A Monthly Briefing for Optical Lab Owners and Managers

- January 2019 -

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Lab Notes

New Products


Lab Notes

Coburn Technologies Welcomes Al Bednar as New Director of Laboratory Sales


Coburn Technologies, Inc. is pleased to announce the appointment of Al Bednar as their new Director of Laboratory Sales for the United States and Canadian markets.

“Al is a seasoned veteran in the optical industry, and his vast experience extends from ophthalmic lens process development, to creating and executing training programs for laboratories, and most recently, to sales management,” said Alex Incera, President of Coburn Technologies. “We have great confidence that he will re-invigorate our relationship with the independent labs and drive sales of our expanding line of consumables, coatings, equipment, and software to that segment.”

During his more than 40 years in the optical industry, Bednar has held a number of technical, sales, and management positions. Bednar joins Coburn from DAC Vision, where he was an Area Manager for the past eight years. Prior to that, he was a Development Manager for Essilor of America, where he was responsible for building a comprehensive training program for labs called Essilor Laboratory University. In addition, he has collaborated in developing processing methodologies for implementation into laboratories worldwide to achieve higher productivity, quality and yields.

“Having spent the majority of my career in the optical industry, and specifically in the laboratory segment, I am excited to join the Coburn team where I will continue to advocate for the needs of the labs through the development of new products and processes, and by providing excellent service that our customers have come to expect,” said Bednar.

Transitions Optical Announces the Launch Signature Gen 8


Transitions Optical has announced the upcoming launch of the next generation of Transitions Signature lenses – Transitions Signature Gen 8.

The new Transitions Signature Gen 8 lenses are the result of over five years of product research and development and will deliver the next frontier of performance.

“Building on over 20 years of innovation, we are always pushing the limits of performance in our products,” said Chrystel Barranger, president of Essilor Photochromics and Transitions Optical. “We are passionate about bringing the benefits of light intelligence to all consumers and are excited to bring a new generation of our most popular lens offering to the market.”

Transitions Signature Gen 8 lenses will launch in summer 2019.

SVC Offers Ophthalmic Coating Tutorial with Rodenstock’s Georg Mayer

Andrew Karp

The Society of Vacuum Coaters (SVC) ( is offering a unique live tutorial focused on the art, science and practical know-how of producing modern ophthalmic coatings.

“M-205: The Craftsmanship of Ophthalmic Coatings” is intended for technicians, floor shop managers and senior operators working in the ophthalmic industry dealing with the day to day traps of operating coating equipment, running processes, and the infrastructure that supports both, according to an announcement. The full-day course will be offered in conjunction with TechCon, SVC’s annual conference and exhibition in Long Beach, Calif., on Thursday, May 2, 2019.

The course will be taught by Georg Mayer (, director, head of international Rx lab support, Rodenstock GmbH, Munich, Germany.

“Georg is that rare individual who has the depth and breadth to offer a truly brand/manufacturer agnostic program that imparts meaningful information and immediately useful skills to the student that is just not available today,” SVC director of education Scott Walton said in the announcement. “M-205 demonstrates the SVC commitment to developing practical, application-specific tutorials that can be offered inexpensively to a wide stakeholder base.”

At the 2019 SVC TechCon, the SVC will be offering 32 courses that address all aspects of vacuum technology and the deposition of highly functional coatings. Registration for M-205: The Craftsmanship of Ophthalmic Coatings can be made through the SVC’s 2019 TechCon registration portal, and group discounts are available.

All students for the course are invited to attend the exhibition at no cost, as well as Mayer’s keynote presentation “The History of Modern Ophthalmic Coatings,” which will be presented on the morning of May 2 before the start of the tutorial.

The SVC is an international, non-profit organization with a mission “to be the global source for learning, applying, and advancing vacuum coating, surface engineering, and related technologies." Ophthalmics is one of a myriad of modern technology-based applications underpinned by the technologies developed and implemented by the SVC’s international family of scientists, engineers, and companies.

Additional information is available from the SVC’s executive director, Frank Zimone at [email protected]

Vision Associates Issues Checks to Two Employees Who Lost Their Homes in California Wild Fires


Vision Associates Inc. (VAI), the optical dispensary management (ODM) and consulting firm, puts its money where its mouth is.

Long a proponent of caring for its own employees in addition to providing top-notch service to customers, Vision Associates quickly rallied around two employees who lost their homes to the raging wildfires in Paradise, Calif. in November 2018. Also supporting the fundraiser were Partners in Vision and Essilor, a leading manufacturer of optical lenses, and its Optical Dispensing Solutions team.

Once knowledge of the disastrous loss became known, fellow employees quickly organized the fundraiser. Especially instrumental were Bryan Xavier, Vision Associates Ophthalmic Training Specialist, and Cecilia Mialon, District Manager.

In an email to fellow employees, Xavier wrote, “Can you imagine having to evacuate your home in a matter of minutes because the fire is spreading at 80 football fields a minute? Grabbing whatever you can think of and fleeing as day is turned into a night by a massive black plume of smoke and ash!”

The email generated a quick response and in only a few days $16,000 was raised for the two employees: Lavonne Melashenko and Dawna Holt. A check for $8,000 was presented to each.

“I am so proud and not a bit surprised by the quick humanitarian response of our employees, as we have long fostered a caring and empathic work environment in the optical dispensary management practices Vision Associates services,” said Joe Casorio, co-principal of Vision Associates.

At present, Melashenko and Holt are safe and working at Chico Eye Center. This has helped add a measure of normalcy and financial stability to their lives.

Pictured: Cecilia Mialon (fundraiser); Heidi Houlihan, MD (physician at Chico Eye Center); Dawna Holt (affected employee); Bryan Xavier (fundraiser); Lavonne Melashenko (affected employee); and Sean Liston, MD (physician at Chico Eye Center).


New Products

Super Optical Announces BlueShield Line Expansion

Super Optical International, provider of optical equipment and lenses including the FastGrind “All-In-One” Lens Surfacing System, is pleased to announce key additions to their already popular BlueShield line.

Digital Eye Strain (DES) remains one of the hottest topics in the Optical Industry and Super Optical International’s single vison BlueShield lenses for the FastGrind (released 2016) have proven to be one of the Company’s most successful product introductions ever. Now, the BlueShield line is expanding to include Super Optical’s most popular progressive, ADDvantage HD Plus with SHMC.

The premium progressives will be available in short & regular corridor and will feature Super Optical’s best SHMC, CLARITY. BlueShield ADDvantage HD Plus SHMC Progressive along with BlueShield in single vision will be available pre-blocked for FastGrind users, and in semi-finished form for traditional lens surfacing labs and reflect Super Optical’s ongoing commitment to new product development ensuring their ECP customers are always current with the latest technological and fashion trends.

All Super Optical International BlueShield branded products feature premium in-mass technology for maximum filtering levels while still maintaining unsurpassed clarity and light-transmission above 98 percent in desirable visible light wavelengths. Overall, BlueShield lenses block over 95% of the blue light associated with AMD and eye strain. With all its technological attributes many ECPs have been pleasantly surprised by BlueShield’s affordability. They are currently available in single vision BlueShield SHMC for FastGrind users, and semi-finished SHMC for conventional surfacing with expected availability early in 2019.

Super Optical International is offering a special 20 percent discount on 15 or more pairs of BlueShield ADDvantage HD Plus SHMC on preorders placed by January 31st. For more information visit for complete details.



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].

Copyright © 2019 LabTalk. All rights reserved.

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