Optical Lab Products

MAR 2014

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FEATURE FINISHING 10 march 2014 totallyoptical.com One of the important decision points in purchasing any one of the multi-axis edgers is accuracy and frst ft success. The HSC uses an "intelligent optical measure- ment system" that measures thousands of edge position points per second within a few microns of the input data to ensure maxi- mum accuracy. It also offers an additional verifcation option that compares the shape to the trace data to ensure a "perfect" lens. The HSC will receive data from existing tracers but Schneider recommends its CT Image tracer for optimal results. SANTINELLI/NIDEK Although teasingly exhibited at several previous Expos, it's time for the unveiling of Santinelli's Xtrimer SE-1 which will be shown and orders taken at VEE (see p. 23). The Xtrimer SE-1 is a very compact 5-axis edger using dry cut milling technology and promising exceptional Nidek quality for all edging functions. It also features a highly customizable high curve, tiltable beveling function designed to provide optimal ft for all wrap frames. It is constructed with a unique "V" confguration that allows for a faster change of the six tools and an accelerated cutting time. I was unable to talk to any labs as the development work was being done offshore, however I'm confdent that Nidek and Santinelli would not release this product unless it was ready for the big time. MEI The leader in this multi-axis edging segment protects its list of users so I was unable to interview any MEI customers for this article, however, the company's reputation is exceptional. It will be featuring its EzFit and MEI 641 auto with TBA (Throw the Block Away) edgers during Vision Expo East. A compact, manual-load version of MEI's successful industrial edger, the EzFit is targeted to smaller labs. It handles all common blocks and base curves up to 16 diopters. The EzFit utilizes four tool spindles to process all normal needs rapidly and accurately including inclined bevels, hide-a- bevel, pin bevels, rimless, grooves, shelves, drilling, polishing, and custom designs utilizing the company's Technocam software. The MEI 641 auto is a production unit utilizing six spindles to rapidly and accurately produce their usual multiple array of edging options. The MEI products started as special- ty units but, because of their speed and versatility, quickly moved into the main production line. The 641 is a production unit targeted to medium and larger labs. It is also offered with the optional TBA function. The MEI GlobalScan system reads spherical and cylindri- cal powers, the O.C., prism, and axis and loads the lens on to the TBA pneumatic blocking function eliminating the need for a fnishing block. Utilizing a proprietary process, TBA virtually eliminates slippage even with super-hydropho- bic lenses. MEI did share that many customers purchased this option specifcally for use with super anti-refective lenses. OPTEK Along with the other new entries into the multi-axis edging segment, Optek International frst showed the Optek Shape Lens Finishing Center at Vision Expo East three years ago. It has now fnalized its design and will be displaying, and taking orders for it, at Vision Expo East this month. The Shape is not intended for high-volume production environ- ments but rather as a (relatively) inex- pensive entry level unit that most small-volume operations can afford and operate. It is designed, and manu- factured, for an upgrade into robotics if the demand warrants it. Weighing over 600 lbs., it is also robust, with no plastic parts, minimizing vibra- tions and ensuring longevity. The 4-axis Shape, using seven cutting spindles, is capable of all of the complex shapes and special features of other multi-axis edgers and can be run with or without a water misting system. Chuck pressure is also variable allowing the operator to adjust to materials and coatings. Drilling is from the front, CX side, so treatments such as Chemistrie lenses, etching, or decorative stones can be processed on the Shape. Because The Shape is Windows- based, anyone with computer experience will be comfortable with the format. In addition, the onboard freeEdge software technology simplifes the process and allows the user to easily create high-end design features. It can also design custom engraving; a digitized trace system for importing existing artwork; and designs can be mirrored, scaled, rotated, and repeated to best ft the lens shape. I spoke with Dave Bentley from Milligan Optical in Largo, FL who has been "shaking down" the Shape for several weeks. He shared that they've had no signifcant problems and when they did, Optek was there to fx them immediately. The testing has not been full-time but from what Bentley has seen: "… this is a real edger." A lab nearby has an MEI and Bentley comments that the edgers are comparable and considering the price difference, "…the Shape is much better!" It is a free-standing unit but small: 33.25 in.W x 36.75 in. D and 64.75 in. H and requires 120V electrical and 80 psi of clean, shop air. Be sure to see the extent of the evolution of these multi-axis edgers at Vision Expo East to prepare yourselves for the lab of the future. Unfortunately, as frame designers learn about our new technology, unimaginable shapes are bound to follow. Jim Grootegoed is Professional Editor of Optical Lab Products. The MEI 641 auto is a production unit that uses six spindles to accu- rately produce a multiple array of edging options. Optek's 4-axis Shape is capable of all of the complex shapes and special features of other multi-axis edgers and can be run with or without a water misting system. OLP.Mar2014.indd 10 2/24/14 11:58 AM

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