Western Optical Supply’s heat transfer fluid takes the ‘smelly,’ ‘slow,’ and ‘dangerous’ out of in-office tinting.

Asking suppliers to name their most popular products helps determine which ones ECPs need the most.

Eyecare professionals (ECPs) use consumables every day. Some use just one distributor, while others have many suppliers. To find out what products ECPs need the most, we asked a few suppliers which ones are their bestsellers.

Based in England, Cerium Optical Products opened facilities in Texas in 2008, giving the company two U.S. distribution centers. Cerium’s fining pads (both first fine and second) are its bestselling pads, while its polishing pads are becoming more popular. The company also offers six different types of blocking tape for protecting the lens blank’s surface prior to being blocked. The Ceri-Guard Xtra tape in green is the company’s most popular, with the same tape in blue running a close second.

A distributor of Cerium products in the U.S., Salem Vision Group also offers its own extensive product line, including everything from job trays, finishing supplies, and just about anything that is used in a surfacing lab.
For the fining and polishing process, DAC Vision’s top-selling polishes are the Quattro Advanced Lens Polish for general use and the HD-360 Premium Polish that is particularly effective for polycarbonate lenses. Keeping these polishes cool during lens processing and increasing their life is important, and DACKool Plus, which provides lubrication and heat resistance and also contains an anti-foaming formula, is one of the company’s most popular products.

When the lenses come out of the surface lab, any markings, particularly those on progressive lenses, need to be removed. For a number of years this was a source of frustration. Along came OptiSource International with its ALL OFF Progressive Marking Ink Remover, which is available in several sizes and a pen-like dispenser.

After those lenses have arrived in the finishing lab, another bestseller from OptiSource is often utilized—the Crimson King line of blocking pads.

LenSaver Dots from Practical Systems Inc. (PSI) provide extra protection for the lens during edging.

These pads come in 10 different shapes and are effective when used with anti-reflective lenses.

The Val-U-Line Advantage Poli- shing Pad can process all of your CR-39® work at a fraction of the cost, according to Coburn Technologies, Inc. (formerly Gerber Coburn). The Val-U-Line Advantage pad has a poly-cotton textile carrier coated with precision-cut, rayon-flocked blended fibers. Its textile carrier is coated with a low-tack, natural-rubber, pressure-sensitive adhesive for firm but temporary positioning on bare lap tools for residue-free removal.

It’s often necessary to give a lens some extra protection during edging, and that is usually accomplished by some sort of pad. LenSaver Dots from Practical Systems Inc. (PSI) come in clear, green, or blue but are transparent so that layout markings are visible. They come in quantities of 500 or 2,000 per roll and are double-tabbed for easy removal. LenSaver Dots are placed side-by-side on the roll with perforations between each pair of dots.

Some seasoned opticians can tell stories of the advent of plastic ophthalmic lenses and their popularization by a company named Armorlite. Now known as Signet Armorlite, Inc., this company certainly knows a thing or two about plastic lenses and carries virtually every 3M product for both finishing and surfacing, including the ubiquitous 3M™ LEAP™ III Finish Blocking Pad, the 3M LEAP LSE Pad for edging AR lenses, and 3M Surface Saver™ Plus surfacing tapes for both alloy and wax blocking.

Santinelli International, Inc. is also a distributor of 3M LEAP Pads, which are among the company’s bestsellers and can be attached to any style block. Another popular consumable is Santinelli’s Nidek block, which is available in eight configurations, including high curve, mini, nano, pliable, rigid, and half-eye styles.

In addition to Arno Optical Corp.’s ophthalmic instruments and lens edgers, the company stocks just about any part that is needed for frame repairs, including a large selection of rimless needs, bridges, and temple tips. Of special interest are its 11 different repair kits that have screws of just about any type that exist.

ALL OFF Progressive Marking Ink Remover is available from OptiSource in several sizes and a pen-like dispenser.

When it comes to lens tinting, it’s no surprise that Phantom Research Laboratories, Inc.’s OptiSafe® Lens Dyes are one of its top sellers. What may be a surprise is that its methodical investigation into the underlying chemistry of ultra-violet filtering and scratch-resistant treatment have produced a couple of bestselling products for the company—Phantom OptiSafe UV Formula that can be used on lenses with other treatments such as AR (must be UV treated prior to AR) and Phantom Scratch Guard, a cold dip process that requires just a few seconds of immersion and provides a hydrophobic coating, easier lens cleaning, and greatly increases the scratch resistance on plastic lenses.

Tabco Optical, Inc. strives to be “all things rimless,” starting with its Smart Drill Systems. Consumables, such as the unique Rimless Formula Charts, are designed to support not only these systems but also for any ECPs who work with rimless and semi-rimless mountings. Bestsellers include the K4000 Rimless Repair Kit and the Omni-Nut.

When the people at Western Optical Supply were asked what their bestsellers were, they didn’t hesitate. It’s chemicals. Ask any experienced optician about early in-office lens tinting, and you’ll hear words such as “smelly,” “slow,” and “dangerous.” They weren’t talking about the lens dyes but rather the heat transfer fluid and tint neutralizers. Western recognized this problem early and developed non-toxic formulas for these products that are environmentally safe and approved for disposal in water treatment facilities.

Being bestsellers, these are the consumables you’re most likely to find in ECPs labs.

Larry Guess is a consultant to the optical industry and designer of new optical tools.

Arno Optical Corp.
800-822-2766 •

Cerium Optical Products (USA) Inc.
877-239-7002 •

Coburn Technologies, formerly
Gerber Coburn
800-843-1479 •

DAC Vision
800-800-1550 •

OptiSource International

Phantom Research Laboratories, Inc.
800-225-5559 •

Practical Systems Inc. (PSI)
800-237-8154 •

Salem Vision Group
800-234-1982 •

Santinelli International, Inc.
800-644-3343 •

Signet Armorlite, Inc
800-759-0075 •

Tabco Optical, Inc.
800-394-9285 •

Western Optical Supply
800-423-3294 •


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