Coburn Technologies’ LaunchPad is designed for smaller optical labs and retailers to start producing free-form lenses in-house.

LaunchPad free-form polishing uses a disposable foam lap and a special polishing pad on Coburn’s traditional cylinder machines.

Coburn Technologies (formerly Gerber Coburn) has jumpstarted the free-form lab business with the introduction of its new LaunchPad technology, part of an affordable, complete lens-processing system that lets any lab produce high-quality, free-form lenses with a minimal investment.

Why doesn’t every lab offer free-form technology? There are essentially two main reasons for the lack of universal usage of free-form processing—cost and space. A traditional free-form system uses large pieces of equipment specific for free-form processing. The set-up cost of this large system is prohibitive to many smaller optical labs and retailers, often with a price tag over one million dollars. Plus, the additional equipment needed doesn’t always fit in the already established lab space. Smaller labs clearly need a more cost-effective solution in order to get into free-form surfacing.

That’s where Coburn Technologies’ new LaunchPad comes in. The heart of the new system is LaunchPad free-form polishing, which uses a disposable foam lap and a special polishing pad designed and tested for use on Coburn’s traditional cylinder machines. It eliminates the need for a lab or retailer to purchase larger, more expensive free-form polishers.

LaunchPad can also be incorporated into Coburn’s Free-Form Mini-lab to provide customers with a complete system.

It also keeps start-up costs to a minimum because you don’t have to buy a dedicated (and expensive) free-form polisher. You can use what you already have, a traditional Coburn Technologies cylinder machine. Don’t worry that accuracy will be compromised with the disposable lap system because the company assures custom and exact free-form curvature with the disposable foam lap.

With the cost of a free-form polisher eliminated through using LaunchPad, many more labs will now be able to afford the other pieces of equipment necessary to create a free-form processing operation. This means that more labs and retailers will be able to add this technology to their capabilities.

Coburn Technologies also sees LaunchPad as the centerpiece of its new Free‐Form Mini-lab. LaunchPad can be incorporated into this mini-lab to provide customers with a complete system from design through surfacing, finishing, and even post-surfacing with edging and anti-reflective treatment included.

With the introduction of LaunchPad, many existing Coburn customers who previously invested in a Gerber Coburn Premier Lab may only need to upgrade some equipment and add a few others to launch into free-form lens processing.

When investing in new technology, service and support are key, and Coburn Technologies offers this with its LaunchPad and Free-Form Mini-lab system. The informative training programs can be offered on-site for convenience and less downtime. Free-form lens training promises to be flexible for all employees, with experience levels ranging from very little optical background to more advanced skills.

With a reduced starting investment and quality processing capabilities, CoburnTechnologies has made free-form lens production a reality for smaller optical labs.

Kim Pickett is a certified ophthalmic medical technologist and ophthalmic writer in Minneapolis, MN.

Coburn Technologies, formerly Gerber Coburn
800-262-8761 •


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