|AIT’s all-in-one tracer/blocker/edger E.3 can process 5.6 jobs an hour.|
With all their bells and whistles and ease of use, there’s never been a better time to purchase a new or replacement edger.
Technological developments, ease of use, green technology, and high performance are now standard in the optical industry. With many companies about to launch–or have recently launched—new models of edgers, VCPN takes a look at what’s on offer.
The soup-to-nuts range from AIT Industries of the E.6 Smart Design System, E.3 all-in-one Patternless Edger, and its Continuum Intelliblocker System provide a comprehensive edging package. The E.6 features 3-D grooving and the drilling at an angle of up to 30°, as well as milling and high base curve frame tracing/beveling functions. It also includes a super hydrophobic lens cycle, a function it shares with the E.3. AIT also intends to augment the features of the E.6, which has the added energy-saving attraction of operating on 220 volts, by introducing shelf beveling to the unit later this year.
Another energy-saving feature is that the E.6 uses four liters less of water per job than the WECO Edge 550 patternless edger that AIT also offers. The E.6’s memory is able to accommodate up to 1,000 active jobs and 2,000 shapes and has barcode scanning capability. Although the E.6 doesn’t feature wireless communication at present, its other notable assets include hands-free blocking alignment, automatic lens and drill point detection, and a Chemistrie magnetic lens interface that allows the user to view both eyes at once and uses an easy icon-based interface that minimizes sub menus. The more modest all-in-one tracer/blocker/edger E.3 features fixed drilling and grooving at a 10° angle and can process 5.6 jobs an hour when averaging drill, groove, bevel, and polishing cycles fewer than the eight jobs an hour of its more powerful E.6 companion.
|The Alta Zd is a new departure in creativity and customization for Briot.|
Innovative as ever, Briot USA, Inc. is building on the success of its 2012 addition, the eMOTION edger, by introducing a pair of products this spring: the Alta Pulse and the Alta Zd.
eMOTION’s built-in Digiform lens shape modification software, drilling view screen, and the ability to add or delete drill holes (up to 20 per lens) give it great ease of use and versatility in customizing lenses by job. Briot’s Alta line is particularly geared toward higher base curves, with the Pulse, Pro, and Zd models featuring a tilted beveling system allowing the user to change the angle of the bevel to match the frame groove angle and adjust the back facet by up to 3mm, thus ensuring the best aesthetic fit into thick, high-wrap frames.
The Pulse builds on the older NX, with its drilling unit utilizing a variable tilt to allow work from any angle up to 30° with an accuracy of 0.1mm. The Alta Zd is a new departure in creativity and customization for Briot, its Smart Design technology allowing for partial processing of the v-bevel, rimless, and groove. In common with the company’s other edgers, the Zd has a grooving range of 0.6mm-1.2mm (width) and up to 0.8mm (depth). Like the Alta Pro, the Zd has the ability to do partial processing, combining a groove or v-bevel on the same lens. The 384-job memory of the Alta line can also store up to 2,048 patterns and drilled shapes and is compatible with OMA software. The ability of the Pro and Zd models to edge more than 50 jobs a day make them a must for any busy practice.
|Coburn’s Excelon HPE-7000 can handle lenses ranging from 19mm to 80mm in diameter.|
The Excelon HPE-7000 and the Exxpert HPE-8000 are the flagship edgers among the stable of units that Coburn Technologies, Inc. offers. These compact models, designed for small- to medium-sized practices, can handle lenses ranging from 19mm to 80mm in diameter. At peak production rates, both the 7000 and the 8000 can process an average of 30 CR-39®/high-index lenses per hour and up to 20 polycarbonate or Trivex® material lenses. Each unit features the full spectrum of edging functions—grinding, beveling, polishing, grooving, and chamfering— with the 8000 adding milling and shelving options. The 8000’s grooving/beveling position and width can be adjusted by 0.01mm increments for superior precision, and incorporates a wide range of bevel options including standard, mini bevel, asymmetric, semi u, plus customizable beveling for high curved frames. The 7000 and 8000 have SD card storage and memory, for full PC compatibility and portability, while the 8000’s Smart Job Management software allows an ECP to run four jobs at once with a complete system: tracing, blocking, edging, and drilling. The modular nature of the 7000 and 8000 allow ECPs to add on elements to their practice as business expands, rather than via a major initial outlay.
|The ergonomic Mr. Orange from Essilor Instruments features a large touch screen and is compatible with the Essibox system.|
Mr. Blue, Mr. Orange, and Ultimate Kappa edgers from Essilor Instruments USA all feature 3D drilling and grooving. The highly popular Mr. Blue and Mr. Orange are the company’s high-base beveling machines (up to base 9) and both units plus the Ultimate range all feature soft-grinding mode. Essilor offers the optional Neptune fluid management system—this closed loop system minimizes water consumption while eliminating the messy weekly water changes of traditional pump and tank systems. The ergonomic Mr. Blue and Mr. Orange feature large touch screens and are compatible with the Essibox system (an online platform for the centralization and exchange of patient information and data), which allows unlimited storage of shape and drill point data. In addition, Mr. Blue includes on-board accessory storage and a milling feature that allows the user to cut specialty and personalized shapes as well as cutting super-hydrophobic lenses safely without slippage.
|Optek’s Shape Lens Finishing Center with four-axis technology is the company’s most advanced all-in-one edger.|
The Shape Lens Finishing Center from Optek, utilizing four-axis technology, is the company’s most advanced all-in-one edging product to date. With options for a straight and angled range of edge types (rimless, groove, square, bevel, v bevel, step bevel, and polish) as well as hole types (blind and through holes, slots, notches, countersunk, and jewel), Shape’s freeEDGE software gives even the most design-shy ECP the opportunity to create high-end design features. Elements such as free-form edges, engraving, drop-in predefined hole patterns, importing existing artwork or mirroring, scaling, and rotating the design are all made readily accessible through freeEDGE. The six-position tool turret minimizes the need to change out tooling, and the option of dry or wet-mist cutting, in a heavy-duty 16-gauge sound-insulated sheet metal enclosure, give the Shape all the bells and whistles an ECP needs today.
The Le and Me edging systems from Santinelli International, Inc. offer a wide range of options for the discerning eyecare professional (ECP). The Me 900 and Me 1200 offer 3D drilling and grooving, partial grooving, and partial beveling. The Lex 1000 has a grooving function and also offers 3D drilling when paired with the “sidecar” LexDrill. All three units are capable of highly customizable high base curve beveling. While soft grind mode is standard for all models, the advanced soft grind mode of the Me 1200, Me 900, and Lex 1000 allow it to tackle even the most slippery lens coatings.
Keeping abreast of current trends, the company’s attention to green technology is borne out across its line of products: the Le 1000, if connected to a direct water system, reduces the amount of water used by 40% when processing CR-39® or high-index lenses. Additional equipment in this “green” area also includes a lens filtration unit (LFU 220). All of Santinelli’s edgers are able to process six to 10 jobs an hour, depending on the job type—with one-fit accuracy. All units also feature the company’s Crystal Cut™ high-luster polish finish. The full-color display of the Lex 1000 edgers, as well as the Ice 900 and Ice 1000 blockers, feature a Wizard-based information bar for extreme ease of operation. Additionally, the Me 1200’s 3D bevel simulation allows users to check the bevel placement, as if viewing the actual lens.
|National Optronics’ 7Ex has the ability to do high base curve beveling.|
SATISLOH AND NATIONAL OPTRONICS
National Optronics’ 7Ex and Satisloh North America Inc.’s ES-4 and ES-Curve models share many of the same characteristics. As well as each having drilling and grooving (including 3D) options, the 7Ex and ES-Curve have the ability to do high base curve beveling (the ES-Curve features five axis edging), while the ES-4 is geared to more standard high production style jobs. The ES-Curve has the capacity to do partial step edging while all three units feature soft grinding mode for coated lenses. The ES-4 comes into its own with a mirror polishing function and is the first industrial edger with in-chamber drilling and the ability to process B measurements as small as 18.5mm. (With a small B package, the 7Ex can process as low as 16mm.) The versatile ES-Curve can carry out complex Rx jobs, including partially shelved lenses for fashionable sports frames, and can create shelves with even the smallest radii or shelves as deep as 25mm into the lens. The dry-cut technology of the 7Ex eliminates water and coolant consumption without sacrificing product quality.
With such a wide range of edgers available, it’s a buyer’s market for ECPs. Competitively priced multifunction units, occupying far less space than the edgers of old, and the ease of use of today’s units make the whole in-house edging process less of a chore than ever before.
Paul Power is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
800-729-1959 • aitindustries.com
800-292-7468 • briot-usa.com
800-866-5640 • nationaloptronics.com
800-524-5454 • optekinternational.com
Santinelli International, Inc.
800-644-3343 • santinelli.com