Gerber Coburn
A Monthly Update for Optical Laboratory Owners and Managers November 2008

Made possible by an unrestricted grant from Gerber Coburn

New Products
Operating Strategies
Bob Niemiec

Bob Niemiec

Are You an Optical Lab
or Optical Factory?

While many of us still refer to the facilities we operate as labs, increasingly with the implementation of new process technologies these “labs” are really optical factories. As such, for these factories to be successful in fulfilling their mission to the customer in terms of quality, service and cost they need to be run truly as factories. More than just a difference in terms, there are significant differences between successfully running an optical lab versus an optical factory. One tool which has been implemented in factories around the world and which is increasingly finding its way into optical manufacturing is “Lean Manufacturing.” While the entire topic of Lean is beyond what can be covered here, one of the key elements of Lean is what is known as 5S.

Optical Lab

Image courtesy of Davis Vision.

5S is all about improving the work area so that it is clean, functional and efficient, in short, “a place for everything and everything in its place.” There are, not surprisingly, five stages to a 5S program (though there is frequently a highly recommended 6th S for Safety). The five S's stand for Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain.

The first “S,” Sort, has to do with getting rid of any materials or tools which are not necessary for the work that is to be performed at a particular work station(s) and having only the materials and tools that are necessary for the work that is to be performed at that station (i.e. get rid of the unnecessary clutter).

The second “S” for “Set in Order” is once, having determined the correct materials and tools that should be at the workstation from the Sort stage, “Set in Order” is arranging the tools and materials for their most efficient use.

The third “S,” Shine, involves doing a deep clean in the targeted work areas so that when a non standard condition like for instance a hydraulic leak is encountered it can immediately been seen and therefore addressed.

The fourth “S,” Standardize, means creating consistent procedures and approaches to insure that the progress achieved by implementation of the first three S's can be maintained.

Finally, the fifth “S,” Sustain, which may be the most difficult, is about consistently executing the procedures developed in the fourth stage so there is no backsliding or reverting to earlier conditions and behaviors.

Optical lab or factory? Which are you? Lean manufacturing is just one of the things that will help you get from where you are to where you may need to be.

—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 [email protected].

Tech Talk

Free-form Manufacturing Challenges, Part 1

Analyzing the Process
Sophisticated software is required to design and “optimize” a modern progressive lens surface. Progressive lens surfaces must be manufactured or surfaced to a precise shape and to an optical luster to deliver the intended design. Conventional fining and polishing (“cylinder”) machines and tools are not compatible with the complex surfaces used for progressive lenses. Conventional generators are also not capable of producing surfaces to the precision and smoothness required for the use of non-conventional fining and polishing methods. As a result, errors produced by free-form manufacturing are not as readily measurable as errors produced by lens casting. What are the steps?

Free-form Manufacturing

Free-form Progressive Lens Optimization
A sophisticated optimization program employs a number of steps to arrive at the final progressive lens design. A sufficiently advanced program begins with a base design. If necessary, the base design is morphed, modified or selected based upon biometric, lifestyle or frame shape parameters to arrive at the actual target design. The prescription and ergonomic parameters are then entered into an analysis program to create an initial progressive lens model. Next, this initial “lens” model is analyzed using optical ray tracing for the as-worn position. The software then minimizes merit functions (such as optical blur, distortion) between the ray-traced lens model and the original target design across the entire surface. A final lens is arrived at, representing the best compromise.—Darryl Meister, ABOM, Carl Zeiss Vision

HR Corner

When Bad Supervisors
Impact Good Employees

Bad Boss

Are your supervisors driving your lab to succeed or is their behavior putting the brakes on your company's success?

A report from the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) about the “Price of Poor Supervision” suggests that three key problems develop when supervision is poor:

1. Job performance suffers. As the managers in charge on the frontlines, where the work actually gets done, supervisors are critical to mission accomplishment. The NAPA report concludes that supervisors may be the most important factor in their individual work units' productivity.

When supervision is poor, performance lags and productivity drops off dramatically.

2. Poor supervision drives good employees away. Remember the saying, “Employees don't leave companies, they leave managers and supervisors”? If you've got poor supervisors, you've got a built-in “anti-retention” tool in your workplace. All your morale-boosting efforts combined can't blunt the effect of poor supervision.

Watch closely how your supervisors use power. That's a good sign of how well they are doing. (If you discount or downplay supervisor assessments, you're leaving the door wide open for the “Boss from Hell.”)

Even if bad supervisors don't actually drive people to leave, there are still problems. Studies have linked employee mental health to the relationship with the boss. One study suggests that rapport with the boss largely predicts incidence of depression and other psychiatric problems.

3. Problems that require or attract third-party intervention increase. Supervisory behavior impacts the number of grievances and complaints filed by employees, internal and external. As HR managers know too well, the cost of resolving these issues can be very significant.

What to Do
Executives should consider their supervisory cadre as a driving force for organizational outcomes. “While there are costs involved in starting and maintaining programs to strengthen the performance of supervisors, they pale in comparison to the price paid for inaction,” according to the NAPA report.

Some recommendations for employers from NAPA include:

  • Give development of supervisors the same level of attention you give to development of executives.

  • Balance technical competencies with managerial or leadership competencies when selecting and developing supervisors.

  • Identify potential leaders and develop candidates early on.

  • Hold executives and managers accountable for managing their supervisors.

  • Develop an ongoing mechanism such as an organizational climate survey, for determining the performance and capabilities of the supervisory cadre.

  • Devise a mechanism for recognizing and rewarding first-line supervisors.

Hedley Lawson brings over 25 years of optical industry experience to JMI. 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.



Economic Downturn

The Tax Effect of Timed Equipment Purchases

Independently owned optical laboratories that are considering equipment purchases in 2009 may decide to make those purchases before the end of the year 2008. The new Small Business and Work Opportunity Act (SBWOTA), among other things, eased Section 179 of the tax code. Under the new provisions, small companies are able to deduct up to around $130,000 in 2008; with an inflation associated with the year 2007 base amount through the year 2010. The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 increased this limit to $250,000 for 2008. The catch is that the deduction is limited to small companies, and taxpayers that purchase over $800,000 worth of equipment in the year 2008 would start to lose the tax benefit. Accordingly, for every dollar over the spending limit, the deduction would be reduced by the overage. This would, in effect, simply reduce the current deduction and increase the depreciable basis in the equipment purchased.

Therefore, a well planned purchase of equipment would include the purchase of up to $800,000 in 2008, wherein the first $250,000 of the purchase would be deductible by the company in the 2008. The same would apply for a single project such as reengineering and associated equipment. Certain expenditures in addition to the optical equipment can also qualify, excluding however, building expenditures and associated fixtures.

Also for 2008, bonus depreciation has been allowed at a 50 percent rate for qualifying property and works. This special depreciation allowance is allowed after any Section 179 deduction and before computation of regular depreciation deduction. Property that qualifies includes among other things tangible property depreciated under Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) with a recovery period of 20 years or less including qualified leasehold property. The property must be acquired after 2007 and before 2009 and placed in service after 2007 but before 2009.

When making purchases in conjunction with associated Section 179 deductions, lab owners need to also be aware that they must pass a taxable income limitation wherein the expensing deduction can not exceed the taxable income from the purchaser's active trade or business. This limitation particularly comes into play where the company is a C corporation and the deduction resulting from the Section 179 purchases exceed the taxable income of the corporation. Therefore, before lab executives take their often customary year end bonus, they should consider forgoing the bonus so as to not create a situation wherein the corporation’s Section 179 deduction is lost. By planning the purchases well, the corporation can have the deduction without the associated payroll costs to shareholder employees; and have the cash remain in the company that would have otherwise been distributed.

The result of a Section 179 tax deduction is in effect to use pretax dollars to make certain of your companies capital expenditures. That said, lab owners should still strongly consider the economic factors (as addressed in earlier articles) and make the purchases only after considering the effect on the overall debt of their company. Lab owners should consult their tax professionals to determine their eligibility in participating in any of these potential tax incentives.

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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 [email protected].

Gerber Coburn

Rodney Remsey of Classic Optical

Rodney RemseyRodney Remsey began his optical career in 1986 at Classic Optical Laboratories, a family-owned wholesale optical laboratory located in Youngstown, Ohio. “When I first started at Classic, I was responsible for blocking lenses on the good 'ol Coburn Rocket 95A,” Remsey said. Through the support of his managers and supervisors, Remsey was given the opportunity to learn and advance to other positions in the laboratory. In 1988, Remsey was promoted as the lead person in the layout department, and again two years later as assistant laboratory manager. In an effort to continue his personal and professional growth, Remsey passed the ABO spectacle exam and became a licensed optician in the state of Ohio in 1992. His perseverance paid off when he was promoted in 1996 to laboratory manager, and again in 1999 to director of laboratory operations.

As director of laboratory operations, Remsey is responsible for all aspects of Classic Optical Laboratories' high volume laboratory. This includes production, staffing, training, inventory control, and direct supervision of staff, reduction of breakage and waste, reporting and operational planning. “My typical day begins with a review of the production reports from the previous day,” Remsey said. “Then, I do a walk through of the laboratory and support areas to greet people and check on staffing levels. Next, I fill in where I am needed,” he continued. One of the things Remsey loves about his position is how each day is different. It may go from planning future equipment purchases, or helping a customer on the phone, to making the best lens choice for a difficult Rx.

Remsey loves working with his team at Classic Optical Laboratories. The atmosphere, like their ownership, is family oriented. The average employee has been with Classic Optical Laboratories for over 13 years. “If it wasn't for my team's hard work and dedication, Classic Optical nor myself would be where we are today,” Remsey said.

The highlight of Remsey's career at Classic Optical Laboratories came when he was introduced to their number one customer, who is now his wife and mother to the next optical professional in their family. “Being part of a laboratory that has been in VM's Top 25 Laboratories for a number of years is great too,” he added with a smile. “I'm very excited about the future and new directions that Classic is pursuing. I hope to be part of the management team here for a long time to come.”—Samantha Toth

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Gerber Coburn
OLA Top Lab Winners

Vision Monday's Top Labs were honored at the Labapalooza Party.

VM Names Top Labs for 2008—Vision Monday announced the names of its Top Labs for 2008 at a party on Nov. 7 during the Optical Laboratories Association's annual meeting in Nashville. The party, billed as Labapalooza, drew hundreds of attendees, including the 30 VM Top Labs as well as OLA exhibitors and vendors. Get a guided tour of OLA 2008. View a slide show, read wrapup coverage or watch video highlights.

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Katz & Klein Wins 9th Annual Optical Laboratory Web Site of the Year Award—After being listed as a top 10 Web site for eight consecutive years, Katz & Klein optical laboratory of Sacramento, Calif. has emerged as the winner of LabTalk magazine's 2008 Optical Laboratory Web Site of the Year award contest.

Katz & Klein

LabTalk's editor Christie Walker (center) presents Corrine Hood and Mike Francesconi of Katz & Klein with the Optical Laboratory Web Site of the Year Award.

The Web Site of the Year award, sponsored each year by LabTalk magazine, was presented at Labapalooza, the lab party held at the OLA 2008 meeting. The top 10 optical laboratories and their winning Web sites are:

Katz & Klein (1st Place)
Diversified Ophthalmics (2nd Place)
Empire Optical (3rd Place)
Tri-Supreme Optical (tied for 4th)
Pech Optical (tied for 4th)
Cherry Optical (tied for 5th)
iCoat (tied for 5th)
Classic Optical (6th place)
Central Optical (7th place)
FEA Industries (8th place)

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Trash to Treasure Winners Celebrated at Labapalooza—Another highlight of the Labapalooza party at OLA was the winners of the Trash to Treasure art contest using finishing pads. The first annual Trash to Treasure art contest saw 18 unusual creations ranging from a 3-D likeness of Whoopi Goldberg to a Star Wars tie fighter to creatures from the deep including a fish, a killer whale and a man called Squidbeard.

fish palm tree
squidbeard frames

Clockwise from top, First place winner, Aearo Co.; Second place winner, Vision Craft; Third place winner, Landmark Optical; Honorable Mention, Superior Optical Lab.

Ten of the top entries were displayed at the OLA in the registration area and again during the Labapalooza party. Trash to Treasure was sponsored by LabTalk magazine, DAC Vision, and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, with the awards being distributed at the Labapalooza event. Many of the entries are featured in a photo spread in the Nov./Dec. issue of LabTalk and the top winners will again be featured in the Jan./Feb. issue as well.

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Davis Expands and Upgrades Pennsylvania Lab—On Oct. 22, Davis Vision celebrated the grand opening of its newly-expanded, 40,000-square-foot ophthalmic laboratory in Newtown Square, Pa., near Philadelphia.

Davis PAL Lab

A view inside the new Davis Vision lab near Philadelphia.

Davis Labs

A lab technician blocks a lens at the new Davis Vision lab.

The new lab is equipped with a Zeiss AR coating center, Satisloh and Schneider surfacing machinery and National Optronics edgers. It is significantly larger than Davis Vision's previous lab, which covered 13,000 square feet. The lab employs 82 people who fill between 2,500 to 3,000 orders a day from doctors in the mid-Atlantic region. At full capacity, the lab can process 5,500 to 6,000 jobs per day. Turnaround time for orders is two to two-and-a-half days.

“Enhanced laboratory capabilities keep Davis Vision ahead of the curve with the ever-increasing demand for popular options, such as anti-reflective coatings, while enabling us to manage costs for our clients,” said Davis Vision president Steve Holden. “Over time the new laboratory will expand our daily processing capacity to as many as 6,000 custom orders.”

The Newtown Square lab joins three other Davis Vision regional lab facilities, located in Plainview, N.Y., Las Vegas, Nev., and Albuquerque, N.M. All four labs have earned ISO 9001:2000 certification.

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Signetek Now Accepting Orders from VisionWeb-Connected Labs—VisionWeb and Signet Armorlite have announced that spectacle lens laboratories in the VisionWeb network can electronically order Signet Armorlite products, including premium Kodak lenses, directly from Signetek through VisionWeb. Participating laboratories will be able to place and route the orders, allowing Signetek, Signet Armorlite's lab in San Marcos, Calif., to receive the order electronically, increasing efficiency, reducing turnaround time and reducing manual intervention for both labs.

Labs interested in electronically ordering Signet Armorlite lenses from Signetek should contact the VisionWeb Integration Support Team at (800) 882-1446 or email [email protected].

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Harbor U.

Harbor University attendees listening to one of the ABO-approved speakers.

Harbor Optical

Geff Heidbrink, president of Harbor Optical, congratulated the Harbor University graduates.

Harbor Optical Hosts 8th Annual Harbor U.— Harbor Optical hosted its 8th annual Harbor University on Sept. 19 at the Hagerty Center in Traverse City, Mich. Over 300 optometrists, opticians and other industry professionals earned continuing education credits, free of charge. The curriculum included seven hours of ABO and five hours of COPE approved courses. In addition, Transitions Institute (TTI) was offered for the second year in a row. Sponsored by Transitions Optical, this complete track of courses was designed to equip opticians and optometrists with effective presentation techniques to increase Transitions lens sales.

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Hoya Names Harbor Optical Distributor of the Year—Hoya Vision Care, North America, has named Harbor Optical of Traverse City, Mich., as Hoya Distributor of the Year.

Hoya Vision Care North America

Pictured, back to front, are Robert Kohn of Hoya Vision Care, Geff Heidbrink, Bob Westlake and Mike Earl of Harbor Optical and Bryan Thorne of Hoya Vision Care.

“Hoya and Harbor Optical are equally committed to quality products and the success of the independent eyecare professional,” said Barney Dougher, president of Hoya Vision Care, North America.

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Hoya to Consolidate Connecticut Labs—Hoya Vision Care, North America is consolidating its two Connecticut-based optical laboratories. The company will close its Bethel facility by the end of 2008 and move some production and personnel to its Hartford facility, about 60 miles east, according to Hoya management. The lab employs about 65 people.

“Hoya labs have grown over the last few years and have expanded their capabilities,” said Barney Dougher, president of Hoya Vision Care, North America. “As part of that continuing effort, it is paramount that we bring more Hoya service to more localized areas. The Bethel facility is a specialized facility that produces certain Hoya products which can now be produced at many other Hoya lab locations throughout the U.S.”

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Homer Optical Celebrates 35 Years— Homer Optical, based in Silver Spring, Md., is celebrating its 35th year in business. When asked how Homer is celebrating the anniversary, company president Candi Levri, daughter of lab founder Robert Dunn, replied “by continuing to invest in staff and technology, with additional AR and digital surfacing slated for this year.”

Bill White

Bill White

Ralston Fraser

Ralston Fraser

Don Barton

Don Barton

Homer offers several AR processes and brand names, including Essilor's new Crizal Avancé with Scotchgard Protector as well as its own house brand, Vantage. July of 2008 marked the launch of Vantage 2, a technologically advanced AR process at an affordable price.

“With over 25 years of in-house AR processing expertise, we're able to extend technology reserved for premium AR like Crizal to Vantage 2. The super-hydrophobic scratch-resistant top coat and Pad Control System are both part of Vantage 2 to give patients superior cleanabilitly, and up to 97 percent light transmission,” said Ralston Fraser, Homer Optical's AR coating manager.

“Digital surfacing is what I'm most excited about,” said Bill White, vice president of operations. “I'm proud of the fact that we serve a sophisticated customer base that's tuned in to providing the latest advances in vision solutions to their patients. Our goal is to begin in-house digital processing by the end of the year. In 2009 we'll bring a wide range of digital products to our customers that are processed in-house, insuring faster delivery of the latest technology.”

Sales manager Don Barton added, “By working with business owners, Homer sales consultants are able to tailor each training session to meet long term business objectives. It's a commitment of time and energy by all that results in a long term mutually profitable business partnership.”

In addition to its main location in Silver Spring, Homer operates branches in Virginia Beach, Va., Binghamton, N.Y. and York, Pa.

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Gerber Coburn

Carl Zeiss Vision

GT2 Short

Manufacturer: Carl Zeiss Vision
Description: Short-corridor progressive lens based on Zeiss's award-winning GT2 design.
Features: 13mm minimum fitting height. Compatible with a broad range of fashionable frame sizes. Near zone widens continually as fitting height increases, unlike some other short-corridor designs that are optimized only in extremely small frames. According to Zeiss, GT2 Short offers wide, clear vision that is virtually distortion-free above the 180º line, providing “truly satisfying distance and peripheral vision.” Progression of power and astigmatism has been carefully managed for excellent control of wavefront aberrations throughout the lens, allowing GT2 Short to offer greater visual satisfaction and superior ergonomic utility.
Availability: Polycarbonate and 1.67 high-index. Wide base curve range. Compatible with Teflon Clear Coat, Carat Advantage and all other Zeiss AR coatings, as well as with Transitions.
(858) 509-9899

PhotoGator Gray

PhotoGator Gray

Manufacturer: Gator Lens
Description: Finished photochromic polycarbonate lenses in gray
Features: 1.59 index of refraction; 1.20 specific gravity; scratch-resistant hard coat; aspheric, flat and optically corrected on all plus lenses and minus lenses over -4.00D. 32 Abbe.
Availability: Finished stock lenses +4.00 sph. to a -6.00D sph., 0.25 D cyl to a -2.00D cyl. Transmittance is 76 percent to 24 percent. Changes from light to dark in eight seconds; dark to light in 60 seconds. Gray color is uniform, independent of lens power. 100 percent UV filtering.
(888) 428-6711

Hoya Lux iD Lifestyle

HoyaLux iD LifeStyle in Polycarbonate
and 1.67 Transitions Gray

Manufacturer: Hoya Vision Care, North America
Description: Digitally surfaced progressive lens
Features: Integrated Double Surface technology. Hoya Free-Form Technology separates the performance of the front and back surfaces for enhanced vision. Standardized vertical progression on the front surface shortens eye rotation and customized horizontal progression on the back surface delivers wider visual zones. Distortion and swimming effects are eliminated, increasing patient adaptability.
Availability: Polycarbonate clear and 1.67 Transitions gray. Two design choices are offered: HoyaLux iD LifeStyle, which features an 18 mm minimum fitting height, and HoyaLux iD LifeStyle cd, which features a 14mm minimum fitting height.
(866) 812-8893

Excelon Tracer

Excelon EZ

Manufacturer: Huvitz/USophthalmic
Edging Solutions
Description: Economically priced system; able to process all lens materials including hard resin, glass, poly, high-index and Trivex.
Features: Includes edger and the tracer blocker unit. Digital pattern layout feature modifies lens shape in left/right, top/bottom as well as circumference to optimize the fitting for rimless and semi rimless frames. Bevel position can be adjusted in percent, distance from the front and back of the lens and base curve. Full warranty for two years with included loaner program.
(888) 334-4640


Pixel Optics


Manufacturer: PixelOptics
Description: “Enhanced” multifocal
Target Customer: Bifocal and trifocal wearers, computer users, PAL wearers who want more intermediate vision.
Features: Power gradient with an embedded power segment provides four zones of clear vision: near, intermediate, far-intermediate and distance. Range of near and intermediate vision increased more than 10 times compared with bifocal of comparable add power. Power segment is semi-visible when looking through the lens and nearly invisible to those looking at the wearer.

Made from a family of composite materials that are molecularly bonded to ensure greater strength and structural integrity. Composite materials from PixelOptics use different high-index monomers on each lens surface to maximize the thin and light qualities of the lens while enhancing optical performance.
Availability: Distributed through major wholesale laboratories.
(877) 725-3447

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In This Edition...
The Tax Effect of Timed
Equipment Purchases
Rodney Remsey
of Classic Optical

VM Names Top
Labs for 2008

Katz & Klein Wins
9th Annual Optical
Laboratory Web Site
of the Year Award

Trash to Treasure
Winners Celebrated
at Labapalooza

Davis Expands
and Upgrades
Pennsylvania Lab

Signetek Now Accepting Orders
from VisionWeb-
Connected Labs

Harbor Optical
Hosts Eighth
Annual Harbor U.

Hoya Names Harbor Optical Distributor
of the Year

Hoya to Consolidate
Connecticut Labs

Homer Optical
Celebrates 35 Years

OLA Names 2008
Awards of Excellence Winners

OLA Elects
Board of Directors

Sunburst Optics
Joins Global Optics
Are You an Optical
Lab or Optical Factory?
Manufacturing Challenges,
Part 1
When Bad
Supervisors Impact
Good Employees

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Gerber Coburn
LabTalk Spotlight
November 2008

In LabTalk's November/December issue, Rich Palmer takes on the technical side of calculating a prescription into a wrap lens, in “Processing Wrap Prescriptions.”

Check out this excerpt:

“The introduction of so-called fashion/performance wrap-around style frames suitable for Rx lenses has given rise to some challenging and very unique ophthalmic fitting and lens power issues both at the dispensing table and in the production laboratory.

“Until recently, lenses for wrap frames have been fabricated by producing the patient’s Rx using spherical high base lenses, which typically had a nominal front curve of 8.25 diopters. Unfortunately the results oftentimes have been patient discomfort and less than desired visual acuity than that realized through the patient’s so-called dress wear lenses. This has been due in large measure to considerations not adequately being given for the need to compensate or re-calculate Rx powers because of the optical effects associated with large amounts of Face Form Tilt or Panoramic Angle in wrap frames and the induced prism that’s associated with tilting of prescription lenses.

“In a high wrap frame the Rx power is rotated about the two primary optical meridians, the tangential meridian along the horizontal plane and the sagittal meridian about the vertical plane. This rotational effect is often referred to as 'Radial Astigmatism,' often referred to as 'marginal' or 'oblique astigmatism.' The sagittal meridian may be considered as the Rx's spherical component and the tangential meridian equated to the cylinder Rx component.

“The greater the degree or severity of the wrap angle of the frame the greater the amount of compensating Rx power that will be required in these meridians to yield proper visual acuity and wearing comfort; (i.e. the same visual acuity a wearer experiences with dress wear lenses). This is true not only for a compound Rx, spherocylindrical lens with an oblique axis, but also for a spherical power Rx.”

To read the entire article, “Processing Wrap Prescriptions” log on to Here you will find the article listed under the Features section.

Buying Group & Lab Association News

OLA Names 2008 Awards of Excellence Winners—At a gala ceremony here Nov. 8, officials of the Optical Laboratories Association (OLA) named the winners of the OLA 2008 Awards of Excellence. The awards ceremony provided the climax to the OLA’s annual meeting, which began here on Nov. 6.

OLA Winners

At the end of the banquet, the winners of the 2008 Awards of Excellence gathered for their traditional group photo.

The OLA also honored Gordon Keane, president of Digital Vision (DVI) by presenting him with its 2008 Directors' Choice Award at its President's Banquet and Awards ceremony.

Keane founded DVI in 1983 to specialize in automating optical laboratories. He had spent several years working with George Weber, Tom Mitchoff, and the Sericko family at Columbian Bifocal, developing and then managing the first widely used ophthalmic manufacturing and business software.

The Directors' Choice Award honors individuals, companies or organizations, which have made outstanding contributions to the ophthalmic industry.

The winners of the 2008 OLA Awards of Excellence are:

Mount Eyewear SL-A, Tuscany Eyewear

TR309S, Uvex by Sperian

Via Spiga 410, Zyloware Corporation

Nickelodeon SpongeBob Squarepants
Lobster, Nouveau Eyewear

Image Wrap Decentered Design, Younger Optics


Polycarbonate Drivewear Activated by Transitions, Younger Optics

Drivewear Activated by
Transitions Informational
Videos, Younger Optics

VFT — Ultra, Satisloh
North America


HD-360 Polish, DAC Vision

7E HLP Edging System, National Optronics


SecurEdge Plus
Blocking Pads, Optisource
and Practical Systems


Magna-Spin, Satisloh North America

Shield Lens Protection System, Hilco

OLA Elects 2008—2009 Board of Directors—The Optical Laboratories Association named its 2008—2009 board of directors at its annual meeting earlier this month in Nashville, Tenn. The following board members were elected:
OLA Board of Directors

The OLA’s 2008-2009 slate of officers consists of, left to right: J. Larry Enright, president; Kevin Bargman, Hawkins Optical, president-elect; Jonathan Jacobs, Superior Optical Labs, vice president; Mike Francesconi, Katz & Klein, treasurer; Paul B. Dougher, Hoya Vision Care, immediate past president.

Officers — 2008—2009

J. Larry Enright, Perferx Optical, Pittsfield, Mass.

Kevin Bargman, Hawkins Optical Lab
, Topeka, Kan.

Vice President
Jonathan Jacobs, Superior Optical Labs,
Ocean Springs, Miss.

Mike Francesconi, Katz & Klein, Sacramento, Calif.

Immediate Past President
Paul B. Dougher,
Hoya Vision Care,
Dallas, Texas

William Ball, Digital Vision,
Portland, Ore.
John Haigh, J & J Optical,
Paradise, Calif.
Jacqueline Honstrom, Next Generation Ophthalmics,
Grand Rapids, Minn.
Virginia C. Lesher,
Brondstater Optical
America, Inwood, W.Va.
Drake McLean,
Dietz-McLean Optical Company,
San Antonio, Texas
Dale Parmenteri, Balester Optical Company,
Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Keith Pulling, Essilor Laboratories,
Greensboro, N.C.
Jeffrey A. Szymanski,
Toledo Optical Laboratory, Toledo, Ohio
Bob Way, Tech-Cite Laboratories Co.,
Calgary, Alberta

(2009 Nominating Committee)

Jack Banville, VSP Optical Laboratory,
Sacramento, Calif.
Danny Pugh, Optical Prescription Lab,
Pelham, Ala.
Tom Schroeder,
Schroeder Optical Company, Roanoke, Va.
Gerry Shaw, Western Carolina Optical,
Asheville, N.C.

Sunburst Optics Joins Global Optics— Global Optics has added Sunburst Optics of Syracuse, N.Y. to its group of independent wholesale laboratories. Founded in 1979 by Norman Perry, the lab was purchased by Richard Sapia in 2000. Two years later, Jeremy Gnade joined the company as Sapia's partner.

Sunburst employs 28 full-and part-time workers, who process approximately 275 Rx orders per day.