CHOOSING A PROPER TINTING SYSTEM

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Western Optical’s GR8* Tint IX Tank Base has nine stainless steel dye tanks for lens preparation, tinting, and neutralizing.

While tinting lenses in-house is an easy process, searching for the tinting unit that will best suit your office can be a bit more challenging.

If you are contemplating placing a tinting system in your office, there are a few important factors you should consider before buying.

LARGE CAPACITY
Begin your search knowing how many pairs of tinted lenses you sell on average each week. Clearly, large amounts of dyed lenses warrant a larger dye tank system. Western Optical Supply’s GR8* Tint IX Tank Base has nine stainless steel dye tanks for all your lens preparation, tinting, and neutralizing needs.

OptiSource International’s new version of its popular Dye Master 9 tint unit uses a hidden heating element design, eliminating direct contact of the heating element in the heating fluid. It puts an end to drilled holes in the fluid chamber that lead to leaks. The Dye Master 9 is constructed of high-quality stainless steel and will work with both heat transfer fluid and water.

Larger numbers of dyed lenses might require a dye tank that stays on all day. If this is the case, shop around for lens dyeing chemicals that will endure heat for a long period of time. Brain Power, Inc. (BPI) makes a Color Developer, which extends tint life with the addition of a few drops into the dye tank. Another option is adding one cap weekly of Tinting Dye Intensfer from Vigor Optical, A Division of Grobet USA, to enhance dye color and keep dye fresh longer.

If the lens tank is to be on for long periods of time, add BPI’s Smell So Good and your

BPI’s Mini Color 4 is ideal for practices that are only dyeing a few pairs of lenses each week.

back room could smell like strawberry, coconut, jasmine, or cinnamon, to name just a few pleasant fragrances available.

SMALL CAPACITY
If you plan on only dyeing a few pairs of lenses each week, there are many small units that will suit your needs. BPI has a couple of mini tank options such as the Mini Color 4™. The chassis is lined with high value insulation with excellent heat retention properties.

For tight counter space situations, consider a dye tank with a small footprint, such as Phantom Research Laboratories, Inc.’s Heat-ing System, Model 2V. This two-tank unit can be used with two 1-qt. tanks or an optional four mini-tank setup. The size of the unit is 11 in. x 10.85 in. x 9 in.

OMS Opto Chemicals’ Micro Tint System is also ideal for tight spaces. This patented system tints all plastic lens materials in your microwave in a matter of minutes.

Phantom Research’s Heating System, Model 2V, has a small footprint for offices with tight counter space.


ACCESSORIES
Take into account not just the size of the unit, but the accessories that accompany the dye tank as well. Remember that other items you will need nearby are lens holders, optional change-out dye tanks, and perhaps a gradient tint machine. Storage of additional dyeing chemicals can be placed above or below counter area to free-up the lens dyeing area.

HIGH-INDEX CONCERNS
If your office sells a lot of high-index lenses, these lens materials usually require special dyes and time periods. OptiSafe® Lens Dyes from Phantom Research provide consistent, uniform colors in a small amount of time. After many years of research and development, Phantom Research has created dyes with rapid penetration into the lens matrix, bonding to the lens and providing resistance to fading. CR-39™ (coated and uncoated), high-index, and polycarbonate lenses can be successfully tinted with OptiSafe Lens Dyes, available in a wide variety of colors.

Not all lens neutralizers are safe to use on some high-index lenses. Phantom Research’s Neutralizer WB-II is a concentrated water-based neutralizer designed to remove color from polycarbonate, high-index, and plastic lenses safely and effectively.

CHEMICAL CONSIDERATIONS
With shipping costs on the rise nowadays, try OptiSource’s Dry Dye Packets. These little packets are available in most colors and ship a lot lighter than liquid dyes. They are easy to use, store, and clean up. Simply add the packet to the dye tank, add water, and tint away!

CONTROLLING WAVELENGTH ABSORPTION Brain Power, Inc. (BPI) Filter Vision/Blue Barrier Tints provide maximum blue light protection, absorbing all the nanometers up to the name of the dye itself. These tints are ideal if you sell a lot of eyewear to the elderly population.
BPI’s Diamond Dye 500 is an intense orange color, absorbing nanometers up to 500nm. Diamond Dye 540 is a brown color, with orange overtones, absorbing nanometers up to 540nm. The 550 is an intense red color, absorbing nanometers up to 550. This collection was designed to assist those who have sensitivity to light, especially blue light (which is scattered more than any other light). Ideal candidates would be patients with anaridia, glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, and corneal problems to name a few.


SPECIAL EXTRAS
It is not uncommon for offices that dye lenses to run into trouble matching tints. Whether you are only replacing one lens or if one lens turns out slightly different in a pair of lenses, it can sometimes be tricky to match the color. With Phantom Research’s Opti Safe Color Matching Unit, Model 120X, you can simply place lenses to be matched on the 14.5-in. x 4.5-in. viewing area that illuminates to simulate daylight conditions and observe what adjustment needs to be performed on each lens.

Gradient lens tinting can be tedious, but not with Western Optical’s Dip ‘n Done GR8*IENT Maker. Dipping your lens up and down into the dye tank is easily controlled with a seven-position stroke and continuous cycling. Sunglass density is possible in only 15 minutes.

Avoid burned fingers when handling hot dye pans with Super Systems Optical’s Pan Handler. It holds pans firmly and can be turned upside down to empty. Vigor also offers a Hot Pot Lifter.

NON-OPTICAL FACTORS
Verify if there are electrical outlets nearby and if you require special voltage or additional currents to operate your new system. Some of the available systems re-quire 220V, while others operate on the more common 110V.

Another important factor is air quality. Take a look at the size of the room, and how many openings there are. A ventilation hood might be a healthy consideration if there are odors from the dyes, heat transfer fluid, and neutralizer. One way to avoid installing a ventilation system is to look for environment- and operator-friendly chemicals. Western Optical’s Dip ‘n Done Dyes are a powder in a capsule that mixes in water to make one quart of lens dye. Operator safe and environmentally responsible, each quart of dye will process approximately 100 lenses.

Similar to the tinting process, incorporating tinting systems in your office can be both fun and profitable—if you consider a few factors before you buy a unit.

Debra R. White is a former opticianry professor. She is currently an optical consultant, lecturer, and writer.

WHERE TO FIND IT
Brain Power, Inc. (BPI)
800-327-2250 • callbpi.com

OMS Opto Chemicals
800-461-6637 • optochemicals.com

OptiSource International
800-optisource • 1-800-optisource.com

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

Super Systems Optical
800-543-7376 • superoptical.com

Vigor Optical,
A Division of Grobet USA
800-847-4188 • vigoroptical.com

Western Optical Supply
800-423-3294 • westernoptical.com

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