|Santinelli’s Me 1200 has many bevel options, can drill automatically, and is great with high wrap frames.|
|Due to its high degree of automation, Coburn’s Exxpert is capable of turning out exacting work time after time.|
|Essilor Instruments’ Mr. Blue 2.0 can handle high base curve frames, custom rimless shapes, and a variety of popular lens coatings.|
|AIT Industries’ WECO E.6 edger provides drilling, milling, and step beveling features.|
The many rich features of the current edgers on the market make lens finishing a breeze.
Walking the technology aisle at Vision Expo East, I felt like a kid in a candy store! It was overwhelming to see so many features on the latest edgers and it made me wonder which ones stood out the most to the end users in retail offices. To find out, I interviewed some people who had purchased new edgers over the past few months.
SPEED IS KEY
Sylvie Putman, ABOC, and her husband Darrin Putman, own Pro-Style Optical in Lubbock, TX. The Putmans invested in Santinelli International, Inc.’s Me 1200 edger and they love it. It’s one of Santinelli’s top edgers and includes many advanced features like in-chamber drilling, lens shape modification, and a host of bevel control elements.
“Our Me 1200 can do so many more things than our previous edger,” Sylvie Putman says. “It has more bevel options and even produces lens facets (although some need more polish), and of course, it does drilling automatically and is great with high wrap frames. It’s just amazing.” This machine can also produce the recessed holes in a lens needed for the magnets of the Chemistrie clip-ons, which is an excellent extra income producer. It’ll also produce step bevels. Putman really appreciates how fast the Me 1200 is too. “We thought we were happy with our old machine until we got this one!” she adds. Occasionally, even a big wholesale lab will ask them for help with a difficult job.
In New York City, opticians Carmine Palermo and Beth Palermo are the owners of Block’s Vision Care in the East Village. Block’s Vision Care is a full ophthalmic dispensary with staff optometrists and two dispensers. Carmine is the president, and Beth is ABO certified. They chose Coburn Technologies, Inc.’s Exxpert Drill Edging System and are impressed with its accuracy. “My Exxpert Drill Edging System is so precise, so accurate, that we have really experienced cost containment with the reduced number of remakes,” Carmine Palermo says.
Due to its high degree of automation, this edger system is capable of turning out exacting work time after time. Using the touch screen, the operator just needs to input the necessary parameters and functions she wants and the machine does the rest. “The new milling features of the Exxpert also allow us to change and modify shapes,” Carmine Palermo adds. “We charge a minimal fee to the patient for this service and the additional charge has quickly increased our ROI and improved our patient satisfaction rates. It’s a win for both the patient and the dispenser.”
Advanced Vision in West Palm Beach, FL, also has an Exxpert system. This edger offers an array of specialized and common bevel options, and includes high-speed milling, drilling, lens analysis, precise bevel adjustment, lens polishing, and much more. The owner, John Villamizar, ABOC, NCLC, especially likes that the drilling module is not in the cutting chamber but instead is a separate module connected to the edger. With this configuration, he can edge the next job while drilling the one he edged before. Four jobs can be processed at the same time when the edger is combined with a drilling unit and Coburn’s Smart Job Management software. “The touch screen makes everything easier and understandable, which has helped tremendously in avoiding mistakes,” Villamizar concludes.
EASE OF USE
“Any one of my employees can operate our new edger with little training,” says optician Brian Pinckney, LDO, of Optical Eyeland in Apopka, FL. “We chose Essilor Instruments’ Mr. Blue Tracer and Mr. Orange Edger. The blocker is absolutely amazing. It can trace high base curve frames and drill mounts and semi-rimless with such ease,” Pinckney says. “You can modify a shape and customize an order in two seconds. Before, I was the only one who could do the drill jobs; now my employees can. With this machine, anyone can do it.” Pinckney mentions he was having maintenance issues with his old edger, and is now saving money with the new one. He likes being able to store job data for remakes, new lenses for an old frame, and “one lens only” jobs.
Jerry Northcutt, OD, at Ellis County Eye Center in Ennis, TX, upgraded his old Santinelli 9000sx to a WECO E.6 edger from AIT Industries. “Our new edger adds the features of drilling, milling, and step beveling,” Northcutt notes. “We also added an autoblocker. This has enabled us to do all of our drill mount and wrap sunglasses in office. We always had great difficulty trying to get the wrapped sunglass lenses to fit properly. The step bevel feature has made it so easy to get a great fit, we never send these out anymore,” he adds. The E.6 also has a feature for slick AR treatments that prevents slippage and has reduced lens spoilage.
“I think the upgrade was definitely worthwhile,” Northcutt says. “The savings, in both money and time, on the jobs we were sending out (drill mounts and wraps) is tremendous. The ease at which you can use these new machines is great. My 14-year-old son was in the office the other day and had never even looked at an edger. I showed him how to use it, and within an hour he could take a single vision, bifocal, and progressive lens from blocking through edging and finishing without much supervision.”
Today’s edger systems are fast, accurate, and come with a boatload of features. All the ECPs I interviewed were enthusiastic about their new equipment and how it facilitated their work, as well as how it helped their bottom line.
|THINGS IN COMMON All the ECPs I interviewed were concerned about the initial capital investment of a new edger. That’s understandable since the retail dispensary has many things to invest money in these days including: position-of-wear measuring devices, new computer hardware and software to comply with government regulations, new frame lines, new displays, and even point-of-sales systems. Most ECPs will need to think pretty carefully about where to invest their money.|
Brian Boddy is a second-generation optician/owner of Acoma Optical stores in Santa Fe, NM.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
800-729-1959 • aitindustries.com
Coburn Technologies, Inc.
800-262-8761 • coburntechnologies.com
855-EZ-FINISH • essilorinstrumentsusa.com
Santinelli International, Inc.
800-644-3343 • santinelli.com