When evaluating technology for in-office lens production, remember to factor in the necessary inventory for manufacturing. Stocking hundreds of lens blanks or preformed disposable molds is expensive and difficult to accurately maintain. It can affect your bottom line and patient satisfaction. It is costly to inventory items you might not use for months and it is distressing to promise a customer pair of eyeglasses the same day only to discover you are missing the needed blank or disposable mold to complete the Rx.
With the Optical Dynamics Digital Lens System you create a finished Rx directly from the premium index material, eliminating the need to stock a semi-finished blank that is later surfaced to the final prescription. This lowers the expense and ends the delivery challenges associated with ordering, shipping and managing an inventory of thick semi-finished lens blanks or disposable molds. This process also reduces the variables of surfacing and ensures that consistent high quality digital lenses can be produced at a much lower cost.
When using the Q-2100 Lens System, all you inventory is the bottle of premium lens material. This bottle in either clear or photochromic becomes a progressive lens, a single vision lens, a flattop lens, a plus lens or a minus lens. With bottles packaged in 16 to 32 pair for production, you have on hand what you need when you need it. As written in an article by Joseph Bruneni for Eye Care Business, “this is an inventory control concept called just-in-time delivery and works when limited inventory is stored at hand until shortly before it is needed for the production line…lens casting its a prime example of how such a process can work.”
Traditional AR coating is applied by a method know as vacuum AR. This process typically requires a very large capital expenditure, clean room, highly skilled production staff and takes from 4 to 10 plus hours to complete. This process begins with the lens moving through a multi step cleaning bath to ensure proper adhesion of the AR layers. Once cleaned, each lens is inserted into a spring retainer and married up with other lenses for a specific coating process. The lens retainers are moved to a degassing oven for surface optimization. From here, lenses are placed into a metal collate and set inside the vacuum AR coater. According to a recent article in Vision Care Product News, “a pump then removes the atmosphere and recreates a vacuum, where an ion-assisted gun helps cleanse the lenses even further prepping them for the treatment layers to be applied. The collate starts to rotate and an electronic beam gun focuses onto a crucible holding a series of different compounds. As the beam reaches its peak, a shutter plate swings to the side allowing the evaporated material to be dispersed and reach the lenses.” Most of these AR treatments involved oxide metals for the low index layers and materials such as tantalum and titanium for the high index layers. After the layers are processed, a final step is completed for the hydrophobic and oleophoic finish. The lenses are then shipped to the corresponding optical location and dispensed to patients. From order to delivery, the typical optical location must wait 3 to 7 business days before they can notify their patient of their eyeglass arrival.
Due to the cost and technical aspects involved with traditional AR coating, the majority of independent optical professional do not have the production volume necessary for profitability. In response, Optical Dynamics’ Research and Development team created the revolutionary nanoCLEAR AR system. This small table top unit works in conjunction with the Q-2100 Digital Lens system and employs a nanocomposite AR coating. Since this system processes films at atmospheric temperatures and pressures, the required hardware is greatly simplified reducing overall cost, training and production time
The nanoCLEAR AR process begins with the operator setting the four digital free form molds into the AR unit. The nanoCLEAR AR system pressure washes the molds for optimal cleanliness. The use of spin coat technology is then employed with the system laying down a scratch coat followed by the nanocomposite AR coating in mold. The digital molds are removed from the AR unit and a mold cavity is formed. The cavity is filled with either the clear or photochromic UV-curable monomer doped with nanoparticles. This allows us to engineer the refractive index and strength of the nanoAR films while maintaining the flexibility inherent to most polymers. Once the mold cavities are filled, they are cured in the main and post chambers. During the curing process the nanoCLEAR AR bonds with the lens material to produce an AR lens. The process is completed with a hydrophobic and oleophic top coat. In under 90-minutes, you have a pair of nanoCLEAR AR lenses to dispense to your patients.
From Your Friends at Optical Dynamics
Cohen’s Fashion Optical in Garden City, NY has been avidly using the Q-2100 Digital Lens system with nanoCLEAR AR unit since 2007. As one of several Cohen’s locations with the technology, they understand the value of fast service for repeat business. They also understand the importance of quality and the necessity to improve the bottom line. With the Q-2100, their locations can provide the service speed needed to grow business while keeping production costs inline to increase profitability
Yeniva Marcioch, lab technician at the Garden City location has been making quality lenses with the technology for more than two years. “The Q-2100 makes my job easier because it produces excellent results in processing lenses,” says Marcioch. “Our customers are very satisfied with the lenses we dispense,” she added.
At Optical Dynamics, our primary method of shipping is UPS* ground service. With a major UPS hub located right down the street at the Louisville International Airport, we can provide quick delivery to most states using traditional ground shipping methods. Orders always go out the following business day after they are received and the majority go out the same day they are received. Expedited service of 2nd day air or overnight is also available upon request. Below is a delivery map detailing the time to your part of the country.
*Most packages shipped to NYC are shipped via FedEx ground for a two day service level.
Ralph started his career in 1983 in a small optical shop assisting customers and working in the lab. Selling eye glasses, tinting, and cutting lenses, Ralph’s interest in optics grew and led to his enrollment in a certified optics program in 1987. While in school, Ralph apprenticed as an optician until 1989.
Upon graduation from his apprenticeship, Ralph took a position with Lenscrafters starting out as lab manager then moving to general manager as a certified optician. Working in the retail store environment, Ralph learned the importance of impeccable customer service and quick turnaround of lenses. His optical career continued as store manager for Sterling Optical.
In 2000, Ralph came to work for Optical Dynamics as a lens consultant, retail trainer and equipment installer. Coming from a retail background, he understood the needs of the independent optical location as related to product quality and delivery time. For nearly six years Ralph traveled the country training optical locations on how to process, sell and dispense their customized lenses.
In 2009, Ralph rejoined the team as a Sales Manager for Optical Dynamics & Vision Dynamics Lab. With his unique background in custom processed lenses and retail training, Ralph is the perfect person to guide labs and retail locations through the maze of available products for improved lab service and business profitability.
Managed care plans continue to gain ground impacting the way optometric practices do business. Although managed care plans often increase the number of patients through the door, they can be confusing and restrictive.
When choosing to accept a managed care plan, always do your homework. What are the reimbursement rates, can I make lenses on my Q-2100, can I use my lab of choice, how do they impact my second pair sales…are all questions that must be evaluated before you make your acceptance decision. Many times reimbursement rates may not be sufficient to truly cover your time and services. If the insurance plan requires that you use a specific lab, service time and turnaround may be negatively effected, impacting your practice reputation. Second pair fees have typically been a way to generate additional revenue with managed care clients, make sure the new plans don’t impact the pricing structure you have in place. You must really understand the pros and cons before signing up.
It is also important that you evaluate your existing plans with the same criteria. Once your numbers are verified, you should consider dropping those that net the lowest. Focus on seeing patients from the most profitable plans available. Concentrate on providing excellent patient education on the plans they participate in and make sure that have all the details before the exam. Treat them well and then try to up sell to options beyond the plan to provide exemplary care and vision.
Focus on the 2nd pair option when dealing with managed care patients. With your Q-2100 digital lens system you are perfectly positioned to truly capture and make accessible to your patients the 2nd pair choice. Utilize your in office capability to competitively price the additional pair as an affordable and desirable option. Whether a pair of photochromics, sunwear or a spare pair, you can meet their needs and profit from managed care plan acceptance.
EyeCenter Boutique located in Caguas Puerto Rico is a unique optical retail concept that includes the sale of handbags and shoes along with prescription eyeglasses. As a new optical retailer, owner Fabian Valle wanted the “best optical technology” available. “The simplicity, economy and convenience of the Optical Dynamics equipment is perfect for my business as we can produce a lens in clear or photo with AR in a short amount of time,” shared Valle.
Franchising the boutique concept, two additional locations have opened in Puerto Rico with a fourth location opening in 2014. All locations include the Q-2100 with nanoCLEAR AR for onsite lens fabrication.
“Providing a high quality progressive lens is also a plus,” he added. “Our boutiques are the only optical shops in the area offering the faster service including AR,” concluded Valle.
As explained on their website, Expo Abióptica is the most attended Brazilian optical event of the season. This Expo presents the largest optical exposure in Latin America and is one of the largest and most representative in the world. This year’s event will be held April 2nd – 5th at the Expo Center North in Sao Paulo.
FWB Optical will again exhibit the Q-2100 Digital Lens System with nanoCLEAR AR. Optical Dynamics official distributor in Brazil, FWB has placed several units throughout the country with additional placements planned in 2014.
If you would like to make an appointment with FWB Optical at this annual event, please visit their website to schedule: http://www.fwb.com.br/ We look forward to supporting our distributor at this exhibition.