chief innovation

widened consumer appeal for the Transitions brand will

officer. John Ligas, vice president, R&D, joined his colleagues

get its strength from what the industry partners do to act

during the kickoff and spoke about new insights into Tran-

upon it.

sitions Optical’s existing product technology. Ligas gave

Following an afternoon of action planning workshops on

attendees the knowledge they need to understand the im-

Friday, attendees reconvened together once more to hear

plications of blue light exposure, how harmful blue light is

closing thoughts from Alves and Catherine Rauscher, global

actually present both indoors and outdoors, and how Tran-

director, lenscaster sales.

sitions lenses can provide a measure of protection.

Drew Smith, associate director, North America channels,

‘This Transitions Academy is an important milestone for

led Transitions Optical’s 2015 Transitions Innovation Awards

our company and we are honoured to have both long-

program, and named New Look Eyewear as the winner of

standing and new partners share in our celebration of

Best in Marketing; Visionworks as the winner of Best in

partnership and innovation,’ said Alves. ‘We continue to

Training; VisionArts Eyecare Center as the winner of Best

evolve Transitions Academy to meet changing business

in Patient Experience; Henry Ford OptimEyes as the winner

needs, but have never lost our key vision for the event

of Best in Growth; and Eric White, O.D., as the 2015 Tran-

which is to deliver content that is useful and inspiring to

sitions Brand Ambassador.




Silmo Sydney 2017 Silmo International partners are ex-

cians in Australia, New Zealand and

companies which must commit to stay

tending their reach into promising new

the Pacific islands. Hosting brands and

in sync with the needs of the market.

markets. Following on from Silmo Is-

companies from across the optics and

The second and equally essential is

tanbul, the brand is set to make its

eyewear sector: frames, lenses, contact

the Eyewear Retailers Panel, which

debut in Australia.

lenses, materials, services, etc., its

will bring together independent opti-

Organised by Expertise Events, a

ambition is to become the new stand-

cians, distributors, optometrists, oph-

specialist in event management and

out gathering on the industry’s inter-

thalmologists and other professionals

trade fairs, the very first Silmo Sydney

national trade fair calendar.

involved in the optics and eyewear

is scheduled for March 9 - 11, 2017 in

To ensure a quality welcome and a

retail sector. Their collective input

the brand new International Convention

relevant product offering, the organ-

will shape the topics and format for a

Centre of Australia’s economic and

isers plan to set up two advisory com-

programme of visitor-focused presen-

cultural capital. The aim of this new

mittees. The first of these, the Eyewear

tations on the ever-changing market-

trade fair is to reach buyers and opti-

Suppliers Panel will represent exhibiting




Vision-X Dubai 2016

The 17th edition of Vision-X Dubai will now be held from October 25 - 27, 2016 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The eyewear and eyecare event for the optical industry in the Middle East and Africa, showcases the latest international trends, technologies and designs for international buyers and sellers. Over 4,000 visitors from 80 countries attended Vision-X 2015, where more than 140 exhibitors from 29 countries exhibited the latest optical eyewear and eye-care industry technologies and styles.



April 2016



Vision Ease acquire Daemyung Optical Co Ltd Ophthalmic lens manufacturer Vision Ease has expanded

Vision Ease’s investor, Wind Point Partners, supported

its product portfolio and distribution capabilities with the

this acquisition as part of its business growth strategy for

acquisition of Daemyung Optical Co. Ltd. (DMO). Details

Vision Ease.

of the deal were not disclosed.

‘Daemyung Optical is a smart investment because it’s

DMO is the second largest optical lens manufacturer in

an established market leader with a complementary

Korea, with two production facilities in South Korea and

product portfolio and an extensive distribution network,’

one in China. The acquisition doubles the size of Vision

said Matt Moran, vice president with Wind Point Partners.

Ease while adding critical high-index cast lenses to its

‘We look forward to continuing Vision Ease’s business and

product portfolio, including 1.74, 1.67 and 1.60 high-

capabilities through strategic acquisitions and the addition

index lenses and also expands distribution channels to

of new markets, and providing long-term leadership

high-growth markets throughout Asia.

for DMO.’


Bausch + Lomb donate to Optometry Giving Sight Bausch + Lomb has made a $50,000 donation to Optometry Giving Sight, a global fundraising organisation that specifically targets the prevention of blindness and impaired vision due to Uncorrected Refractive Error by providing access to eye examinations and glasses. The donation will support a broad range of sustainable training and education programs that improve eye health for people in developing and under-served communities. ‘We are committed to helping organisations, such as Optometry Giving Sight, offer eye health services and resources to countries worldwide, particularly those that lack the appropriate resources to support them,’ said Mark McKenna, senior vice president & general manager, U.S. Contact Lenses, Bausch + Lomb. ‘We are proud of the work they do and look forward to our ongoing support for their cause to help bring an end to preventable blindness and vision impairment.’ ‘Bausch + Lomb is a recognised leader in eye health and we are honored by their commitment to support us,’ said Clive Miller, chief executive officer, Optometry Giving Sight. ‘Their generous donation will help us to transform the lives of many more people in underserved communities through the funding of sustainable projects which train local people as eye care professionals and provide access to vision care products and services for people in desperate need,’ he added.



Hoya Vision Care establish subsidiary in Russia Hoya Vision Care Company has announced the estab-

their practice with best-in-class lens materials, designs

lishment of Hoya Lens RUS LLC.

and surface treatments. By launching new services

Building on a strong position in the Russian Federation through a longtime local distributor, Hoya is now entering

for our customers, we will continue our innovation strategy.’

the market directly to provide better service and further

Hans Werquin, CEO of Hoya Vision Care Europe, added:

develop its customer base. Hoya sees significant oppor-

“We are immensely proud to establish our own entity in

tunities to expand its business in Russia and become a

Russia. The country is one of our key strategic markets

leading provider of advanced eye-care products, services

with exciting potential for value-added vision correction

and technologies.

products. Hoya greatly values its close proximity to its

Evgeny Shumilov, managing director of Hoya Lens

customers, offering them quick access to the latest in-

RUS, said: ‘We look forward to building on the success

novations and technologies, providing direct support

the Hoya brand has enjoyed in Russia over the past 11

and building business in partnership. A presence in

years. We intend to foster close relationships with our

Russia will allow us to strengthen this relationship and

customers, and are highly committed to enriching

lay the foundations for future growth.’




Mondottica announce new licenses Mondottica has announced the signing of two new eyewear licenses; for Cath Kidston and Le Coq Sportif. The license with the iconic Cath Kidston brand is worldwide and is targeted to major retailers initially in Europe and Asia. It will include optical frames, sunglasses and readers. It will also extend to designer prescription contact lenses for the Asian market. The initial license will run until 2020 with renewal options. The license with Le Coq Sportif is also targeted to key retailers initially in France and Switzerland. Group Commercial Director Steve Tulba said: ‘We are delighted to partner with Cath Kidston and Le Coq Sportif to create the first eyewear collections for both brands. They both offer something very unique, adding even more diversity and global appeal to the current stable of Mondottica licensed brands’.


Essilor acquire Vision Direct Essilor International has strengthened its online optical

current positions in online optical retail in Europe,

products retailing business with the acquisition of Vision

by complementing existing activities in the Nordic

Direct Group Ltd, UK, one of Europe’s leading online contact


lens retailers, with revenue of around £33 million in 2015.

Vision Direct’s existing management team will remain

Vision Direct does a majority of its business in the UK and

in place, and will leverage Essilor International’s know-

Ireland, but is also active in several other European countries

how to continue growing the Vision Direct business, by

and enjoys a reputation for excellent customer service.

broadening its optical products offering and further ex-

This move further strengthens Essilor International’s

panding its geographic footprint.



April 2016



Optical Express appoint new professional development director Leading eye care provider Optical Express has appointed Geraldine Meade as its new professional development director. After several months of searching, this new role within Optical Express has been filled by Geraldine Meade, who was formerly managing director of Scottish eye care chain Black & Lizars. Her primary focus will be to deliver continuing professional development to Optical Express’s clinical and retail staff. With 25 years of experience in the optical industry, Geraldine has grown her career from Optical Advisor to managing director. Geraldine held a number of positions at Black & Lizars, including chief operating officer, overseeing the running of the firm’s 25 practices, before becoming Managing Director. At Optical Express she will be responsible for the professional development of staff across the company’s network of clinics in the UK and Ireland.

W Geraldine Meade


Essilor report strong growth in revenue and earnings Essilor have announced an operating profit of 1,183 million

In 2015, the optical market continued to be driven by

Euros in 2015 (up 19.6 per cent). Hubert Sagnières,

demand from the world's ageing populations and unmet

chairman and chief executive officer of Essilor, said:

vision needs. During the year, Essilor pursued the strategy

‘Essilor has emerged stronger from 2015. Our strategy of

of broadening its playing field initiated in 2014, while

deploying into new vision care segments delivered faster

continuing to implement a dynamic innovation policy and

like-for-like growth, which gained momentum throughout

its unique partnership model.

the year, and record high margins. The rising sales of our

These initiatives further expanded its presence in the

corrective lens and sunglasses brands, as well as the

global corrective lens market, with sales improvement

faster expansion in our online businesses, are bringing us

evenly distributed between developed and fast-growing

closer to consumers, who are demanding better vision


everywhere around the world. At the same time, new ac-

In addition, the Company continued to expand its online

quisitions and the introduction of new business models

business through existing websites, which are enjoying

are strengthening our ties to eyecare professionals.

strong growth overall, and by rolling out solutions in new

‘Going forward, the structural growth in the optical

countries, such as China and Brazil. The sunwear strategy

market, our clear strategic vision and our highly motivated

was also pursued during the year, with two new acquisitions

teams mean that

and the rapid development of Costa sunglasses in the

Essilor is moving into 2016 with

confidence and determination.’

United States and the Bolon brand in China.



April 2016


Eyewear Thoughts for 2016 Richard Chaffin, Consultant Editor On Line Eyewear uying your prescription glasses on line is not a new idea. Ever since the Internet became a common method to communicate and sell products, prescription glasses have been available. The technology for ordering glasses has improved considerably. In the beginning you could not see how a particular frame would actually fit on your face. Now the Internet can picture a frame fitted on your face. Fit may not be exactly the correct word for what will come about when the actual spectacles arrive. No worry, if they are not right, you can send them back and get your money back, nothing lost. When ordering on line there is also the question of the lenses. Purchasing over the Internet the correction, the power and axis for your prescription are not all that is needed. Perhaps you know your pupilary distance or were instructed on how to measure it. If the frame does not fit, the optical centres of the lenses may not line up with your pupils. That is OK because the price is cheaper and vision is adaptable. It is just not as good as it could be or should be. Noses are another question. Noses are what glasses sit on. Noses come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are kind of squashed flat and others are kind of boney and sharp. 10

Frames have to fit on the nose to be comfortable. There are frames to fit all the different kinds of noses. Just be sure to choose the right frame. There are keyhole bridges, saddle bridges, and frames with adjustable pads. It may be hard to tell from an Internet face which bridge will fit a particular nose. Comfort fit can be overlooked to some extent if it is less expensive. After all it is not a pair of shoes that hurt your feet when they do not fit. It is a sore nose. Go to an optician to see if on line glasses can be adjusted or get your money back. Reading glasses Reading glasses can be bought over the counter in many places. In general, reading glasses can work quite well. Reading glasses are tried on before being purchased. You can tell right away if they work. You can read with them. However, there are some problems with buying reading glasses. The lenses in reading glasses are the same correction for both eyes. Therefore both eyes must need the same correction. Reading glass lenses are spherical only. They have no cylindrical correction. Frames for reading glasses are usually sized to fit an anatomical average face. The PD and the optical centre of the lenses may or may not be in the proper place for the

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wearer. Again, an advantage of reading glasses is they can be tried on to see if they work before buying. It is afterwards that a headache or eyestrain may signal a problem. Over the counter reading glasses have been growing in popularity. One of the reasons is the high price of prescription glasses and another is how easy it is to purchase reading glasses. Clip-Ons Clip-Ons are a device that can be placed over regular clear prescription reading or progressive glasses for use in bright conditions or sunlight. They are plano (no power) lenses that are 4 or 6 base curve. Clip-ons adapt to different shaped frames using a spring and have various methods of attaching. Clip-Ons quite often have polarised lenses as well as being grey, brown, or green in colour. Clip-Ons are an old good idea. They were originally made with glass lenses that added considerable weight. Today’s Clip-on lenses are heat moulded from flat sheet, thin and lightweight plastic. They may be acrylic. As an alternative to prescription sunglasses clip-ons work very well. They are inexpensive and easy to use. They do not replace regular non-prescription sunglasses. High Index High index lenses have been available in glass for many years. Indices as high as 1.90 are available. The problem with glass high index lenses is the higher the index the heavier the weight. Plastic lenses were thought not to be able to reach indices higher then the range of crown glass, 1.52. That idea was proven wrong as plastic lenses with new chemistry slowly worked their way up. Plastic lenses are now available with an index of 1.74, not as high as glass, but higher than CR-39 (1.499) the major plastic lens material worldwide. High index plastic lenses are not significantly heavier than lower indices plastic. Does that mean higher index plastic lenses are better for all prescriptions? Not necessarily. There are more aspects of a lens to be considered in addition to the index. Abbe values, light transmission, impact resistance, chemical resistance, colour all have some importance. Another factor is 80 per cent of all lens prescriptions fall within a lower range of correction between plus or minus two dioptres with a cylinder of two 12

dioptres. These lenses benefit very little in weight or thickness from higher index. They are priced higher and lose out in some or all of the above-mentioned shortcomings of high index. Lenses of 1.499 (CR-39) continue to be optically and cost wise the major part of the lens marketplace worldwide. Essilor & Luxottica The business has changed dramatically. The three O’s and the laboratories were regional and independent. The global marketplace and technology has changed the optical business. There now are two companies that dominate the market. Essilor, in lenses, has been most successful. They have followed a policy of not only manufacturing lenses but also owning laboratories or establishing their own laboratories around the world. They have swallowed up the competition in manufacturing and optical products as demonstrated originally in France with BBGR and recently Shamir and Transitions. They have the economic size and strength to reach out into the emerging markets of China, India and Brazil. Except for Japan, Germany (in part), and areas of Scandinavia Essilor is in control. In their latest financial report 45 per cent of their income is United States based. Luxottica is another great success story in the optical business. From a small frame company in the Italian mountains they have grown to be a dominant force in sunglasses, frames, and optical retailing. Luxottica owns Lenscrafters and Oakley in the US and Sunglass Hut and several other companies. They have proven that not only do they know how to design and manufacture frames; they know how to successfully operate and control optical businesses worldwide. Final Thoughts What is the future for the independent optician and the independent laboratory? The ophthalmic optical business is no longer regional. Eyewear is global. Prescriptions are fabricated in laboratories in China and sold on line in the US. The emerging markets are serviced and supplied with the same machinery, frames and lenses as the mature markets. The spectacle business is losing its independence. It is a new optical world.

Cirillo Marcolin, Mido and ANFAO President, offers OPTICAL WORLD an exclusive insight irillo Marcolin and Mido complement each other well. The firm of Marcolin, established by Cirillo’s father Giovanni Coffen Marcolin, has grown up on that foundation to be one of the select group at the forefront of Italian eyewear manufacture and exports. Mido, now approaching its 50th anniversary, has always had the Italian eyeCirillo Marcolin wear industry at the heart of its mission. Today, as ever, says Cirillo Marcolin, ‘legendary brands, young designers, and new companies all look to Mido as the guide and mentor that inspires them’. Sr. Marcolin has worked in the family company since his undergraduate days studying Business Administration at Milan’s Bocconi University. After gaining experience as branch director of Marcolin France, he returned to headquarters for further grounding in the company’s financial, production and facility departments, becoming head of sales then chief executive officer. He served a term as president both of Italy’s optical goods manufacturing association ANFAO and of its trade fair Mido initially from 2003 to 2007, then again from 2011 onwards, steering Mido successfully through an era which has seen huge changes in the global business world and in the nature of optics. The key to Mido’s success has been, says Sr. Marcolin, its vision for the development and promotion of the Italian eyewear industry, and the fact that it hosts the premier showcase for the world’s greatest eyewear producers. From the 1980s on, Italian eyewear has worked in close association with fashion, with top-name fashion brands produced under contract. ‘Eyewear has been recognised as an increasingly important accessory and thus the market has grown’. The evolution of Mido reflects this world change, and the attention given to innovation. ‘The key factor throughout has been

Mido’s ability to understand the eyewear sector and therefore grow in harmony with it’. A changing and developing eyewear industry depends on fostering, for example, new technology and materials. Italian companies have made a major contribution to this process. Growth of the eyewear industry goes hand in hand with development of optical business, nationally and internationally. Mido’s Tech Hall, Cirillo Marcolin points out, is the largest area dedicated to instruments and machinery serving both the eyewear industry and opticians to be offered by any trade exhibition. Eyewear, by definition, includes lenses, he agreed. Mido is ‘the only show which has a whole pavilion dedicated to lenses, with big players and small alike presenting their products. You cannot understand Planet Eyewear without having in front of you all the constellations which make up this universe’. A phenomenon of the 21st Century has been the greatly enhanced role of China in world optics. ‘Chinese companies love Mido and there is increasing interest in our show on their part. How will economic and social change in China affect the future? We cannot say, but all exhibitors matter to us at Mido and we will always strive hard to accommodate their needs, offering the best show there can possibly be. ‘In 2015 we saw how Mido’s evolution to become a world hub of optical business and eyewear trends, brought more exhibitors – over 1,200 – and more visits: over 49,000. We continue to innovate; Mido 2016 introduced a popular new area, More!, focusing on future eyewear trends and highlighted communications, including social media, now so vital for optical business. This includes our new Mido app, used both for access, useful both for access to the show and its facilities and to receive information updates. We also introduced Mido Awards, BESTAND for exhibitors and BESTORE with an international jury selecting ‘the best optical store in the world’. As ever, Mido means business. To see for yourself come to Milan in 2017’.


April 2016


Vibrant MIDO 2016 OW’s correspondent reports from Milan


alf past eight on February 26: a soaking wet Milan Saturday morning. The elegant tree-lined streets of downtown have been left far behind: the mountains of the Alps, Milan’s neighbours (and the bringers of all that rain) rise up invisible in the murk. Cars, motorbikes, taxis jostle and joust their way through the unpitying traffic across charmless outer-city wasteland towards Mido 2016. On arrival, as the portico of the Rho Perro fairground looms out of the mist, more crowds flock in from the Metro. Exhibitors are inside and at work already; Mido 2016 is about to open its doors. Has our journey been really necessary? Beyond a doubt, thankfully yes. This Mido provided heartwarming evidence that there’s plenty of life in the optical industry yet: that firms from many countries and many industry sections remain inventive, innovative, focused on providing value for money and food for thought to their optician customers, again from many countries and continents. In the midst of global business gloom, this Mido was a big mood-lifter. The show was organised by and on behalf of a national industry with every right to express its confi-


dence: an industry which has been outstripping its country’s overall business recovery rate. The Associazione Nazionale Fabbricanti Articoli Ottici (ANFAO) reported output up in 2015 by 12.5 per cent in value, with 90 per cent of product (mainly eyewear) exported. Plano sunglasses alone were up over 2014’s total value by 14.2 per cent, to €3.442 million. European countries take nearly half of all Italy’s ophthalmic goods exports, the USA 30 per cent, Asia over 18 per cent (and rising). Overall, says ANFAO, Italy with 23 per cent is second only to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the ophthalmic exporters’ table and for high end eyewear the figure rises to 70 per cent. With ‘re-shoring’ of manufacture also on the rise as the international balance of labour costs shifts, ANFAO is likewise happy to report 870 companies active in its sector and an expanding 17,250 workforce. Eyewear exhibits With more than 1200 companies and organisations listed in the exhibition catalogue (nowadays a minimally informative ‘catalog lite’, no longer the brick of yesteryear) Mido 2016 lived up to its asseveration of continuing growth year on year. Of 2016’s exhibitors, an esti-

mated 70 per cent focused on showing frames and/or sunglasses; nearly 120 carried the prefix of origin Wenzhou, underlining the pivotal role of Mido as European showcase for the PRC’s ophthalmic goods exports despite this giant country’s recent much-publicised shift away from manufacturing goods for export towards

Walid Gharbi, senior manager at Opty Lab, Tunisia and SCL president Denis Gehrig demonstrating the SCL CTE 250 cleaning system. Ms Raida, coating manager at Opty Lab looks on

home consumer market development. (Italian ophthalmic goods imports were up in value along with exports in 2015, by 14.9 per cent, ANFAO acknowledges.) What of Mido’s eyewear exhibits, and what if any dilemmas do they pose for the lens industry overall? In the frame and sunglass sectors, two divergent trends were discernible here in 2016: the retro look, and what your reporter would classify as the frame designer’s new take on ‘Art Deco’. In either category, plastics materials (perhaps it would be truer to say non-metals) heavily outnumbered metals and rimless or ‘Nylor’ styles put together. Unisex styling was in at least partial eclipse; metals, especially by beta-titanium, retained a foothold in the men’s frame sector. This year’s ‘Art Deco’ trend, mainly for women, generously heaped ornamentation, garnishes and trims on to frame fronts and sides, sometimes both at once to achieve a 3D look, creating – your writer would have thought – a heavy load for wearers’ noses, putting (perhaps) a premium on lightness of lens. Hinges, pins, screws, pads, on the other hand, were kept inconspicuous. The 2016 version of the retro look revisited every decade in frames from the 1920s to the 1980s, with a wild variety of eyesizes and eyeshapes in between. A freedom owed to free-form? Providing an exception to the ‘no unisex’ rule, women’s as well as men’s sunglass frames often featured double bridge bars. Mido eyewear displays in 2016 increasingly featured the theme of product customisation: more evidence of


the retro trend, given the importance of individual frame dispensing in earlier epochs and the new possibilities opened up by the combination of 3D printing with free-form lens technology? Seiko Europe’s stand showed the customisation concept applied to sports eyewear. The spotlight in this year is on the Rio Olympics. With the Seiko Xchanger, each end-user can make his or her own choice from a range of frame and lens options, including up to 250 tint modulations. Equipment and machines This Mido underlined how free-form lens technology is changing and defining today’s industry development. Schneider’s continuous innovation of new-age freeform technology has contributed to the on-going transformation of Europe’s lens production and processing industry. Their exhibit featured a whole Nano Line machine portfolio (‘Little space; big business’) with multiple options for interlinked small-footprint lens production equipment such as the HSC nano X generator, CCP nano polisher, SHC nano spin hard coater and the new RPT nano fast response AR coating system. Also available for partner labs is the high capacity HSC nano XP (plus integral lens laser marker) combined with the double-spindle polisher CCP nano 2, the DHC 20 dipcoater and the compact EBC 600 box coater. This Nano Line range is a solution for start-ups and partner labs that want to produce free-form lenses anywhere.

Sarote Prachaktam and Chakorn Thotrakul, Thai Optical Co. Ltd look on as OptoTech president Roland Mandler demonstrates OptoTech’s new ASP 80 Twin-A polisher

OptoTech focused on the latest developments to its enhanced-output smartLAB ultraline system, including the FLASH Twin-A digital lens surface (output 75 lenses per hour) designed for coupling to the ASP80 Twin-A polisher with lens surface adaptive tooling and integral automated lens cleaning, and the versatile OAC60 AR

Shamir Optical’s busy stand Corrado Iannelli, service assistant, president, Roberto de Gennaro, Gaestano Volpe, R&D manager, Procrea Tech, pictured on the company stand chatting to a customer

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coating unit. Also shown, in tune with the changing industry trend, the Easy Twin CNC polisher designed for the small laboratory.

Optimal Technologies managing director Dean Thompson demonstrating a concept CHC40 cleaning and coating machine to Billy Edmonds, director, Spectrum Direct Ltd. Mr Edmonds who was one of Optimal Technologies very first customers some 14 years ago, commented that over that period his company have purchased two Optimal CHC-150 machines and both were still very much in active daily service to this day

Satisloh presented an innovative wealth of free-form age technologies, from the ultra-fast high-output VFT Orbit 2 generator with energy saving and ease of maintenance built in, to an interesting new lens laser engraver. Another new concept from Satisloh: the blockless, wet-cutting E5 edger. This firm’s display was designed to offer fresh choices for laboratories of all sizes, such as the high-volume MultiFLEX polisher, with the thought for cost and space-saving that characterises this new lens industry era. Centrepiece of the Coburn Technologies display, and making its Mido debut was the Cobalt LTE generator which teams with the Coburn DTP polisher to provide the heart of a free-form age lens production system. For Coburn, Dave Short, Pan-European commercial manager, confirms that fast operation especially with polishing (given the good quality of post-generation surfaces) and a small footprint are key requirements for successful innovation today. MEI have been flying the flag for Italy’s lens industry with increasing bravura, success and international recognition over recent years. Their innovations for Mido 2016 included the Racer TBA edging system (TBA signifies ‘Throw the Block Away’) and the versatile, user-friendly EZFIT edger for the small workshop and retail store. Plans are afoot for a well-earned move to a new, larger home in the Bergamo area with staff training facilities alongside, said founder Sr. Stefano Sonzogni. It may be a while yet before blockless edging grows universal. SCL of France introduced at Mido the CTE 250 and CTE 500 fully automated In-Line lens cleaning

units, using high-pressure brushing to produce up to 2000 clean, dry, coating-ready lenses per shift. Not every start-up or refurbishment exercise calls for the smaller capacity equipment. Optimal Technologies’ managing director Dean Thompson explained that when his firm’s latest-concept, fully roboticised lens cleaning and hard coating units were demonstrated recently, one customer request was for larger capacity machine options. Pads4Labs majored on a new high-adhesion UV shielding hard coat for use with spin coaters. TC39920UV offers the added value of full tintability. Firms adopting the new free-form technology need new consumables to match. Cerium’s innovations shown at Mido 2016 included long-life, high performance Prestige and Polar Lite polishes, formulated with especially careful attention to particle size to give top-flight results on a wide range of plastics lens substrates. Both wellproven using conventional laboratory machinery, these are especially recommended for use in free-form systems and with Trivex and polycarbonate lens operations, including high-curve lens polishing. Also in Cerium’s display, the latest model of the firm’s Thermaguard water chilling and filtration unit, Thermaguard II.

Pictured on the Nidek stand are Gerard Donovan, Tant Laboratories, UK, and Nidek senior engineer, Motoshi Tanaka, demonstrating the AES-2200 Auto Edging System with Stacker, (the stacker is under development) with Tant managing director Nigel Castle

Cotec’s display, strong on lens coating technology and materials, included Duralon top surface nanolayer designed to make today’s water and grease repellent lens surfaces so much easier to clean. Cotec also showed the Matrix lens marking system. Teco showed the desk top sized, fast and fully automatable X-CUBE lens marking unit. Growth in the free-form market is creating new opportunities for designs of appropriate lens software. Several young companies occupying this interesting new niche emerged at Mido 2016. One was Procrea,


April 2016


an Italian firm with links to D.A.I. Optical. Its motto: Servilens of Spain were promoting a contact lens ‘Unconventional free-form for unconventional compa- claimed to be protective against age-related macular nies’. At Mido, research and development manager degeneration, AMD). Younger Optics, which already Gaestano Volpe was introducing a range of progressive claims the world’s biggest range of lens options for and special single vision design software options utilis- Transitions photochromic, has added Transitions ing Wave Front ‘Ray Tracing Technology’ for lens per- Graphite Green to this list. The company also reported formance and wearability optimisation. Progressive op- from Mido continuing strong interest in its acclaimed tions included individualised lifestyle-adaptive Crea Iself, Drivewear and Nupolar ranges. Essilor itself showcased new Kolor Up lens tints, apCrea Age (optimised for wearer comfort over an add range up to +4.50D) Crea Room, an office design, a plicable in plano form or to prescription, polarised or blended bifocal and single vision Crea Asform. The non-polarising, and in multiple, colour-on-colour tint layers for ‘modern, rich, firm’s literature focused fashion, lifestyle or strongly on dispensing sports sunglass appeal’. advice and help for the Carl Zeiss focused on optician. Drivesafe anti-glare All these firms and lenses utilising Lumimore were brought tonance Design Technolgether, along with ogy, offered in single frame manufacturing vision or progressive equipment specialists form. like Haug and Italy’s Rodenstock featured own Lema in the Tech wide transmission swing Hall at Mido: Hall Five, ColorMatic IQ2 and Cola tight little high-tech orMatic IQ Sun phoisland in a sea of, tochromics; three fashmainly, Far Eastern ion and three contrast frame and sunglass comcolours, with the addipanies. Other equiptional option of a silver ment ‘big names’, howMichelangelo De Gennaro, Dai Fast assistant, and Isabella De Gennaro, sales & marketing division, D.A.I. Optical, pictured promoting the advantages of SAFER, the lens which mirror coating; IQ Sun 2 ever, from Nidek to protects the eye from harmful light up to 420nm is the recommendation Huvitz of Korea, were located far away in Hall Three, along with an eminent for driving with this range. D.A.I. Optical introduced Cromocolor fashion phocadre of ophthalmic lens specialists. Nidek’s diverse ophthalmic instrument display fea- tochromics (in 2016 fashion’s favourite colours of blue, tures the multifunctional Tonoref, now with non-contact pink and purple) and Safer tint-free but UV-shielding pachymeter, enabling the eyecare professional to check lens coat. Adlens focused on the blue light blocking on intraocular pressure in relation to corneal thickness properties of their Interface adjustable power computer data. The Nidek machinery display featured the LEX eyewear. Shamir introduced their first ever safety eye1200 patternless edger, designed for very fast, accurate wear range incorporating frames by Eyres of Australia. processing across a huge variety of lens profiles. It can Barberini of Italy staged a jewel bright display of mineral be coupled to Nidek’s LEX drill and to the glazer-friendly tints – but details were ‘website only’. This exhibit might have stood for Mido 2016 as a ICE-1200 ‘smart’ blocker. As is the firm’s custom, Nidek held at Mido 2016 its whole: demanding some effort of the visitor but offering annual worldwide gathering of distributors and daugh- more than for some years past in terms of innovation, ter companies; a report appears in the news pages of excitement and visible product quality, with its ‘MORE!’ pavilion as a vision of the future. As an eyewear show, this issue. A number of Mido 2016’s most interesting ophthalmic Mido proved once again what a jewel it is in the global innovations featured UV-blocking capacity. Essilor’s crown. The 2016 edition, though, was so much more Crizal was an international influence here. (By implica- than an eyewear show. Will next year (February 25-27, tion, a contact lens company also joined this chorus; 2017) repeat the achievement? Come and see!


Florie Moutin, international sales manager at Teco with visitors on the company stand Larry Clarke president & COO Satisloh AG and Dr Frank Breme Satisloh chief technology officer and head of region EMEA & India pictured unveiling the new VFT-orbit 2 generator

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April 2016


Progressive Lenses Part 1: Concept and history Tony Jarratt, Technical Editor Because of the very large number of progressive lens designs on the market, this review will be divided into two parts. Part one will deal with the concepts behind the design of such lenses, including a brief look at the history of the lens. Part two (which will be published in our May issue) will cover the various companies who have been kind enough to supply details of their ranges.


rogressive lenses, or to use the more commonly accepted term, Progressive Addition Lenses (PAL’s), have for some time outsold bifocals and trifocals as the lens of first choice for presbyopes. This is indicated by the multitude of lens designs listed by the various manufacturers and is certainly correct as far as the major economic countries are concerned – although it may not be so for the less well developed economies, due to cost considerations. Having said this, the cost difference is not so obvious as it once was. PAL’s are now available in virtually all lens materials, apart from 1.9 index glass, and are produced by all major manufacturers in many different designs. The reasons for this rise in popularity over the last few decades are not too hard to fathom: they have many advantages over conventional bifocals and trifocals, although they do have their disadvantages and they are not perfect. The design of a progressive lens differs from that of the conventional multifocal, which has a set number of power areas (normally two or three) – each offering a fixed focal power. These fixed powers are normally supplied as bifocals for distance and near (usually reading) use, or in the case of a trifocal with three power areas – distance, intermediate and near. In contrast a progressive design has no distinct divisions between the different power areas, which blend into each other seamlessly. Advantages The first advantage is one that appeals to the wearer’s vanity. This is the cosmetic appearance of the lens. Bifocals and trifocals suffer from a cosmetic disadvantage, they have a noticeable dividing line between the distance and near portions of the lens. This is even noticeable in fused multifocals, which are less ‘visible’ than the older solid designs.


This line has two main drawbacks: (1) it spoils the cosmetic appearance of the lens and (2) it is a give-away to the wearer’s age. A wearer usually wishes to have a lens which is as cosmetically attractive as possible, and the visibility of the segment detracts from this appearance. Also to an observer, a bifocal wearer can be seen to be getting on in years, as it is obvious that they require additional help for near use. Although these are cosmetic factors rather than the more significant optical ones, they are important to the wearer. They require spectacles that are attractive and visible lines do spoil the appearance. To the optician, both optometrist and dispenser, it is the optical characteristics that are more important and here the progressive lens design normally scores over the older conventional multifocal. Firstly, the lens does not produce any form of ‘jump’, as there is no fixed division between the distance and near portions of the lens. Secondly, the design provides a gradual change of power between the upper, or distance portion, and the near area at the bottom. These characteristics aid the wearer to adjust to the use of the lens quite easily and also produce less eye fatigue, as there is no sudden change from one focal length to another. The change is gradual and continuous, so there is no need for the eyes to suddenly exert any of their remaining accommodative power. Disadvantages This continuous change in power also provides a third advantage – the user is provided with an unbroken range of focal powers covering all intermediate distances, in addition to those of distance and near. This is something that can never be achieved with a lens that has two or three fixed focal powers. Nothing is perfect for everyone and there are some disadvantages due to the production of the lens – forced

on the manufacturer by the concept of a progressive design. To achieve the required progression from distance to near, the lens power has to provide a positive power increase – a change that can only be brought about by decreasing the radius of the lens surface – as the index remains the same over the whole mass of the lens. If this change were to take place over the whole of the lower portion of the lens, it would produce a toroidal effect on the lens surface, thus introducing a cylindrical error. To eliminate this problem and to achieve a true spherical add power, the change in the lens surface can only take place in a narrow central ‘corridor’. This results in the areas peripheral to the central corridor taking on a degree of surface astigmatism, thus producing a level of blur when the user views through these portions of the lens. As the corridor is, therefore, quite narrow, measuring anything from about 4mm wide, there is a consequent restriction of the intermediate field of view over the length of the progressive area.

At the lower end of the corridor, the useful area of the surface, which is now at or near the full reading power, still does not reach fully across the lens. This means that the reading field can be narrower than that of most conventional multifocals, although the latest designs are achieving far better results in this area. Due to these restrictions, the first time wearer of progressives can normally expect to experience a ‘swimming’ effect, where objects appear to rock or move slightly when coming into the field of view. This effect will cease once the user has adapted to the lens design, as the eyebrain function becomes accustomed to the effect and compensates for it. This period of adaptation is applicable to all progressive designs and can even be experienced when a patient moves to a new Rx, particularly with an increase in reading power. This is noticeable, due to the design parameters, this reading area at the lower part of the lens becomes smaller as the add increases. This happens with all lens designs on the market and is something that the wearer has to accept.


April 2016


Because of this reduction in the reading field, it is always advisable to introduce a patient to progressives as soon as they become presbyopic. When the add is in the region of 0.75 to 1.00, the reading field is at its widest and the adaptation is easier. Introducing progressives to a wearer who has become used, over a period, to using bifocals or trifocals with the correspondingly wider inter and reading fields is courting disaster – they will find it far more difficult to adapt to the narrower fields of clear vision. Symmetrical and asymmetrical designs The earlier progressives, known as first generation PALs, were produced with surfaces that were symmetrically designed around the intermediate corridor. This meant that suppliers only had to stock one lens (in each add and base curve) which could then be rotated approximately 10 degrees upwards on the nasal side, to provide the necessary ‘inset’ to the corridor. Fig. 1 shows the areas that contain an astigmatic error. Without this inset, the lens would not be useable Figure 1 for near vision. In terms of stock keeping and inventory value, this was a decided plus for Rx houses. However, it did not take into account two important factors, which produce variations in the optical qualities of the lens surface for both distance and close work.

gaze, when the two eyes are rotated to the left. As can be seen, the left eye views through an area with little or no surface astigmatism, whilst the right eye encounters a portion of the nasal ‘blurred’ area. Although the amount of blurring will be very slight in this area of the lens surface, it may well be enough to disturb the visual comfort of the wearer. Fig. 4 shows the position of the two eyes when viewing a close object to the left of the central area of fixation. This occurs when undertaking such tasks as reading, when the eyes rather than the head are moved to view

Figure 4

the end of a line of print. From a geometrical construction, it can be shown that the two eyes do not move the same distance across the lens surface – in this case the left eye would move a slightly longer distance than the right.With a symmetrical design, the two eyes will be viewing through different amounts of surface astigmatism. To overcome these two related problems, designers started to produce asymmetrical designs (Fig. 5), where

Figure 5

Figure 2

Fig. 2 shows the symmetrical design viewed from the front, with the right and left lenses inset the correct amount. Fig. 3 shows the position of the directions of

Figure 3


two lens blanks are produced, one specifically for the right eye and the other for the left. In these designs, the surface astigmatism in the distance portion is kept as level as possible, so as not to intrude too far into the line of peripheral vision. They are also produced with the intermediate corridors pre-inset the correct amount and the surface astigmatism each side of the corridor adjusted to ‘balance’ the effect on the patient’s eyes when using this area. Variable inset One further problem is the effect that the distance power exerts when the wearer is using the reading area of the lens. This is the same effect that can be encountered when bifocals are being worn.

As both eyes have to rotate downwards and inwards to read or carry out any form of close work, there is an induced vertical and horizontal prismatic effect at the near visual point. Assuming that the patient can tolerate any vertical imbalance if is too high – due to anisometropia, progressive lenses will be of very little use anyway, we are left with the horizontal effect. For minus lenses the prismatic effect will be base in, which will assist convergence. However, for plus lenses, the effect will be the opposite – base out. This will cause the patient to exert some extra effort to complete the necessary convergence. The problem will not normally be large enough to cause double vision, but the extra work involved may well lead to visual discomfort, with the patient reporting ‘problems’ with the lenses. It is quite easy to overcome this problem for most bifocal and trifocal wearers (assuming a reasonably high addition) – the lens can be inset a further amount, so that the power of the addition can exert some base in effect of its own. Although this will not eliminate the base out prism due to the distance portion, it will go a good way to reducing it. It is not normally possible to do this with progressives, as the lens would have to be rotated further than normal, with the consequence of placing the corridor at the wrong angle. For some time, all major companies (Zeiss with their Gradal HS was the first lens to incorporate the idea), have supplied lenses with ‘variable inset’. The number of stock blanks is increased, with those intended for the higher plus powers (and adds) having a larger inset than those produced for the minus or low plus powers. This ensures that the amount of residual base out prism in the reading area is kept to a minimum. Hard and soft designs The basic design features of progressive lenses (gradual increase in plus power in the downward vertical direction) mean that there will always be some area(s) of surface astigmatism present on the lens surface. Designers can however affect the placement of this unwanted ‘distortion’ and so affect the area of clear distance vision, width of corridor and that of the reading area. The earlier designs (first generation) were produced in a form, which has become known as ‘hard’. This hard design is made with a spherical distance portion and the areas with surface astigmatism are confined to the lower nasal and peripheral areas. They do not intrude into the distance area, thus allowing it to be almost full width. The reading area tends to be relatively wide and the progression corridor narrow. The rate of change in power within the corridor is also quite rapid, as is the surface astigmatism each side of it. This type of design produces a lens that can require over long periods of adaptation on the part of the user. This effect can lead to some wearers rejecting the lens,

producing the largest number of cases of ‘non-tolerance’ to progressive lenses. It is the width of the progression corridor, which is more commonly the reason for this non-tolerance, rather than the size of the reading area. Many tasks are undertaken at distances greater than that of the ‘reading’ distance; being performed more at arm’s length, i.e. within the intermediate distance range. This makes the lower part of the intermediate or progressive corridor vitally important to the comfort of the majority of wearers. The rate of change is an important aspect in the design of a good progressive lens. If the corridor length is fixed (at say 15 mm), a 1.00D progressive addition will increase in power by some 0.33 D for every 5 mm of downward change in viewing angle. However, for a 3.00D add the change would have to be 1.00D to achieve the full addition. This ‘faster rate of change’ means that something has to ‘give’ – and this means a higher degree of unwanted surface astigmatism at the edges of the corridor. In an effort to reduce these problems, designers have attempted to increase the width of the corridor and have, over a number of years, introduced new products to the market, which are generally known as ‘soft’ designs. In the soft design, (second and later generation designs) some of the aberrational astigmatism is moved into the lower peripheral areas of the distance portion and into the edges of the reading area. This means that the useful areas of both the distance and reading portions are slightly more restricted, than in the hard design. However, this change in surface form allows the production of a wider intermediate corridor, making adaptation and use of the lens somewhat easier. In wear the restrictions introduced into the main portions have little effect on the user and the wider corridor makes the lens easier to use for intermediate work. This type of design makes the use of products such as VDU screens, which now form a very important part of people’s lives, easier and more comfortable, particularly when long periods of use are involved. Due to technical advances in progressive lens design, we now have lenses that can best be described as being between the extremes of hard and soft – the surfaces are a mixture of both types. They are neither truly hard nor soft. As this blend of types is becoming more the norm, it is also becoming rather pointless in trying to describe the lens as either soft or hard. Vocational requirements Another change, which has come about over the past few years, is the gradual introduction of progressive lens designs, specifically produced for different ranges of tasks. However, a full discussion of these newer designs is outside the scope of this article, being a dispensing matter rather than one of production. The designs of the lenses and their intended use do differ, but they are all are produced primarily for near or


April 2016


close work, with a wider reading area and only reading and intermediate powers. They are not intended for distance vision in the normally accepted sense. The length and width of progression is also an important factor for the dispenser to take into account. A lens with a shorter progression will mean that the wearer will be able to use the reading area without having to depress the line of vision as far as when using a lens with a longer corridor. However, this shorter corridor will mean that the rate of change of the intermediate power will be faster, thus increasing the amount of surface aberrational astigmatism close to the edges of the corridor. Each of these factors must be taken into account when deciding on which lens to dispense to a particular patient. It is no longer possible to stick with one design of lens for all patients. Newer designs In addition to the types of product described above, many manufacturers now produce lenses, which have variable surface form according to the addition (addbased design). The surface is altered as the add increases, to allow for the fact that the patient will not have as much (if any) residual accommodation and will, therefore, use a different part of the intermediate and upper reading area to that used by a younger wearer. Other producers use another method – the multidesign, where the design varies according to the base curve of the lens and this is varied according to the distance power for which the lens is designed. Both of these types can be classed as third generation. The latest designs ‘fourth generation lenses’ incorporate a back aspheric Rx surface, called an Atoric surface (i.e. an aspheric toroidal surface), to allow for flatter and thinner lenses with enhanced optical performance, rather than just aspheric due to unwanted surface astigmatism. They are all of the ‘soft’ design and most are claimed to be eminently suitable for the first time wearer, providing easy adaptation and a more useable intermediate corridor. Several of the newer lenses are now produced with a shorter intermediate corridor – the first one on the market being the AO Compact. This design was intended for use in the latest shallow frames, which are now fashionable. The basic progressive design began life when frame sizes were much larger and a depth of lens from the fitting cross to the lower bevel of about 23-26mm was normal. Now with the latest frames measuring much less in the vertical meridian, these standard designs are not suitable. If the fitting cross is to be placed at the correct height, it is quite probable that much of the full reading area will be lost when the lens is glazed. The newer lenses, with their shorter corridor, obviate this problem. Taking this concept even further, some companies produce designs with more than two corridor lengths. For example, Norville have four corridor lengths for their free-form design – the Ultor progressive. 26

Free-form A really major change which has recently come onto the market, is the supply of individually computed lenses which take into account many of the various parameters concerned with both the lens and the frame/facial fitting. With conventional progressives, the lens designer has to work with a set number of base curves. Ideally, the base curve needs to change for every different combination of Rx, but using standard production methods, the designer has to use a restricted number of base curves. This means that the lens parameters will only be correct for a number of the prescriptions supplied. On each side of the ‘ideal’ base curve, the performance will deteriorate. To overcome this problem, it is necessary to design each lens individually, taking into account, parameters such as: • • • • • • • • • •

Sphere power Cylinder power and axis Prism (if present) The add Centre thickness of the lens Material index Vertex distance Optical centration Pantascopic angle of the frame Frame ‘arching’ – the amount of backward curvature of each rim of the frame

Some companies, such as Shamir (Eye-Point Technology), also take into account the lens centre thickness, distance of the lens to the object, thickness reduction prism etc. Seiko takes into account the wearers’ lifestyle and adjusts the design accordingly. For instance, their Super NEO is available in three different versions: Primarily for outdoor use, balanced design for general wear and primarily for indoor use. Seiko point out that progressives are normally designed so that near vision focuses most comfortably at about 45cm. For general use this is quite suitable, but some wearers may need the near zone at a different distance – e.g. architect or jewellery maker. Seiko can adjust the design to take this factor into account. They can also adjust the design for users such as teachers who often use their lenses primarily for intermediate and near. Back surface designs Another use of free-form design has allowed many manufacturers (Seiko were the first) to move the progressive surface from the front of the lens to the back; the front surface being spherical. The power element, prism and progressive addition are all placed on the rear, nearest the eye, using free-form technology. This has several advantages, including the reduction in stock requirement. The number of spherical semi-finished blanks is far less than the corresponding number of standard

blanks where the base curve and addition have to be catered for. However, this is not the main reason for changing. An inner surface progressive has several advantages. First, it helps to eliminate distortion due to the fact that the designer can influence the form of the surface using freeform techniques; they can adjust the surface according to the power of the lens, axis, prism and centration. Second, the spherical surface eradicates distortion due to the curve change in the progression experienced with normal front surface designs – magnification changes due to form and power factors. By making the front surface spherical there is no variation in magnification; distortion due to the power factor is therefore eliminated. A third advantage is an increase in field of view. Fig.6 shows (in a diagrammatical way) the increased field that can be obtained simply by moving the progressive area closer to the eye. The same length of progression can produce a wider field. [Author’s note – it may appear from the diagram that the thick line indicating the front surface

progression (right side of diagram) has been deliberately drawn smaller than the one at the back (left side) – but it hasn’t, one is a copy of the other – it is an optical illusion]. Using free-form and inner surface working can also lead to a reduction in lens thickness, as flatter curves can be utilised without degrading the patient’s visual acuity.

Figure 6

Since the introduction of this concept by Seiko, many manufacturers have also introduced back surface progressives. With the gradual increase in the availability of free-form equipment and technology, this number is bound to increase. The various designs and concepts used for free-form and back surface work will also be looked at in the sec-

ond part of this article. We will also look at the various concepts used in the design of free-form lenses. Materials The first progressive lenses were mostly produced from spectacle crown glass, with CR39 being introduced quite soon after. These two materials dominated the progressive lens market for many years, but we now have a bewildering array of materials from which to choose. All lens materials are now represented and the only index not present is the 1.9 very high index glass material. Polycarbonate is now well represented, as are polarised materials. Various versions of Transitions material are listed and there are one or two proprietary resin photochromics available, e.g., Hoya, Essilor and Rodenstock, plus Corning’s SunSensors brand. Part two of this review will include tables showing the various materials and indices currently available.

Suppliers and available designs To produce this article, information from 10 companies has been surveyed. This has produced information for over 200 lens designs, when the variations in index are taken into account. Add to this the multiplicity of base curves, adds and diameters and the total number of combinations runs into tens of thousands. In addition to this multiplicity of combination, suppliers are not consistent in the type of information they provide for their products. For instance, some specify the exact corridor length, whilst others show the depth between the fitting cross and top (or a certain point on) of the reading area, but do not state whether this is the actual length of the progressive zone. Others do not state either — but perhaps they give the point at which the reading addition reaches a stated value (say 85 per cent) of the full reading addition. Apart from space considerations, these anomalies mean that it is not possible to compare, in a like-for-like manner, all the various lenses on the market. The vast majority of the designs now produced are asymmetric and have an aspheric surface (or both surfaces may be aspheric) built into the design. Apart from corridor length, the width of the progressive zone (at various points down from the fitting cross) and the size of the reading area also vary from design to design, thus making some of the lenses more suitable for specific tasks (apart from the designated lenses such as those intended for office work, or prolonged reading/ VDU use). Because of this complexity it will not be possible to fully describe each manufacturers’ range — only a brief number of lenses will be described for each supplier. Complete details for the ranges can be obtained from the companies through their catalogues. These, and other details, will be dealt with next month in part two of the article. Companies included will be Darwin, Essilor, Hoya, Norville, Rodenstock, Seiko, Shamir, Tokai, Younger and Zeiss Vision. W

April 2016


New generation of blue cut lenses As the widespread use of smartphones, tablet devices and com-

wavelength than other visible light. It also tends to be diffused

puters increases the me we face a LCD/LED screen, more and

and is believed to cause flickering in the vision.

more people suffer from eyestrain symptoms. One cause of

Y&S (Beijing) offer the new genera on of Blue Cut lenses by

this is believed to be the blue light emi ed from the display on

adding blue cut addi ves in monomer (lens material) which ab-

such devices.

sorbs blue light, so it effec vely reduces incoming blue light to

The shorter the wavelength, the stronger energy a light wave has, and this may cause eye fa gue. Blue light, which is next to

the eyes. New Blue Cut effect is available on 1.56 middle index and 1.60 high index hard resin lenses.

ultraviolet light on the electromagne c spectrum, has a shorter

Zeiss progressive lenses app

For further details visit:

Today’s spectacle wearer changes frame styles more o en than

enables dispensers to easily and successfully convert pa ents into

ever before. This can be challenging, especially for progressive

Zeiss progressive lenses, regardless of the progressive lens design

lens wearers, as eye movement behaviour learned from the pre-

previously worn. With A.C.T. pa ents can also easily upgrade to

vious spectacles has to adapt each me and needs to be considered by prac

modern lens designs and experience fast adapta on.

oners during

The applica on is easy to use, designed to help prac -


oners up-sell and a ract or retain pa ents when

In addi on, with consumer be-

dispensing the Zeiss progressive lenses

haviour changing no ceably over the

por olio. It also helps op cians

past years and the op cal market becoming more and more compe

minimise non-tolerance when con-

ve, quality me,

ver ng pa ents from compe tor progres-

fast services and an efficient consulta on process has never been more important for dispensers looking to sa sfy pa-

sive lens designs and speed up the dispensing process without compromising the quality of the me with their pa ents.

ent needs and drive prac ce success. Zeiss has responded to these challenges by crea ng the Zeiss

The Zeiss progressive lenses app is complimentary and available for desktops, tablets and iPads.

Adapta on Control Technology (A.C.T) incorporated into the new

To download the application please visit:

Zeiss progressive lenses applica on. This innova ve applica on

New sports Rx protective range Lenstec Optical Group have launched a new Sports Rx protective range combining the very best in ergonomic design. The Versport range is delivered with solutions for both children, teens and adults. Versport sports Rx goggles feature a number of specific features designed for wear in the sports arena but also as a general wear activity product. These features include; impact resistant frames made from a high-yield polymer based material, dual locking with raised rear bevel edge system for great lens retention, an antishock and optimal air flow bridge, slightly deeper eye shapes for best fit. Versport children’s frames come with a full head band fitted as standard in 46 and 49mm eye sizes, whereas the teens and adult ranges are available in three different models up to 56 eye and are supplied with super soft sides with an option to remove these sides and replace with a full head band dependent on the patient’s requirements, with this in mind the adult pack comes with sides fitted as standard to the goggle, rear head strap, full head band, anti-fog gel and all supplied in a protective shell case. Lenstec have the exclusive distribution of Versport for the UK and Eire. For further details visit:


Polarised collection from Norville Norville’s latest INVU Ultra-polarised catalogue contains over 25

A choice of wrap frames are available within the Ac ve range,

new models encompassing the latest trends. Every

perfect for an outdoor lifestyle. Eye-catching bright colours sup-

frame is supplied with UV400 Ultra-po-

plied in a variety of frames are offered in the

larised lenses. It is claimed the mul -

Trend collec on. Safety comes first with

layer construc on of INVU Ultra-po-

INVU Kids’; the range combines

larised lenses makes the lens virtually

func onality, protec on

unbreakable and can therefore be safely

and fashion. Easyfit

used for all outdoor ac vi es.

Overspecs are designed

INVU offers six quality collec ons: INVU

for people who wear

Men’s is designed for an ac ve lifestyle and high performance

prescrip on glasses. Consumers especially appreciate the con-

combined with latest design. Oversized models con nue to dom-

venience whilst driving.

inate the Women’s collec on with eye-catching temple detail.

For further details email:

Rodenstock rocco sunspecs The classic sunspecs from the 60s are back on the scene with new, unusual materials and rocco by Rodenstock is now available in a wood look: Made of wood acetate, not a single tree has been felled for them. The rocco by Rodenstock Woodlook collec on is made up of two sunglasses models – the rocco ‘Original’ is very credible with a straight-lined style, whilst the round model, with a double bar, follows the lines of the brow. The metal sides are par cularly eye-catching, with warm gold or brown nuances harmonising with the wood acetate fronts. The two shapes are available in dark and light wood varia ons, but just like with wood, the grain of the acetate is always unique and characterises the colour gradient of the frame. However, unlike genuine wood they are not sensi ve to UV radia on and humidity, and are light and adjustable. The sunglasses are supplied with co-ordina ng Rodenstock SunProtect nts, and a Bronze Mirror coa ng for the light wood round eye, all of which provide 100 per cent UV protec on. For further details visit:

Arch Crown catalogue A 40-page catalogue from Arch Crown features a full-line of bar code technology products including the new Honeywell wireless, battery-free Voyager 1202g-bf barcode scanner and the popular Datamax-O’Neil E-Class Mark III-A advanced printer plus over 100 styles of stock, pre-printed and custom printed Op-Tags and labels. New Poly-Lam thermal transfer computer string and barbell style tags are available in gold, silver, white, yellow, green, blue, pink and orange. Arch Crown can custom colour match Poly-Lam tags for corporate identity, brand awareness and special promotions. For further details visit:


April 2016


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

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

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

April 2016


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


The International Suppliers Guide Circulates to over 11,500 readers

in more than 100 countires W

April 2016


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



April 2016


FOR CLASSIFIEDS Call Jenny Barnes on (44) 1702 345443 or email:

2016 EXHIBITION DIARY 8-10 April

EXPOÓPTICA Feria de Madrid, Spain

9-11 April


13-16 April

Expo Abióptica 2016 São Paulo, Brazil

15-17 April

International Vision Expo East Jacob Javits Convention Centre New York, USA

21-23 April

DIOPS 2016 The 15th Daegu International Optical Show Exco, Daegu, Korea

7-9 September

29th China International Exhibition Centre Beijing, PR China

15-17 September

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

23-26 September

SILMO 2016 Parc des Expositions, Villepinte, Paris, France

25-27 October

VISION X 2016 Dubai World Trade Centre, United Arab Emirates

9-11 November

Hong Kong Optical Fair Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre

8-11 December

Silmo Istanbul Istanbul Expo Centre, Turkey

FORTHCOMING FEATURES MAY ISSUE Survey: Progressives – Part 2


The International Suppliers Guide Circulates to over 11,500 readers in more than 100 countires 36

Survey: Free-form generators If you wish your company to be included in the above surveys please send relevant information to our technical editor Tony Jarratt Email:

The 4 days of Optics 23 - 26 September 2016


Optical World - April 2016