EYEING USER-FRIENDLY EDGING SYSTEMS

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Simplicity and ease of use are among the most important factors for most ECPs considering a new edger; several of the latest deliver both.

Whether you are new to edging or have been at it for years, among the first things you realize when looking over the latest edging systems are the amazing number of features and capabilities they have. However, one benefit that may not be quite as obvious is how user friendly they are.

SMALL, ACCURATE, AND SAFE
In recent years, edging system technology has unveiled many advanced features that allow for even the smallest labs to put out high-end work. Today’s edging systems, such as Coburn Technologies, Inc.’s HPE-810 and Essilor Instruments USA’s Mr. Blue 2.0, are more accurate, functioning with pinpoint movements that provide the exact optics ECPs can trust. They better protect the premium lenses you edge, and they have been made safer to protect the operator. On new models, it’s common to find edgers that will not grind with the edger door open, and some have sharp objects such as wheels and cutters located out of the way from the lens chucking path. These steps are taken to ensure the operator is not injured by any of the sharp objects inside the lens grinding chamber.

BEGINNER-FRIENDLY
Regardless of experience, any employee can be taught to edge with minimal training. Through the use of guided on-screen instructions, many machines have significantly lowered the learning curve for the skills needed to put out quality lab work.

All-in-one systems have become popular, especially with new employees, because they are so user friendly. For example, Briot USA’s eMotion boasts an ergonomically designed, one-finger, error-proof blocking system that prevents the user from inserting the lens block off axis before lens mounting. This retail edging system has built-in lensometry with progressive lens analysis and lens recognition, according to the company, substantially improving its ease-of-use. This system also features integrated drilling-one of the key distinctions between it and Briot’s perCeption edging system.

All commands are clearly communicated with easy-to-follow icons on the LCD screen in a true 1:1 scale that shows both eyes of the frame. Combined with automatic 3-D tracing, a 300-job memory, and a chronological step-by-step list to follow while fabricating eyeglasses, the eMotion’s features quickly provide new users with confidence in their new skills.

SPACE SAVERS
No two offices are alike, and in some cases, the final decision to install an edger simply comes down to available space. Weighing in at just under 100 pounds and requiring less than three feet of counter space (with blocker), Santinelli International, Inc.’s newly unveiled Lex 1200 lens edger boasts an advanced high-curve fulcrum stylus frame tracer. It can help you create even the trickiest of lens mountings. This edger crafts and finishes lenses for plastic, metal, grooved, high-curve, mini-bevel, and even difficult semi-step bevel fames.

The Lex 1200 is also fully modular. It is available to suit all needs and pocketbooks with add-on components such as the Ice series of automated lens blockers and the space-saving Lex drill. With all of these features, ECPs would be hard-pressed to find a reason to ever send another job out to be finished.

Consider Your Needs
Be sure to investigate the various machines available and pick the one that offers the “friendly” features you need. Every office does not necessarily need every feature on the market, so discuss your objectives with sales reps to determine what’s right for your practice. You’ll get exactly what you need without paying for features you may never use.

TAKING CONTROL
Trouble-free work is a dream when it comes to edging, especially when combined with the ability to customize any job with precision. A sale can often be made or lost by the little extras needed to get your patient across the finish line. Small items as simple as decreasing or extending the B measurement on a groove, widening the A measurement of a drill mount, or even creating a one-of-a-kind artistic lens shape with a patient can help you gain a loyal customer for life.

If you are looking to go this route, check out AIT Industries, Inc.’s Weco E.6. This system offers premium features, such as a true shelf bevel for high-base wrap frames and a Chemistrie interface for the magnetic lens system, as well as Smart Design technology that enables the user to edge designs in a completely different way. In addition to its edger wheels for lens grinding, the E.6 has an onboard lens-milling tool. With this feature, you can offer patients nearly any shape imaginable.

Contemporary edgers have plenty of features that quickly catch your eye, but it’s really their user-friendliness that makes so many ECPs love them.

Frank Gimbel, Jr. is a licensed optician and owner of Gimbel Eye Associates in Wayne, PA.

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