An Oakley lens with a complex shape can be processed by a new milling feature in AIT’s WECO E.6 Patternless Edger.
The 7Ex edger by National Optronics offers grooving and drilling in one process.
Optek’s Topcon ALE-5100SG Edger can process 30% faster than earlier models.
The Alta Zd by Briot employs a high-speed motor for fast edging.

Dynamic multi-feature edging systems for retail labs serve the needs of ECPs.

ECPs look to top-of-the-line edging systems for ease of use, digital technology, cost effectiveness, and a small footprint as well as advanced tracing, layout, blocking, shape modification, edging, grooving, and drilling features. The following is a look at a variety of top edging systems offered by some of the key players in this market.

The 7Ex edger from National Optronics, Inc. performs drilling and grooving in one process while it reduces slippage and crazing, it also has the capacity to produce all bevel types. Users can edge high-base lenses and complex shapes by using 7Ex’s unique cutter design. The system allows for rough, finish, polish, groove, and safety bevel processing but can also switch to a multi-fluted cutter.

With this model, ECPs can access a versatile drilling option that makes it possible to retrieve thousands of pre-programmed drill data from manufacturers’ specifications, or put in new ones. The 7Ex offers a safe environment with the elimination of messy, harsh coolants.

An advanced electric clamping system minimizes slippage and crazing with controlled clamping forces. The 7Ex provides real-time process control and the model’s intelligent software provides directional assistance for inexperienced operators.

The Alta Zd was developed by Briot to employ smart-design technology to create extravagant and custom shapes as well as routine ones. The Alta Zd uses a high-speed motor for fast edging. It also has an easy-to-use touch screen.

Versatility is an important element of the Alta Zd design and the smart-design technology allows even complex and intricate shapes to be easily imaged without an extremely experienced technical professional at the helm. According to Briot, “Essentially, if a patient can take a picture of it, we can make it for their eyewear.” The unit provides step beveling and partial processing for v-bevel, rimless, and groove combinations along with delivering a finishing accuracy within 1/100th of a millimeter. The Alta Zd drills with a variable tilt from 0Ëš to 30Ëš and can complete inclined grooving according to the lens curvature. The unit delivers polished safety beveling as well as step beveling. The extra-small finishing wheel reduces the wear and tear on the drilling/ milling tool.

Using less energy and having a smaller footprint, Optek International’s Topcon ALE-5100SG Edger claims 30% faster processing than previous models. ECPs can switch to high-speed mode by touching one button and then perform lens processing at a higher speed.

Key features for the Topcon ALE-5100SG include a 10.4-in. color screen for an easily readable display that uses different screen colors to indicate various stages of production; multi-task job functionality; a one-block solution that can accommodate all frame sizes, base curves, and hydrophobic lens coatings; and optional rimless frame designer software that allows the operator to alter the final shape of the lens and to customize three-piece rimless frames.

In addition, the Topcon ALE-5100SG edger has a unique multi-functional arm that provides accurate grooving and safety beveling. The unit processes all materials with individual settings for plastic, polycarbonate, high-index, Trivex material, acrylic, glass, photochromic glass, and thinner hyper high-index lenses. It also has the ability to automatically determine the ideal bevel position no matter what lens power is being edged.

The top-of-the-line finishing system from Essilor Instruments is the versatile Mr. Blue 2.0, which can handle myriad jobs including high-base curve frames, custom rimless shapes, and the full spectrum of today’s popular lens materials. A big plus is that virtually all its functions are fully automated, including tracing, blocking, centering, edging, grooving, drilling, safety beveling, and polishing.

Mr. Blue’s edging system is ergonomically designed and provides an eye-level screen with an intelligent interface that is easy to follow through each step of the finishing process. Tracing frames up to a 9.00D base curve is handled easily with Mr. Blue’s binocular 3D tracing. Automatic adjustment of centering data is based on the frame’s 3D parameters. Blocking is fully automated. Bevel placement is optimized by the system’s Fit-4-Frame 2.0 technology. The edger can drill rimless lenses and customize lens shapes to meet customer preferences. Later this year, Essilor Instruments will release Mr. Blue 2.0 with a new feature that will allow patients to customize their eyeglasses. With Essilor’s exclusive M’Eye Sign™, a patient has the option of engraving initials, a first name, or symbol (such as a sports icon) on the upper corner of one lens.

The Exxpert 8000 series by Coburn Technologies, Inc. finishes plastic, high-index, polycarbonate, and Trivex materials and offers a wide range of bevel options, including standard, mini bevel, asymmetric, semi u, and is customizable for high curved frames. The Exxpert edger has an integrated, accelerated, long-life milling technology to eliminate axis twisting. In addition, it features a dual Central Processing Unit to support full multi-tasking, editing, and loading while also providing detailed edging status displayed graphically in real-time.

The Exxpert allows ECPs to run four jobs at the same time with a complete system: tracing, blocking, edging, and drilling. It has dual side feelers to scan the lens simultaneously and bigger cutting wheels for 30% faster cutting speeds.

The Me 1200 Lens Edger is Santinelli International, Inc.’s most compact, feature-rich model. It can edge Rx lenses for any high-wrap frame and can drill and notch quietly. It performs exclusive partial beveling, partial grooving, design cut, faceting, advanced shape editing, and 3D grooving.

In addition, the Me 1200 processes Chemistrie sun lenses with the model’s exclusive Click Mode™ software. This feature creates a perfect fitting sun lens clip-on for just about any pair of eyeglasses. The Me 1200 can measure the radius of the lens for proper cut-out and can orient the lens for faster processing speed. Santinelli also has a proprietary Self Adjusting System “Wizard” technology that helps the Me 1200 provide quick self-calibration and auto-adjustment.

A new milling feature has been added to AIT Industries, Inc.’s WECO E.6 Patternless Edger. When coupled with the WECO C.5 Automatic Blocker, it can process complex shapes that used to be impossible for a patternless edger. The E.6 can now tackle challenging frames with slick coatings at high speed. AIT also has a sister product, WECO E.6s, for in-office labs not looking for milling in their edger. The major plus of the WECO E.6 is that with integrated drilling, in-office labs can save money and won’t need to send their drill-mount work out to a commercial lab, thereby keeping more profits in-house. The E.6 has a touch screen interface, adjustable grooving, and a camera-assisted blocking system with auto recognition when used with the C.5.

Manufacturers have a variety of edging systems that can benefit an ECP’s practice with customization, efficiency, cost effectiveness, and user-friendliness.

Leslie Hunter-Gadsden is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City.

AIT Industries
Briot USA
Coburn Technologies, Inc.
Essilor Instruments
National Optronics
Optek International
Santinelli International

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