National Optronics’ new 7Ex edger has a unique blade- style cutting technology to cut from the simplest to the most complex bevels.
Santinelli’s Me900 finishing system provides a host of automated features.

We take a glimpse at design trends in finishing equipment and see how they have evolved.

Veterans in the ophthalmic business continue to be amazed by today’s equipment, but just when you think you’ve seen it all, R & D comes up with another techno-marvel. Here’s a look at what’s coming down the pipe.

Putting an edger in every office is an achievable goal, according to Coburn Technologies, Inc. How? By offering its three-tiered Excelon line, which it partners with Huvitz Co. Ltd. and LG Corp. to supply. The target market is the retail office where profitability is paramount. Coburn claims that Excelon edgers are constantly refined to meet critical criteria: size, affordability, profitability, versatility, ease of operation, and dependability.

Coburn offers space-efficient, entry-level patternless Excelon edging systems for about the cost of a good golf cart. This “basic system” still has the capacity to cut all types of plastic lenses including those made of Trivex® material and polycarbonate. In addition, these systems prevent slippage and “bruising” on super hydrophobic lenses. If you are edging only four pairs of lenses a day, the system will pay for itself in about a year. After that, you can bank the profits for years to come.

The company has such confidence in the quality and dependability of their machines that it offers an exclusive “Bullet Proof Warranty” consisting of three years’ parts and labor on every system at no additional charge.

If your office has a little more money to work with, check out the Excelon Systems that give you Coburn’s unique “angled drilling” for perfectly perpendicular holes and notches, champhoring, edge polishing, rimless shape modification, grooving, and step beveling for a perfect fit on those highly curved sunglass lenses. The company claims that you will not find any easier icon-driven touch screens in the industry than the ones found on Excelon edging systems.

AIT Industries claims that it’s focused on listening to the demands of opticians who are constantly asking to expand the capability envelope of in-house edging. Trying to avoid the costs of sending out the “difficult jobs” to large labs with full milling capability is a primary goal at AIT. Its engineers have even had frame manufacturers come to them requesting they design in-house finishing equipment that will cut Rx lenses for difficult shapes, rimless mountings, and steep base curves. Many of these “difficult jobs” are currently processed in AIT’s Next Generation Weco Edge 680, however, the company says that there will be a major upgrade to its 680 system in the fall that will include milling functionality. This is big news!

ADDING MILLING It looks like tomorrow’s edger systems will become more automated and more computerized. Milling seems to be a trend that all the manufacturers want to incorporate. Large production specialty milling machines in large surfacing labs currently use this technology so it’s just a matter of time until it becomes common in optical offices. The finishing operation is becoming a “one- stop” operation for most of the needed functions thanks to modern edger systems.

Used in tandem with the Weco 680 and other edgers in AIT’s lineup is the CAD 5, a fully automatic “camera-assisted” blocker which provides optical scanning shape and hole recognition that eliminates the need for stylus-type tracing. Integrating autolensometry with the blocking process also improves accuracy and eliminates the marking and layout steps of the finishing process. The CAD 5 still retains a “manual function” to do the out-of-range jobs. It also comes with Trace 3, a 3D tracer.

National Optronics’ popular 7E HLP (high luster polish), 3B, and 4Ti series has already been upgraded to the new “X” series. It has a new sleek, modern, and compact design with improved features and capabilities that include advanced tracing algorithms and improved optics on their blocker. The company has also upgraded grooving and drilling techniques as well as the finishing processing to provide a superior lens quality, answering the growing demand for more capable finishing equipment that is still affordable.

The 7Ex’s unique blade-style cutting technology allows it to cut from the simplest to the most complex bevels, something that most “wet” diamond stone edgers cannot. National Optronics’ dry edging systems were innovative and visionary over 30 years ago when they were first introduced and these machines continue to be upgraded to accommodate today’s edging and finishing demands. 

AIT has the Weco 680, the CAD 5, and the Trace 3 to help opticians expand the capability of in-house edging.
Icon-driven touch screens on Coburn’s Excelon edging systems make operating them a snap.
Mr. Orange from Essilor Instruments offers a perfect lens fit and pleasing aesthetics.

The newest addition to Essilor Instruments USA’s line of high-efficiency finishing equipment is Mr. Orange, a full-featured finishing system that offers tracing, blocking, and multi-material edging at a surprisingly affordable price. Its goal is to offer the high-tech capabilities necessary for today’s high wrap frames as well as custom rimless edging and drilling, along with modernized traditional functions. The promotional tag-line for this system is “High Tech, not High Price” and Essilor Instruments is determined to deliver on this promise.

Integrated drilling and grooving tools incline up to 30° and the easy-to-navigate touch screen is quite intuitive. The patented “Fit-4 Frame Technology” helps the operator determine the best bevel profile for any given frame and Rx combination, which results in a perfect lens fit and pleasing aesthetics. Combine this with Essilor Instruments’ “Star Control” that provides real-time slippage and lens stress prevention, and the results are amazing. Add to this system an “Essibox” and you will have open communication integration with your edger. For more information on Mr. Orange, see “Mr. Orange Turns Others Green,” page 83.

At Santinelli International, Inc., “The Future of Edging Is Here.” Santinelli’s approach to the future is to offer more automation and features while providing value. If you need a high-value, full-featured finishing system, the Me900 is the ticket. It offers auto and guided beveling, edge polishing, safety beveling, auto and guided grooving, auto drilling, rimless shape changing, and small “B” size shaping.

If you would really like to be blasted into the stratosphere, move up to the “talking” Me1200 that does all that the Me900 does and adds specialty beveling. This space age machine will also automatically facet, do partial grooving and partial beveling, high base curve/step beveling, partial step beveling (which makes Rxing slot-style mounted sunglass lenses), rimless shape customization, and the crème de la crème, “design cutting” (a unique milling process via the drilling function). The voice indicator (yes, this machine talks) in the Me1200 announces progress times during each cycle and the end of a completed cycle. The user-friendly LCD touch screen is an 8.4-in. display for accurate and reliable performance. The addition of an exhaust port added to the Nidek deodorizing unit will eliminate the odors associated with high-index lens edging.

Michael Frandsen is the owner of Quality Performance Ophthalmic, Inc., a custom service optical laboratory in South Jordan, UT.


AIT Industries

800-729-1959 • aitindustries.com

Coburn Technologies, Inc.
800-262-8761 • coburntechnologies.com

Essilor Instruments USA
855-EZ-FINISH • essilorinstrumentsusa.com

National Optronics
800-866-5640 • nationaloptronics.com

Santinelli International, Inc.
800-644-3343 • santinelli.com


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