Extra, Extra Read All About It
Ready or not, a new year is just around the corner—and it’s time to get prepared. For your lab, this can mean a fresh start, new strategies, and a renewed commitment to go after key growth opportunities. If your resolution is to take your business to the next level, knowing what’s new in the world of edgers and polishers might be one key to unlocking new potential in 2017 and beyond.
To keep you up-to-date on this category, we turned to several leading equipment providers, who share information about the latest edging and polishing solutions that are already making a splash in the market.Our thanks go to experts at Briot USA, Coburn Technologies, National Optronics, Santinelli, Satisloh and Schneider Optical Machines, who graciously contributed their insights.
Part 1: What Trends Are Driving the Market?
Trend #1: Simplification, efficiency and automation are still in high demand.
Simplifying the edging process through automation and reducing the amount of operator input necessary to run jobs are definitely ongoing trends. Products that can help labs get more done with less direct intervention continue to be in high demand.
“To improve efficiency, the focus has been on eliminating non-value-added labor through processes like blockless edging and incorporating edging functions like drilling and complex edging,” explained Kevin Paddy, director of finishing at Satisloh. “Not only do these features offer a reduction in labor, they provide objective results and improved quality.”
Trend #2: Milling for unique lens shapes and designs is becoming a differentiator.
“Milling is a hot new trend in edging systems,” said Matt Curtin, marketing specialist at Briot USA. “Being able to offer
unique lens shapes and designs to customers and patients is one thing many eye care professionals are using to differentiate themselves from large retail chains and etailers.”
Trend #3: The need for specialty edging remains constant.
According to Steve Swalgen, Santinelli’s national director of lab business, “The eyewear market is moving in two
distinct directions—high-end specialty, and low-cost. The mid-tier segment is waning. As such, the need for specialty
edging will remain a constant whether it be industrial and automated or stand-alone and tabletop. High-speed
throughput for generic or low-end Rx work where qualitative results are less rigorous, will be a continued norm.”
Trend #4: Economy and choice always matter.
Swalgen also stated that while “one-size fits all” solutions are often desired by labs, economically-priced tabletop edgers continue to offer labs real value and expanded choice, compared to more costly, industrial platforms.
Trend #5: The edging evolution continues.
“Edgers continue to evolve as the needs of ever-changing frame design and Rx lenses bring challenges to the
wholesale lab,” added Swalgen. “Maximizing visual acuity with varied frame curvatures is still a critical priority,
and edging companies continue to develop various angular edging methods (e.g., wet, dry and hybrids) to
address these needs.”
Trend #6: Labs want to keep more work in-house.
Digital generators can cut just about any curve and Rx available; but the sticking point has always been the ability
to polish above certain curve ranges. Today’s labs want new technologies that can help them keep more andmore work in-house.
Part 2: What New Equipment Is Available?
Briot USA’s Attitude Edging System
The Briot Attitude raises the bar for what’s possible in the in-house finishing lab. This lens processing solution is extremely fast and accurate—in fact, one of the fastest on the market—which makes it ideal for modern optical practices and wholesale labs alike. The edger has four different bevel options, including a full step bevel and mini bevel. It also offers a Smart Design Technology shape-creation tool and in-chamber drilling, which means the finished product is only limited by your imagination.
The company’s new Attitude Premium Patternless Edging system is the first and only edging system that has integrated wavefront power mapping lensometry built right into the blocker. This technology not only allows opticians to verify that a progressive lens design will fit in the frame shape, but also allows for accurate calculation of prism, along with verification that progressive lenses are within tolerance.
Gravitech is another unique product feature. This patented tracing technology is revolutionizing the industry by eliminating the need for a mechanical tracer. Not only is tracing fast (under four seconds), this product offers a
more accurate trace than a traditional mechanical tracer.
It’s the only optical tracer on the market that has true one-to-one shape reproduction. In addition to the Briot Attitude, the company offers two all-in-one edging systems (the Briot eMOTION and Perception) that feature simple user interfaces and a small footprint to fit in any sized lab.
Coburn Technologies’ New HPE-8000X Exxpert Edger
The new HPE-8000X Exxpert Edger is the successor to the company’s current model, the HPE-8000, and offers processing time that is 20 percent faster than its predecessor. Newly introduced “step bevel cutting” assures that the lens will fit precisely into high-wrap sunglasses even with special shape cuttings, such as ventilation holes. This machine also offers 11 different lens edge finishes, providing more available options for different jobs. Edge finishes include step bevel, standard bevel, rimless, grooving, mini bevel, asymmetric bevel, U-bevel, partial bevel, partial grooving, dual grooving and hybrid grooving.
To reduce lens slippage, an adaptive swivel chuck is used to clamp the lens more evenly. The Exxpert edger introduces
“axial roughing,” which prevents the lens from rotating on the wheel until the thickest part of the lens is removed, and in conjunction with the one-touch hydrophobic mode, eliminates the possibility of lens slippage.
Labs also have the ability to directly import DCS job files, including frame shape, FPD, finishing style, lens material, drill coordinates and more. They can store and maintain these files in folder format, removing all concerns of file duplication.
New Solutions from Santinelli
Santinelli International offers both high-speed tabletop lens edgers and the highest throughput automated systems, without compromising quality at any level. The company’s new LE-1200 tabletop unit is economically priced and engineered for fast “wet” lens processing.
Alternatively, on the industrial side, the company’s automated “wet” and “dry” dual edger systems produce unparalleled “per hour” throughputs in an unprecedented small footprint. The AES-2200 (containing two SE-9090-Supra wet edgers) averages 33-39 standard jobs per hour, with an average mix of work. The ADS-2200 (containing two Xtrimer SE-1 five-axis, dry cut edgers) produces an average of 43-47 jobs per hour of standard work.
In addition, Santinelli’s new LE-1200 offers a “Mini-Bevel” for very thin metal eyewire frames, and the LEX-1200 offers
“Mini-Shelf” bevel along with customized high wrap beveling. The Xtrimer SE-1 industrial “tool-based” edger offers high-speed drilling, customizable shelf beveling, specialty safety beveling and faceting with polish, and is able to rough lenses at an industry-setting record of 60,000 rpm’s.
Schneider Edgers and Polishers
For edging, Schneider offers the HSE Modulo, the first high-speed double spindle edger for fully-independent
edging of the left and the right lens—either on-the-block or blockless. The two separate multi-axis systems enable truly independent simultaneous processing of the lenses, no matter how diverse the job requirements. The edger’s high rigidity and precise tool clamping allow for the highest rpm processes. Working with exceptional speed,
HSE Modulo sets new standards in performance and throughput. The intuitive and easy-to-use shape editor opens up a broad range of finishing options to process even the latest complex styles, including specialties. The result is virtually unrestricted lens finishing. Plus, using the Schneider blockless edging option, labs can reduce costs significantly.
On the polishing front, Schneider now offers two different polisher models with an extended curve range to 18 total diopters. This expands the current curve range of digital Rx’s from approximately 12 total diopters—an expansion of 50 percent. This exciting new development gives labs the ability to process more Rx’s digitally and keep more work in house. Schneider now offers this revolutionary new technology on its CCP Modulo Automated Polisher and our CCP Nano manual polisher.