Part of Optek’s Oasis MAX Surfacing System, the microprocessor-controlled Criterion MAX interfaces with Rx-calculation software.

ECPs investing in their own equipment can automatically make eyewear more quickly and accurately…in cleaner, smaller spaces than ever before.

Today’s in-house optical equipment offers eyecare professionals (ECPs) the opportunity to finish lenses that fit today’s trendy frames, all within a short period of time in a small amount of space and using automated functions. Edgers, drills, tracers, and more can now accommodate multiple lens materials more cleanly and quickly…and all in-house. Among the trends in in-house finishing is combining a variety of functions into either a single device or a group of machines.

One such system that combines multiple devices is the new Chemalux® 100OD Polish-to-Coat Rx Lens Making System from Chemat Technology Inc. It integrates Super Systems’ Fastgrind lens polish-ing machine with the Chemalux 100 SR-AR coating machine to allow ECPs to make most Rx lenses in-house. By including the Chemalux 100 Coater, the system extends the number of materials that the Fastgrind can polish to not only plastics, but also polycarbonate and high- index, which require a scratch-resistant coating after polishing.

In addition, the system only needs to deposit the anti-reflective (AR) treatment on the backside of the lens, which already has a treated front. Combining the Fastgrind with the Chemalux 100 Coater eliminates the need to manually prepare the surface of the lens before coating. The Polish-to-Coat Lens Making System takes up only 15 sq. ft. of space and can produce 15 pairs of Rx lenses in one eight-hour shift.

Another complete system is Optek’s Oasis MAX Surfacing System. The Oasis (Optek Advanced System for Integrated Surfacing) is a fully computerized surfacing system. Every major station (or cell) features micro-processor control and is networked to an Rx server. This technology allows critical

The Chemalux 100OD PTC combines polishing with an AR-treating machine to allow ECPs to make most Rx lenses in-house.

decisions to be made once, as the job is input. From that point on, intelligent software systems automatically establish optimal configuration settings and manage the processing cycles at each cell.

Part of the Oasis MAX Surfacing System is the Criterion MAX, the third generation of Optek’s microprocessor-controlled Criterion Digital Surfacing Cell. Based on the mechanical design of the Optek 425, the Criterion MAX adds PLC control to simplify operation and reduce operator decision making. When interfaced with Rx calculation software, the operator simply enters a job number, and the Criterion MAX automatically opti-mizes spindle speed, pin pressure, and cycle time.

One machine that represents the trend toward combining multiple functions into a single machine is the Huvitz Excelon XD from USOphthalmic, which combines three-dimensional drilling with edging and a dual CPU that allows the machine to perform various tasks at the same time. Operational functions of the Excelon XD include real-time edging status display and a drag-and-drop touch screen. For more information on this new edger system, see “High-End Edging with the Excelon XD.”

Other recent technological advances offered in USOphthalmic’s Huvitz equipment are an auto blocker that automatically performs frame reading, lens centering, along with blocking. The auto blocker combines the functions of a tracer, lensometer, and blocker into a single automated system. The

Santinelli’s ICE-900 blocker can photograph and read the trace as well as the hole coordinate data from a lens for transmission to the edger.

Smart semi-auto blocker centers and blocks the lens by incorporating a systematic set of images that goes on top of the lens then creates a digital pattern of the frame. The Smart’s high-resolution LCD touch screen controls all of the system’s functions, and an LED lamp provides permanent illumination.

Arno Optical Corp.’s E-950 GP DIA Edging System combines a small footprint with the ability to work all lens materials while eliminating dust and odors. Addressing today’s need to finish a variety of materials, the E-950 cuts them all, including polycarbonate, Trivex®, and even glass. To accommodate hydrophobic lenses and keep them from slipping off axis during edging, the vertical wheel technology allows the system to control the force that the wheel puts on the lens, causing less stress on the lens. The E-950 also prevents dirt and odors from polluting the in-house environment, particularly useful for practices where the lab is in the same location as the dispensary. A Deodorizer prevents odors from emanating when working high-index lens materials, and the pump inside the tank creates a vacuum that does not let dust out of the chamber where the lenses are being cut.

The combined needs of preventing slippage of hydrophobic lenses and the ability to cut wrap lenses while also reducing the amount of dust and odors generated are also addressed by the Mr. Blue edger from Gerber Coburn. In addition to featuring a more traditional grinding function for edging lenses, Mr. Blue offers the option of using a milling cutter for shaping slippery lenses. Not only does milling prevent slippage, but it also consumes no water and generates less dust and residue. The company also recommends milling for highly curved lenses and to prevent the unpleasant odor that results when grinding high-index lenses.

The Tilted Bevel System on Briot’s
Alta Pro allows the operator to change the angle of the bevel to match the
angle of the frame groove.

Consisting of a tracer, automatic centering device, and blocker, Mr. Blue edging has a number of other features. The tracer can accommodate high wrap frames up to 9-base and small B dimensions down to 17mm. Because it operates a feeler tilted at 15°, the tracer can follow even sharply curved grooves, and its Essilor-patented Variable Geometry Bevel allows it to bevel with a fully customizable profile that suits any groove shape and lens thickness.

The Tilted Bevel System on the Alta Pro from Briot USA consists of a wheel designed specifically for high base curves. Dedicated to high curvature lenses, the wheel allows the operator to change the angle of the bevel to match the angle of the frame groove as well as adjust the back facet up to 3mm.

Frame fashion and lens material trends have also influenced the three tiers of edging technology innovation available from Santinelli International, Inc. The LE-1000, LEX-1000, and ME-1000 systems address specific individual in-office edging requirements. Most recently, to enhance its line of standard and high base curve (wrap) edging platforms, Santinelli has added a fourth blocking technology that incorporates advancements in camera (lens stage) and communication to its table-top offerings.

The ICE-900 blocker offers the ability to photograph and read the trace as well as the hole coordinate data from a lens (such as a rimless demo) for transmission to the edger, complemented by an integrated shape (and drill hole) editor function. This capability supports Santinelli’s in-house LEX-1000/LEX-Drill combination or its specialized ME-1000 technology with a separate tracing device. The ICE-900 can store up to 30,000 patterns and has a host of software patient (folder) storage and easy lookup functions. The motorized blocking is linked to the built-in screen software that prevents a premature or inadequate block episode from taking place.

Just as finishing equipment must keep up with today’s frame and lens trends, so too must ECPs remain current with that machinery in order to make sure that they fit their patient’s with the most technologically advanced eyewear available.

John Sailer is Senior Editor of Vision Care Product News.

Arno Optical Corp.
800-822-2766 •

Briot USA
800-292-7468 •

Chemalux Division,
Chemat Technology Inc.
800-475-3628 •

Gerber Coburn
800-843-1479 •

800-524-5454 •

Santinelli International, Inc.
800-644-3343 •

Super Systems Optical
800-543-7376 •

888-334-4640 •


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