A Monthly Briefing for Optical Lab Owners and Managers

- July 2017 -

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Lab Notes

Digital Eye Lab Recognized as VSP's Unity Independent Lab of the Year

Lab Advisor

Digital Eye Lab (DEL), a division of ABB OPTICAL GROUP, has been named VSP® Optics Group's Unity Independent Lab of the Year for 2016.

DEL earned the award, which is presented annually to an independent optical laboratory that demonstrates exceptional quality of work, exceeds Unity sales targets and provides superior customer service, in its first full year as a Unity enabled laboratory. DEL first began manufacturing Unity lenses in mid-2015. 

"This is an honor for the DEL team, particularly since we received this award in our first year," said DEL Managing Director Scott Pearl. "We look forward to supporting the continued growth of the Unity brand by providing world class service and quality to our IECP customers."

In recognition of the honor, VSP Optics Group donated $2,500 on behalf of DEL to the Arc of Westchester Foundation. The organization supports children, teens, and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing programs to foster independence, productivity, and participation in community life. Arc of Westchester recently honored DEL with its New Business Partner Award for hiring employees through the organization and for promoting a diverse workplace.

"We are so thankful to the entire Digital Eye Lab team for their ongoing support of Arc of Westchester," said Maria Varga, Arc's Careers Supports Coordinator, who extended her gratitude on behalf of Arc for the donation during a joint VSP-DEL celebration at the lab earlier this month. 

Unity Via Launch

Known as a technological pioneer throughout its 10-year history as the country's first fully automated optical lab dedicated solely to digital lens fabrication, Digital Eye Lab just recently launched fabrication of VSP's new Unity Via progressive lenses.

Unity Via's intelligent technology brings a new approach to fitting and delivers precise vision correction with exceptional ergonomic comfort. Crafted with the most sophisticated lens design software in the optical industry, Unity Via is easy to fit and offers patients a truly customized lens. Rather than forcing the eye to adjust to the lens, the new lens designs follow the natural path of the eye for a comfortable fit. With a few simple measurements, eye care professionals can be confident that whatever their patients' visual needs are, Unity Via will provide them with accurate and effortless vision. The portfolio includes five new progressive lens options in the F, N, and O categories, including designs for frames with high-wrap, and for patients who use mobile devices for more than four hours per day.

"We understand the importance of investing in innovative technology and the impact it has on our customers and their business," said Nan Meehan, Vice President of Eyewear for ABB OPTICAL GROUP. "As the Unity brand evolves, we are confident that a growing number of IECP customers will recognize the benefit of providing Unity's high performance customized digital lens solutions to their patients."


New Products

Shamir Launches Blue Zero, Moves to 100 Percent Freeform

Shamir Insight, Inc. manufacturer of premium Freeform® progressive and single vision lenses, announces the release of their blue light blocking lens, Shamir Blue Zero™. Shamir Blue Zero™ absorbs HEV blue light, offering premium protection for patient’s visual health. This revolutionary lens provides a protective solution for most Shamir Freeform® designs, making it ideal for everyday progressive, single vision and work solutions. 

Shamir continues their dedication to providing the marketplace with the most advanced technologies, premium materials and treatments. Shamir Blue Zero™ was developed in response to a growing demand of needed protection from potentially harmful artificial light that falls within the 415-455nm range of the light spectrum. 

Blue light is found in everyday life, with exposure outside as well as inside through artificial light and digital devices. Overexposure to HEV light can lead to tired eyes, dry eyes, eye strain, insufficient visual contrast and headaches. At worst, it increases the risk of macular degeneration and retinal disease. With continual exposure throughout the day most people experience a hard time falling asleep and daily fatigue. 

“With the ever-increasing amount of time people are spending on their phones, tablets, computers and TV it was vital that we met the needs of these patients and offered a protective solution. Shamir Blue Zero™ allows for ultimate protection indoors from blue light while maintaining nearly clear, lens clarity. We are excited about the opportunity to provide eye care practitioners with this level of protection to their patients. Just as sunglasses are important outdoors, Shamir Blue Zero™ is as necessary indoors and the marketplace is realizing that.” Mark Becker, VP of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships.

Meanwhile, Shamir is taking a “forward-facing measure,” removing all molded product offerings and announcing the move to 100 percent digital, Freeform® lenses. No longer feeling it’s appropriate to support old technology, moving forward, Shamir will only offer semi-finished single-vision lenses, focusing solely on advanced Freeform® designs.

“Eliminating molded products from our offering was an easy decision for us. Labs and Eye Care Practitioners share our vision in providing patients top-tier solutions that include better customization, overall clearer fields of vision and less quality issues. Semi-finished PAL’s limit us to standard designs for every patient, and as a company we’ve set higher standards for ourselves. Our goal is to provide the most advanced customized solutions and removing ourselves from molded products allows us to do exactly that. As our technology and lens solutions advance it makes perfect sense to discontinue designs that are not the best solutions for patients.” Raanan Naftalovich, CEO, Shamir Insight. 

Shamir says it believes strongly in their decision as technology is leading the world. The introduction of the revolutionary Spark Mi™ measuring device is just another example of that. Customization is key and digital is the only way to provide that unique customization to each individual patient. From measurements with the Spark Mi™ to individualized lens designs, Shamir wants to provide the most technologically advanced personal experience to patients. It will not be long before other companies follow in their footsteps realizing the importance of focusing on the way of the future.


VISION EASE Expands Photochromic Lens Line with Multifocals

VISION EASE has introduce two new designs in its photochromic Lens line: D35 bifocal and 7x28 trifocal lenses designed to enhance indoor and outdoor vision with faster fadeback and activation. The new D35 bifocals and 7x28 trifocals, available in gray, meet the company's high standard for photochromic performance. Indoors, they are 2.5 percent clearer and offer 44 percent faster fadeback compared to competitor products, while blocking 43 percent of blue light. 

As the wearer moves outside, the lenses offer 27 percent faster activation and are 7.3 percent darker, while blocking 91 percent of outdoor blue light. Additional VISION EASE photochromic lenses include SFSV, D28 bifocal and Novel progressive designs. 

For more information, visit

VISION EASE Releases New Occupational Lens Line

Designed to improve near and intermediate visual comfort for lens wearers, VISION EASE announces its new line of occupational lenses. These digital backside lenses are designed with office ergonomics in mind, for optimal viewing zones during specific tasks. 

“Both at work and at home, people often spend many hours each day focused on screens and nearby objects,” said David Hoagland, Senior Product Manager at VISION EASE. “VISION EASE’s new occupational designs have been created with maximum comfort in mind for those extended, up-close activities. With these lenses, eye care professionals and retailers can offer their patients a solution specific to their needs, whether that’s working on a computer or interacting with a larger office environment.” 

The lens line includes three styles: VISION EASE Computer, VISION EASE Desk and VISION EASE Office. Each design is uniquely suited for different uses in office settings. VISION EASE Computer lenses are designed to maximize the wearer’s viewing zone for tasks closer than 6 feet*, such as reading, working with objects in their hands, or focusing on devices and computers. 

Meanwhile, VISION EASE Desk lenses are intended to provide a versatile option for wearers who need roomy near and intermediate zones up to 12 feet to view screens and engage with others near their desks, while Office lenses are designed offer improved vision over general-purpose progressives for viewing ranges up to 20 feet. These lenses enhance near and intermediate vision as a wearer moves from meetings to computer throughout the day. 

For more information, visit



Focus On...

John Young, COLTS Lab Founder, Dies at 76

Andy Karp

John M. Young, founder of COLTS Laboratories, passed away July 2 at age 76.

Young was born May 31, 1941. An engineer and optician, he was active in many disciplines of the optical industry including engineering, research and development, and quality, and held patents for the design of optical lenses, devices and FDA drop ball testing protocol.

Young lectured for several decades to advance education in the optical industry, authored more than 100 published articles and papers, and was a member of 16 national and international standards committees and association committees. He chaired committees for both ANSI ( and ISO (

Young’s career and dedication to the optical industry began in 1969 when he began his tenure at American Optical. He worked in research and development at AO and received several patents. He also ran the company’s in-house testing lab. In 1983, to mark AO’s 150th anniversary, Young founded the Optical Heritage Museum in Southbridge, Mass. and served as its original curator.

In 1990, Young took the position of director of quality at Essilor ( where he oversaw quality for North American operations. He was later promoted to vice president of new product development. He represented Essilor on numerous standards and technical committees worldwide. He oversaw Essilor College, continuing education for opticians on the subject of optics.

In 1997, Young started COLTS Laboratories, an independent ophthalmic testing lab in Oldsmar, Fla. He continued developing industry tests at COLTS, and the company, now under the direction of Young’s daughter, Kimberly Hutton, remains dedicated to overall quality in the optical industry.

Young received many optical industry honors, including the 1992 Man of the Year Award from the National Academy of Opticianry and the first President’s Award from the Opticians Association of America in 1994 for his dedication to the advancement of education. He was presented with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the American Optometric Association, Schools and Colleges in 2005. In 2002, the AR Council recognized him for his visionary leadership and support. In 2016, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Vision Council’s Lab Division.

Young is survived by his wife of 41 years Patricia Young, his daughter Kimberly Hutton, sister Donna Young, grandson Samuel Hutton and granddaughter Kylie Hutton.

Donations in Young’s name can be made to the Shriners, an organization to which he belonged.




Brian Dunleavy, Editor, LabTalk/LabAdvisor

Brian is the Editor of LabTalk. He covers wholesale laboratories, lab systems, other ECP news and features/coverage. Contact Brian at [email protected].

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