Ocean Optics
A Monthly Update for Optical Laboratory Owners and Managers August 2008

Made possible by an unrestricted grant from Ocean Optics.

New Products
 
Operating Strategies
Bob Niemiec

Bob Niemiec










Automation: Getting to
Where You Want to Be,
Part 2

As Milton Friedman would say, “there's no such thing as a free lunch.” To realize the potential benefits of automating your lab, a number of factors must be considered. Operating successfully in an automated environment often requires a different skill set in several areas, most notably in maintenance. Depending on your current circumstances, new skills may be required in other areas as well. It is important to assess the skills in your current workforce and map the differences between what you may have now and what will be required in the future. Additionally, a detailed plan which spells out the who, what, when and how to get from your current state to the desired future state is critical to success.


Automation

Photo courtesy of Davis Vision/Highmark.















Beyond these considerations is assessing your lab's culture and your employees' readiness and potential for not only accepting automation but their ability and willingness to drive its success. From an operating standpoint one of the key differences in adopting automation is going from an environment where the pace is determined largely by the operator to one where the pace is determined by the equipment and the configuration of the line. Therefore, to maximize the potential from an investment in automation it is even more critical that your production team works truly as a team. In an integrated, automated environment the output of the team is very often no better than its weakest link. Understanding these differences and communicating how each individual needs to act differently for the success of the team is critical to overall success.

Once the justification for automating your lab has been made, it is critical to control how the automation is implemented. Automating a facility is a dynamic process in which conditions change and new information is gathered. Plans are made and then reassessed.

It's important to involve people in your facility in the planning as well as the implementation; you may be amazed at what they can contribute. They become part of the implementation itself and not just interested bystanders. Be sure to communicate what each person needs to do differently in this new environment on an individual, detailed level. Also, communicate on a regular, visible basis the progress toward the goals that have been previously shared. Involving your employees, from hourly associates to your formal and informal leaders at all levels is the key to successful implementation. In the end, automation is an endeavor that will test even the most sophisticated lab operators in a myriad of ways. It's a higher risk, higher payback proposition. Are you up for it?

Read “Automation: Getting to Where You Want to Be, Part 1.”

Bob Niemiec is president of Optinova Solutions, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in operations improvement, new technology assessment and mergers and acquisitions, primarily in the optical industry. An optical industry veteran, he has held senior level positions in manufacturing and distribution with large optical retailers and manufacturers. He can be reached at rn.optinovasolutions@yahoo.com.

 
Tech Talk

Developing Hand Edging Skills, Part 1

Today, in the age of computerized patternless edgers, the task of hand-edging recalls the days when opticians and lab technicians were true craftsmen. But it is by no means an outmoded function of today’s finishing labs. Many jobs still require the use of a hand edger (which is also often referred to as a handstone or touchstone) for touch-up work as well as some beveling work, even when high-tech patternless edgers offer—or at least promise—users similar functions.

Edger
















Hand-edgers or handstones remain essentially an electrically powered grinding wheel that can be run wet (with water delivered via a hose near the wheel) or dry. Today, though, most handstones use diamond wheels, which are easier to maintain and keep clean, instead of the older ceramic wheels. Some say diamond wheels also provide a smoother cut.

Newer machines are also equipped with water pumps to keep the supply constant so operators don’t have to keep re-filling the tray between cycles. Handstones range in price from $500 to $2,500, depending on the make and model. In smaller, retail-level labs, the handstone should be placed between the edger and the mounting area for ideal workflow. After all, hand-edging encompasses the processing steps required between finishing the lens and mounting it into the frame.

Handstones are used primarily for tasks such as “hiding a bevel,” which involves rounding off the bevel so the lens isn’t as visible behind the eyewires of the frame. They are also used for other touch-up work and for re-sizing a lens when patients want to change their frame. Some experienced opticians/lab techs still do all of their safety beveling work on the handstone. Safety beveling involves rounding off the exposed edge of the lens so it doesn’t cut the wearer.

 
HR Corner

Interview No No's

Interview

If you are not prepared, you can easily destroy an interview by asking the wrong questions.

Here are a few tips to help you stay out of trouble and keep candidates interested in working for your company.

1. Avoid Humor
Jokes, anecdotes and witticisms are the most readily misunderstood means of communication. To avoid sending the wrong message, stay focused and forthright. Also, attempts at humor on sensitive subjects (gender, age, national origin, etc.) are inappropriate and should be avoided.

2. No Opening Monologue
It is often tempting to have a monologue at the beginning of your interview. Focus on simple introductions and move directly to your list of questions, allowing the candidate to provide you with essential information. If appropriate, feel free to share more information at the end of the interview.

3. Avoid Closed Ended Questions
Avoid questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”. Even if you think “yes” or “no” is your desired response, rework the question to allow for a more thorough and thoughtful response. Unexpected, beneficial information is often revealed when your questions allow the interviewee to elaborate with his/her response.

4. Rephrase General Questions It is common for interviewers to use standard questions that can be used for any job. However, if you ask a generic question, you will likely receive a generic answer. To improve your line of inquiry, try to target your questions to the specific position.

5. Avoid Leading Questions
Be careful to not give your candidate the preferred answers by the way you ask your questions. When you prepare your list of questions, be precise in knowing the exact wording of every question.

6. Always Avoid Age
The only times you can ask about age are when it is a requirement of a job duty, or you need to determine if a work permit is required. Avoid inquiries into what year someone graduated from school; it can be interpreted as an attempt to determine age.

7. Never Ask About Race, Color, National Origin, and Gender
It is rarely appropriate or legal to ask questions in regards to race, color, national origin or gender. If you believe that you have an exception to this rule, consult with an attorney for advice before the interview to ensure that you are correct.

8. Do Not Ask About Religion or Sexual Orientation
Although candidates may volunteer religious or sexual orientated information in an interview, be careful not to discriminate. Ask questions that are relevant to work experience or qualifications. Also avoid questions about religious holiday celebrations.

9. Do Not Discriminate for Health or Disabilities
If you have more than 15 employees, you are required by law to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The U.S. Department of Justice provides a thorough question and answers document about this Act.

10. Avoid inquires about Marital Status, Children, Personal Life, Pregnancy and Arrest Record
You may not ask questions about these topics. While it may be tempting to ask such a question for a position requiring travel, you can only explain the travel requirements and confirm that the requirements are acceptable. If you believe you have an exception to this rule, consult with an attorney for advice before the interview to ensure that you are correct.

There are some rare exceptions to the above rules. To keep yourself and company safe, or should you believe you have an exception to the above rules, contact an attorney and avoid the risk.

Hedley Lawson brings over 25 years of optical industry experience to Jobson Medical LLC. For over 10 years, he has been a contributing editor to VM, most recently as writer of the monthly column “Business Essentials.” He is the Contributing Editor of VM's E-Newsletter Business Essentials.

 

 

financial statement

Assessing Financial Performance,
Part 4

Accuracy of financial reporting is paramount to managing a successful lab. One part of accurate reporting relates to understanding the liabilities on the balance sheet. It is easy to understand is the amount of debt that a lab owes to vendors, banks, and leasing companies, but what about the amount the lab owes to its customers? That's right, if the lab has a policy for remakes and warranties, then the lab is indebted to customer accounts. Determining the amount of the liability is the difficult but necessary part of maintaining accuracy. Estimates are the best way to determine warranty and redo exposure to the lab.

The first step to estimating warranty exposure is looking at historical warranty experience. Most lab management software systems can generate monthly, or yearly reports respecting warranties and remakes. Take the warranty/remake units for the entire year and organize them by the length of time the job was warranted under. For example, most labs warrant lab errors for 30 days, scratch warranties are guaranteed for one to two years, etc.

Once the jobs are organized in their proper order, total all of the units within each warranty period and divide these totals by the total jobs produced for the year. This will give the percentage of total warranties and remakes to the total number of jobs produce.

Next, use the financial statements for a one-year time period and total all variable expenses (VE) including cost of materials, direct labor, lab supplies, repairs and maintenance, utilities, shipping, etc. Multiply each of the warranty/remake percentages to total variable expenses. This will provide the warranty/remake cost for each warranty time period for one year. These warranty/remake costs should then be divided by two and then totaled to determine the warranty liability to be accrued on the balance sheet. The reason the costs are divided by two is based on the assumption that at any given point in time the lab is halfway through a warranty/remake cycle. Below is an example of the total calculation:


Warranty/Remake Calculation
Warranty Expiration Warranty Remake Jobs Warranty Remake Percentage of Total Jobs Annual Warranty Remake Cost % x VE Annual Warranty Remake Cost % x VE
30 days

500

0.50% $ 19,500 $ 9,750
60 days

600

0.60% $ 23,400 $ 11,700
90 days

300

0.30% $ 11,700 $ 5,850
120 days

2,000

2.00% $ 78,000 $ 39,000
180 days

1,000

1.00% $ 39,000 $ 19,500
1 year

4,000

4.00% $ 156,000 $ 78,000
2 years

6,000

6.00% $ 234,000 $ 117,000
Total

14,400

14.40% $ 561,600 $ 280,800

Total Annual Jobs

100,000

Total Annual VE*

$ 3,900,000

*Variable Expenses

In this example, the lab would accrue $280,800 in warranty/remake reserve on the balance sheet, which is the amount it owes to customers.

Read “Assessing Financial Performance, Part 3.”

Read “Assessing Financial Performance, Part 2.”

Read “Assessing Financial Performance, Part 1.”

Jason Meyer—Jason A. Meyer is senior vice president, HPC Puckett & Company. Based in San Diego, Calif., HPC Puckett & Company specializes in mergers and acquisitions of wholesale optical laboratories. You can send comments or questions about this article or any other Dollars & Sense articles to Jason Meyer at jam@hpcpuckett.com.

Ocean Optics
 

Gerber Coburn

Pushing the Boundaries of High-Plus Bifocals

RxFiles

A low vision patient wanted a photochromic lens with a dark orange medical filter. This is her Rx:

OD +.25 -.50 x150 Single-Vision
OS -.75 -.50 x145 Add +20. Rd 22 Bifocal
Plastic Photochromic with a 550 medical filter.

“Photochromic medical filters are a specialty of Chadwick Optical and are available in single-vision and many high add powers…but not this high.

“Our first thought was to negotiate the patient into a non-photochromic lens and procure the blank through Aire-O-Lite which manufactures many high-add, round bifocals. Our second thought was to take on this challenging Rx as written. We knew we could produce this Rx as a single-vision if we could locate another lab who would take on the challenge of manufacturing and laminating a +20 add, round segment on the rear surface of our proprietary lens.


Chadwick Optical glasses

“Quest Lab of Largo, Fla., which deals exclusively with other wholesale labs producing specialty Rx lenses, accepted the challenge. Quest required that we produce the lenses as single-vision and thoroughly clean the surfaces with acetone. This assured that any residue from our process would not contaminate the bonding process to be preformed at Quest. Quest also required that we send them our lab job ticket showing the tooling we used to surface our lens. This was required so Quest could mate the toric curve on the front surface of the segment to be laminated to the back surface of our lens. We also sent the frame to Quest for finishing the lenses because we did not wish to risk having the segment delaminate during the edging process here. The only modification to the original Rx was a change to a round 25 to minimize the breakage factor from Quest. Smaller components are more difficult to manufacture.

“The first set of lenses developed bubbles in the bonding process at Quest that resulted in a reject. Quest experienced breakage in the manufacture of the segment and we negotiated the size of the add segment upward to 25mm. We succeeded on the second try.”—Karen Keeney, president, Chadwick Optical, White River Junction, Vt.

Ocean Optics
 

Patty Stout of Elite Optical

Patty StoutPatty Stout started her optical career in 1988 at Sequoia Optical Lab, a wholesale laboratory in Visalia, California. Owner Eric Dennewitz helped train Stout and taught her how to perform various jobs in the laboratory.

Stout's role at Sequoia continued to grow following a merger with Elite Optical in 1996 and incorporation into the Essilor Laboratories of America network. Now, as Elite's assistant manager, she focuses on customer satisfaction and supervising the staff.

“Every employee is an important part of the Essilor team, and like family, we look out for each other and treat each other with respect,” Stout said.

On a typical day, Stout opens the lab by 7:00 AM. She begins by calibrating the finish room and sorting the initial work for the day. After making personnel adjustments for employees who are out of the lab, Stout supervises finish production and customer service, and assists with any questions or issues they may have. In the afternoon she oversees inventory by helping order and restock lenses. She also occasionally helps in customer service and assists with data entry. At the end of the day, just before closing up, Stout holds a quick meeting to discuss upcoming events and issues that came up during the work day to assure a smooth opening the next morning.

Moving forward, Stout looks forward to helping Elite Optical continue to grow and be successful. Since her early days at Sequoia Optical, Stout has seen some significant industry changes in computerized equipment, products and lens materials available from Essilor.

“My favorite thing about my job is being able to come to work and just be myself,” said Stout. “I enjoy what I do because of the people around me and the company I work for. I know every time a pair of lenses go out of this lab, we are helping someone see a brighter day.”—Samantha Toth

Ocean Optics
 

Lenses by the Numbers, Part 3

In Parts 1 and 2 of Lenses by the Numbers, we examined some key findings from L&T's 2008 Premium Lens Study of Eyecare Practitioners concerning lens materials, high-index lenses and lens treatments. These additional survey results focus on refractive surgery, reading glasses, progressives lenses and lens packages.

Digital Freeform PALs

Impact of Refractive Surgery
Nine percent of retailers agree that because of the increase in patients having Refractive Surgery their overall lens sales have decreased. Twenty one percent say specifically high-powered lens sales have decreased.

Reading Glasses
For some retailers (37 percent), reading glass unit sales stayed about the same in 2007 compared to 2006. Thirty eight percent of respondents experienced an increase in sales of readers over this time period. Among those who sell readers, 34 percent say that their OTC/ready-made readers sales had increased in 2007. Custom-made readers sales were flat for half (50 percent) of respondents at locations that sell readers.

Photochromics

Progressives
When asked about familiarity regarding new progressive lens technologies, three-quarters of respondents were aware of the term “free-form progressives.” Seventy nine percent are aware of the term “digitally surfaced progressives,” and only 44 percent are aware of the term “direct surfaced progressives.” Seventy one percent of respondents say they are very or extremely satisfied with the personalized progressive lenses they dispense.

Lens Packages
Forty seven percent of retailers say that they do use lens-only package pricing. The average price of this lens-only package is $253.38.

Read “Lenses by the Numbers, Part 2.”

Read “Lenses by the Numbers, Part 1.”

Ocean Optics

The Vision Council Launches New Software for Data Communication Standard— The Vision Council is launching a new software program designed to test laboratory machines for conformance with the widely-accepted Data Communication Standard (DCS). The new software will help equipment manufacturers prepare their machines for easier integration in today's high-tech lens laboratories.

Members of The Vision Council developed the DCS, currently in version 3.07, to standardize electronic communication among products from multiple manufacturers. Updated on an ongoing basis, the standard is used internationally and has been adopted by the International Standards Organization (ISO). The new simulator software will assist equipment manufacturers in ensuring that their machines will work with any compliant laboratory management software.

“Right now there are over 15 different laboratory management software systems available for lens processing,” said David Beach, chair of The Vision Council's Lens Processing Technology Division which developed the simulator. “Machine manufacturers can use the simulator to emulate these lab systems and confirm that their machines communicate data in accordance with the DCS, thereby making for smooth integration in the customer's lab.”

“With continual advances in lens processing technologies, it's important that we stay ahead of the curve in developing standards and procedures that can help those in the optical field do business more effectively,” continued Beach.

The simulator is available to members of The Vision Council at no charge and to non-members for a fee. For more information and to obtain a copy of the simulator, contact Jeff Endres, technical manager, at jendres@thevisioncouncil.org or at (703) 740-2245.

Essilor Acquires Deschutes and Optimatrix—Essilor International has expanded its prescription laboratory network through Essilor of America's acquisition of majority stakes in Deschutes Optical and Optimatrix. Deschutes, based in Oregon and Idaho, has revenues of $2.7 million. Optimatrix, based in Alabama, has revenues of $4.6 million. The management teams of both labs will remain in place, Essilor said.

Rite-Style Optical

Pictured at the opening night reception are, left to right, Hilaire van der Veen, CEO of Shamir Insight, George Lee, RSO founder and CEO, Andrea Bergquist, RSO Southeast regional director and Lee’s daughter, and Mike Sutton, Rite-Style RSO vice president of sales and marketing. Shamir Insight and Signet Armorlite were major sponsors of RSO’s anniversary celebration.

Rite-Style

RSO surfacing manager, Jonas Silva, center, shows visitors the lab's new digital surfacing equipment and the conveyor system.

Rite-Style Optical

Rite-Style president Larry Lee, center, and George Lee, right, catch up with Herb Ferney, a long-time friend from the optical industry.

Rite-Style Cities Optical

George and Billie Lee pause for a moment at the end of three hectic days of celebrating Rite-Style Optical's 60th Anniversary.

Rite-Style Turns 60 With a Little Help From Its Friends—Customers, suppliers and well-wishers from across the country traveled to Omaha in late June to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of Rite-Style Optical (RSO), one of the nation’s leading independent wholesale laboratories. Nearly 350 guests, including about 50 doctors, participated in seminars, toured the RSO lab and attended parties during three days of festivities from June 25 to 27.

The event was also a tribute to Rite-Style CEO and co-founder George Lee. The 85-year-old entrepreneur, who is still actively involved in the business, welcomed visitors, swapped stories with current and former customers and received numerous accolades from friends, family and colleagues for his six decades of strong leadership. At a banquet capping the celebration, he thanked them and shared credit for his success with his partner, the late Harold Thompson, with whom he founded Rite-Style in 1948. Lee also cited the contributions of the 100-member RSO team, 37 of whom have worked at the lab for over 20 years, and 10 of whom have been with RSO for over 30 years.

Lab Advisor editor Andrew Karp delivered a keynote speech at the banquet. He called Lee “an innovator who keeps the spirit of the independent lab alive in an age of corporate mergers and acquisitions.” Karp also led a panel discussion during which Lee reminiced with Ray Stavneak, RSO's general manager, Mike Sutton, RSO’s vice president of sales and marketing, Jim Coburn, president of Optical Works, Jim Tooke, Zyloware sales rep and Mike Portz, OD, a longtime RSO customer.

Several other speakers also shared stories about Lee and RSO, including his daughter, Andrea Bergquist, who is RSO Southeast regional director; his son, Larry Lee, who is RSO's president and Mike Sutton, who served as master of ceremonies.

Lee, who was clearly moved by the tributes, said the event was “far beyond anything I ever imagined. It was gratifying to see so many retired friends and customers.”

Among the other highlights of RSO’s anniversary were educational seminars from Samantha Toth, president of Inneractive Media, Todd Hasselius, director of education for Shamir Insight and Jeff LaPlante, training and development manager for Signet Armorlite. Manufacturers also showcased their latest products at the RSO exhibit hall at the Ameristar casino and hotel in nearby Council Bluff, Iowa, where the seminars and banquet also took place.



Ultra Lens Updates AR Facility—Ultra Lens Optical in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. has updated its Satisloh AR coating facility. The lab has added a Phased Hydrophobic System from Satisloh to its oliophobic, anti-static, Ultra-durable Luminous AR coating.

Ultra Lens Optical

Lab technician Nigel Hagen loads Ultra Lens Optical’s Satisloh AR coater.

“This addition will make edging these highly oliophobic lenses easier for the ECP,” said Danny Singer, president of the independently owned lab. “Super Hydro is applied, bonding with AR underneath making it 10 times easier to clean than standard hydrophobic coatings,” “Gripping Hydro” or “Grip” is applied in-chamber to the Super Hydro layer, forming a bond allowing for easier finishing. This Phased Hydrophobic System does not alter the performance or integrity of the AR coating or the lens material. This system is easily wiped away after the finishing process and makes the lenses easier to clean.”

As reported in last month's Lab Advisor, Ultra Lens was recently acquired by VSP.

Reliable Optics Expands Products and Services— Reliable Optics has been steadily expanding its product offerings over the last year. To complement its existing in-house technologies, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based lab has recently completed all the necessary requirements and are now approved as a Kodak CleAR anti-reflective coating laboratory.

Reliable Optics

Eddie Purman of Reliable Optics

The laboratory has also become a distributor of Western Optical Supply, offering tools, instruments and display materials necessary for the everyday business needs of eyecare professionals. All Reliable Optics customers receive a 10 percent discount from the WOS catalog list prices.

“Our goal is to provide a complete array of products and services to our customers,” said Eddie Purman, co-founder of Reliable Optics.

Reliable also added a sales representative to cover parts of New Jersey, the five boroughs of New York City and Long Island.

“The addition of our new sales representative will assist us in expanding our business reach into new geographic areas,” said Purman.

Marco Award Prizes to Top Performing Sales Reps— Polarized sunwear supplier Marco is rewarding three sales professionals from its group of optical laboratories for their winning performances in Marco's “Doorbuster” sales incentive, which concluded in May. The top three optical laboratory sales professionals with the most new doors opened by the end of May 2008 will receive a recognition plaque and share $2,000 in prizes.

The first place winner is Heide Matthews-Boullt of Katz & Klein Optical; the second place is Scott Kitzerow of Sutherlin Optical; third place goes to Vicki Masliah of Hirsch Optical.

Augen Digital Easyform Generator

Augen Digital Easyform Generator

Manufacturer: Augen Optics
Description: Affordable free-form lens processor
Features: Computerized 5-axis surface generator produces premium lenses in an efficient process that saves both time and material. Compact, modular unit allows labs to make modest investment in free-form processing and expand capacity as business grows. According to Augen, the EasyForm Generator can produce any lens design that can be mathematically rendered, including Augen Centurion Series Aspheric/Double Aspheric Single Vision and Centurion Series Progressive and Short-Corridor Progressive designs.
(866) 284-3611
www.augenoptics.com

 
Essilor

Essilor Spin Backside Mithril Coating Unit (S-BMS)

Manufacturer/Distributor: Essilor of America
Description: Small spin backside coating unit for smaller independent Varilux/Crizal labs
Features: Benefiting from a reduction in facility and construction costs due to diminished clean room requirements, the S-BSM maintains Crizal product performance standards. The machine provides the following advancements: 25 square foot footprint, 18 jobs per hour, 96 percent yield, no second passes, nine-minute cycle time (requires in-machine post cure—IMPC). The unit processes only Essilor lenses only in polycarbonate and Orma.
(800) 473-3012
www.essilorusa.com

 
Nextreme Coatings

Nextreme Coatings

Manufacturer: Nexus Vision
Description: Complete line of mirror coatings
Features: Mirror coatings include fashion mirror colors on the front lens surface with optional NVision AR performance on the back surface. Coatings are available in eight popular colors: island blue, navy blue, blue flash, stone brown, tropical green, silver flash, sunset red and chrome. Additional colors are available by request. A Nextreme display is available, and includes samples of the eight most popular colors and one AR NVision demonstration lens.
(866) 492-6949
www.nexusvisiongroup.com

 
Ocean Optics with Computer Ocean Optics

Optical Transmittance Spectrophotometer (OTS)

Manufacturer: Ocean Optics
Description: Simple, elegant system measures ophthalmic lenses, glass and optical filters
Features: Provides accurate, repeatable real-time transmittance measurement of optical lenses and other optical components. Compact system measures tint color, photopic transmittance and UV cutoff of ophthalmic lenses, optical coatings, windows and filters, as well as characterizing photochromic, electrochromic and sun lens materials. Built on high-resolution miniature linear CCD-array spectrometer configured for the 380-780 nm wavelength range. System accepts samples from 10 to 150mm diameter and 10mm thickness for use in lab applications where transmittance accuracy (to +/- 1.0%) and precision (+/- 0.1%) are critical.

High-power, 20-watt tungsten halogen light source provides stable, continuous output. High resolution optics provide beam collimation. The sample fixture (z-stage) holds the sample in place and excludes ambient light.

Windows-based software calculates %T, color, and other critical optical measurements to meet CE, UL, RoHS, WEEE requirements. Ocean Optics applications engineers are available to customize the software with the modules required for application needs.
(727) 545-0741
www.oceanoptics.com

 

Tool Tower

Varilux Comfort and Comfort 360º in Airwear Polarized Gray and Brown

Manufacturer/Distributor: Varilux
Description: Progressive lenses in gray and brown polarized polycarbonate
Features: Essilor's two best selling progressives combined with its polarized technology and the lightest material. Varilux Comfort and Varilux Comfort 360º Airwear Polarized lenses can also be combined with Crizal Sun and Crizal Sun Mirrors.
Availability: Varilux Comfort Airwear Polarized Gray and Brown is available as a semi-finished lens, uncut or complete prescription. Rx Range: -9.00D to +6.00D up to -4.00D cylinder; Add: +0.75 to +3.00; Base Curves: 2.00, 4.00, 5.50, 7.25 Varilux Comfort 360º Airwear Polarized Gray and Brown is available as an uncut or complete prescription through an Essilor Processing Center. Rx Range: -9.00D to +6.00D up to -4.00D cylinder; Add: +0.75 to +3.00; Base Curves: 2.00, 4.00, 5.50, 7.25
(800) 423-3294
www.varilux.com

 
In This Edition...
DOLLARS & SENSE
Assessing Financial Performance, Part 4
THE RX FILES
Pushing the Boundaries of High-Plus Bifocals
FOCUS ON…
Patty Stout
of Elite Optical
NEWS TO USE
Lenses by the
Numbers, Part 3
LAB NOTES

The Vision Council
Launches New
Software for Data
Communication Standard

Essilor Acquires
Deschutes and Optimatrix

Rite-Style Turns 60 With a Little Help
From Its Friends

Ultra Lens Updates
AR Facility

Reliable Optics Expands
Products and Services

Marco Award Prizes to
Top Performing Sales Reps

BUYING GROUP &
LAB ASSOCIATION
NEWS
OLA Steps Down as ASC Z80 Secretariat; Vision Council
Assumes Role

Cherry Optical Joins Global Optics
OPERATING STRATEGIES
Automation: Getting
to Where You Want
to Be, Part 2
TECH TALK
Developing Hand
Edging Skills, Part 1

check HR CORNER
Interview No No's
 

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Ocean Optics
 
LabTalk Spotlight
August 2008

“Initially, processing any Trivex lens material was considered a difficult process,” states Keith Cross in his article on 'Processing Trivex…Avoiding the Pile.' Cross explains how in the past, many lab managers had to guess as to which process setting to use based on the specific type of equipment they had. They were often forced to compromise between different settings and some even created there own processing methods.

“During my former life as an Rx lab vice president and general manager,” Cross continues, “I can tell you that processing Trivex is as easy as any other material available. Like many other materials, there are nuances that make it unique and a bit different but not more difficult.”

This in-depth article contains detailed information on all aspects of processing Trivex such as this tip on blocking:

“Whether using wax or alloy, allowing the lens to cool properly is important. A minimum of 20 to 30 minutes is recommended. This allows the blocking material to cure properly and bond with the surface saver tape, which is also recommended, as well as allow for the heat generated during blocking to dissipate. As lab managers know, heat can ruin lenses. Especially the low minus or thin CT lenses where heat will build up in the center and can cause surface aberrations. Allowing lenses made from Trivex to cool properly before generating is an important step and should not be overlooked.”

To read the entire article, “Processing Trivex…Avoiding the Pile,” log on to http://www.labtalkonline.com/. Here you will find the article listed under the Features heading on the home page.


Buying Group & Lab Association News

OLA Steps Down as ASC Z80 Secretariat; Vision Council Assumes Role—The ANSI Accredited Standards Committee Z80 (ASC Z80) announced the resignation of Optical Laboratories Association as its secretariat and announced the selection of The Vision Council as the new Secretariat. The Secretariat is responsible for the administrative operations of ASC Z80's standards writing activities.

“I want to congratulate the Optical Laboratories Association on the completion of more than a quarter century of administrative leadership for the Z80 Committee,” said Committee chairman Dr. Thomas C. White, MD. “[OLA technical director] Dan Torgersen has done an exemplary job serving as Secretariat of the Committee since 1993. On behalf of the Committee, I wish to give a hearty thank you to the Optical Laboratories Association, including the board of directors, the staff, and the principal participants, for their many years of service to the standards writing community.”

“I want to welcome The Vision Council to their new role as the administrative agency and Secretariat for the Z80 Committee,” said White. “We anticipate a smooth transition commencing at the upcoming meeting in Alexandria, Va. on Sept. 23, 2008.”

Bob Dziuban, executive director for Optical Laboratories Association, said, “The OLA staff will be in transition over the next several years and we will not necessarily maintain the staffing required to serve as Z80 Committee Secretariat. This was the appropriate time to initiate the transition to a new Secretariat, while several years remain to ensure a smooth continuity of operations.”

“Standards writing is an intensive, long-term process, with every standard requiring revision on a five-year cycle,” said Torgersen, “and the administrative support function is critical to timely and successful standards completion and approval by the ANSI organization. I look forward to working with The Vision Council to share the experience that OLA has gathered over so many years.”

“OLA has been a member of the Z80 Committee since its inception over 30 years ago, and has been pleased to serve as the administrative Secretariat for over 25 years. OLA will continue to be actively and extensively involved in the standards writing activities of the Z80 Committee with continued participation of volunteers from OLA member companies and OLA staff,“ said Barney Dougher, OLA president. “We currently have three long-standing participants, and we have several volunteers who will begin participating in the next few months.”

The ANSI ASC Z80, Committee for Standards in Ophthalmic Optics, is an Accredited Standards Committee of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The committee is composed of 19 member organizations—associations in the ophthalmic industry and government or military organizations with interests in the ophthalmic industry. Representatives from the member organizations review and revise existing standards, and propose new standards, which become voluntary guidelines for equipment and materials used in the ophthalmic industry. ASC Z80’s standards span the range from intraocular devices to vision testing equipment, from ophthalmic lenses to ophthalmic frames, and from contact lenses to sunglasses. For a complete listing of ASC Z80's published standards, go to: webstore.ansi.org, and enter “Z80” as the Search Standards Keyword.

Cherry Optical Joins Global Optics—Cherry Optical, a full service lab in Green Bay, Wisc. has become the newest member of the Global Optics buying group. The lab, owned by Joe Cherry, had previously been a Global partner lab with Cherry Optical of Melvindale, Mich., which is owned by Joe’s brother, Richard Cherry.