Shamir Andrew Karp
Group Editor, lenses and technology

L&T Marketing
Rodenstock Taps Pro Fit Optix to Distribute Frames and Lenses in the U.S.

Alan Yuster

Rodenstock GmbH and Pro Fit Optix have signed an agreement for the distribution of Rodenstock lenses and frames in the U.S. Beginning this week, the Boca Raton, Fla.-based optical technology company will distribute Rodenstock-branded digital free-form lenses and will service the needs of the American surfacing labs, including semi-finished products.

“We are very proud and honored to be associated with Rodenstock” said Alan Yuster, executive vice president of operations for Pro Fit Optix and a former Rodenstock employee. “We look forward to re-launching, supporting and further developing the Rodenstock brand in the USA.”

Commenting on the new distribution agreement, Dr. Olaf Goettgens, CEO of the Munich-based Rodenstock Group, said, “We are pleased to offer our outstanding quality lenses combined with highest comfort for spectacles wearers and our modern designs to the customer in the USA. Rodenstock is a very traditional and strong brand, founded in 1877 in Germany. We have been standing for high quality lenses and frames the best vision and services for our costumers since over 130 years, our products will convince our new customers, too."

According to a statement from Rodenstock, the company is about to expand its brand portfolio with “more, very attractive frame brands.”

U.S. distribution of Rodenstock lenses and frames have been previously handled by Optical Distribution Corp. (ODC), which closed its doors earlier this month. According to ODC manager Tim O’Neill, the company will hold an auction at its Columbus, Ohio facility on Aug. 14 to liquidate remaining inventory.

Pro Fit Optix markets a portfolio of digital, free-form progressive lenses. Functioning as a “virtual lab,” the company has developed a streamlined, vertically integrated business model that uses proprietary software and on-line ordering to cut turnaround time and increase accuracy on Rx orders and deliver quality progressive lenses to eyecare practitioners and laboratories. Pro Fit Optix also has distribution agreements with a number of major U.S. buying groups, including Block Buying Group, Premiere Vision, The Buyers Edge, The Alliance, Optical Resources, Alfred J. Villavecchia Buying Group, and Optical Synergies.

Yuster has more than 25 years experience in optical management and operations. He worked for Rodenstock for more than 10 years, first as director of international sales-Americas, and later as vice president of Rodenstock USA.

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Carl Zeiss Vision Expands Nike Max Rx Program

Nike 509 Wrap Style with Nike Max Optics

Carl Zeiss Vision is expanding its exclusive Max Rx sunlens program with Nike Vision to now offer direct orders through all 17 Carl Zeiss Vision labs. VSP benefits will now apply to these orders.

The exclusive agreement allows both Carl Zeiss Vision and Nike to offer premium prescription sunwear to U.S. eye care professionals. This is an extension of an existing relationship between the companies for plano and single vision Rx sunwear, which was previously available only through Marchon. By expanding the program, Carl Zeiss Vision and Nike will provide better customer service, quality control, pricing, and turnaround time. Max Rx combines a unique 8-base optical design with prescription compensation and proprietary fabrication technologies, which creates expanded fields of view for wrap frames. The expanded program also includes a wider range of prescription sun products, including free-form progressive lenses featuring enhanced wrap-frame optics.

“Max Rx lenses duplicate Nike’s original and proprietary plano lenses and tint technologies, such as Nike Max Speed and Max Golf tints,” said Claude Labeeuw, vice president of marketing and business development for Carl Zeiss Vision. “Carl Zeiss Vision’s exclusive processing technology also allows the wearer to purchase multiple interchangeable lenses to use in the same frame.”

Andy Skitmore, Marchon’s senior vice president, Nike brand, commented, “The Nike sunwear brand is all about peak performance and helping athletes see sport better. “By combining Nike’s expertise in working with elite athletes to develop patented lens technologies and superior sunglass designs with Zeiss’s capabilities to offer Nike Max Optics, customization capabilities, and an extensive lab network we are able to further offer an unbeatable performance package to Rx sunlens wearers.”

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Walman Optical Enters Digital Arena

Walman Optical Enters Digital ArenaWalman Optical, the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based wholesale laboratory company, recently implemented a digital initiative that involves the expansion of its lens offerings and in-house surfacing capabilities. Walman is now capable of producing digital progressive lens designs such as Shamir Autograph II and Shamir Element in-house. The company has also installed Essilor’s Crizal coating technology, which complements its new digital lens offerings.

“By offering a digital product that can be produced within 1/100 of a diopter in accuracy, you eliminate many of the issues you see with traditional equipment, you have more control over your breakage, more control over your quality, and ultimately more control over the service provided by your lab,” said lens marketing manager, Tracy Adams. “We are able to provide cutting edge technology, lenses, and our knowledge to our customers to help them be more profitable in what you could call trying times.”

Walman is offering customers a competitively priced lens package called the Prolens HD that combines the Autograph II and the Element with Transitions and anti-reflective coating.

Italee Now Offers Shamir Autograph Lenses

Shamir Insight had added Italee Optics of Los Angeles, California, to its roster of Rx labs that distribute Shamir Autograph lenses. Shamir’s Autograph line is digitally back-surfaced, allowing both the Rx and the design to be ground on the back-side of the lens. This technology enables each Shamir Autograph lens to be created with accuracy up to 1/100 diopters, according to Shamir Insight.

“Our lab launch team worked closely with Italee’s team to prepare for the Autograph launch by providing the educational background, support and collateral needed for a prosperous launch,” said Hilaire van der Veen, director of Shamir Insight. “As a distributor of high-end fashion frames, Italee is well aware of the importance of providing patients with a high quality product like Shamir Autograph. We look forward to a successful relationship with Italee Optics.”

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VEL Recognized for Recycling and Sustainability Practices

Vision-Ease Lens (VEL), based in Ramsey, Minnesota, was recently recognized by the board of commissioners in Anoka County, Minnesota, for its commitment to environmental sustainability through recycling and waste minimization, and for using 100 percent renewable energy for manufacturing lenses in 2008. Commissioner Dan Erhart presented the award to Cass Lundgren, vice president of operations, George Anderson, environmental health and safety engineer, David King, operations manager, and Jay Lusignan, marketing communications manager, VEL.

Representatives of Vision-Ease Lens accept a plaque recognizing the
company's sustainability efforts from Anoka County Commissioner Dan Erhart.
From left to right: David King (VEL), Commissioner Dan Erhart (Anoka Co),
George Anderson (VEL), Cass Lundgren (VEL), and Jay Lusignan (VEL).

“We take sustainability efforts and recycling very seriously,” said Lundgren. “At VEL, we make the effort to be environmentally conscientious because we feel it pays off in the long run. We appreciate this recognition very much.”

VEL has made a commitment to sustainability and is setting new sustainability standards for lens manufacturers. Specific waste reduction efforts include eliminating a plastic foam liner that held the lenses in a cardboard box for shipment. Removing the plastic liner allowed the company to reduce its plastic use by nearly 35,000 cubic feet since 2005. Other sustainability efforts include using 100 percent renewable energy to manufacture lenses at the Ramsey facility and recycling 147 tons of cardboard and 685 tons of polycarbonate in 2008.

Eschenbach Offers New Webinars

Eschenbach is offering a wide range of free educational webinars for eyecare professionals either considering the addition of low vision care to their practice or for those who currently offering the service. Ideal both practitioners and their staff, the topics range from a simple overview of what low vision care to more advanced topics such as a review of telescopic vision aids. Future webinars will cover the following topics:

Aug. 12: Telescopic Vision Aids (Part 2)
Aug. 26: Low Vision Care: What's it All About?
Sept. 16:Stand Magnifiers
Oct. 14: Spectacle Magnifiers
Nov. 4: Low Vision Care: What's it All About?
Nov. 18: Hand-held Magnifiers
Dec. 9: Video Magnifiers

For more information and to register, send an email to tgels@eschenbach.com or call (800) 487-5389.

Dispensing Tips

#1 Early diagnosis and treatment of vision problems can be vital to the healthy development of a child’s visual system. A knowledgeable pediatric optician can significantly aid the success of that treatment. It is not enough to produce glasses that fit the child correctly and only meet or exceed ANSI standards. The best eyewear is of no benefit if it is not worn properly
    For more information, and to take this CE course online, visit www.2020mag.com

#2 Premium materials rule any luxury product and eye-wear is no exception. Stay well versed on custom and colorful zyl treatments from both Europe and Japan. Stay keenly aware of developments in pure titanium and beta titanium, gold, silver, aluminum, platinum, horn and wood treatments, and frames featuring subtle combinations of both plastic and metal.
   For more information, and to take this CE course online, visit www.2020mag.com

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New Products
Channel 14 Variations Poly

Channel 14 VariationsManufacturer: Landon Lens
Description: Value-priced short-channel polycarbonate PAL
Features: Tested by COLTS Laboratories for speed in turning dark, speed returning to clear and longevity; meets or exceed INO 89 and ISO 8980-3 international standards for photochromic lenses. Exceptionally clear indoors.
Availability: Gray and brown
(800) 793-6687

MEI Bisphera-XDD

MEI Bisphera-XDDManufacturer/Distributor: MEI System
Description: Industrial edger designed for labs with high production requirements
Features/Functions: The Bisphera-XDD (also known as the Double R-XDD) shares the same features as MEI’s MonoSpheraRX-DD, while adding the capability of processing two lenses per cycle. The unit can produce a straight or inclined bevel, straight or inclined rimless with polishing and holes or notch, straight or inclined groove, step edge and special shapes for prescription sunglasses. The machine uses an automatic loader; a stack-loader is also available. Like the previous version of edger, Bisphera-XDD can work any kind of plastic material lens (base from 1 to 16) and can be interfaced with the most popular lab management software in OMA language.
(847) 357-0323

1.74 AR Lenses

Optima 1.74 AR LensesManufacturer/Distributor: Optima
Description: Ultra high-index, anti-reflective lens
Features/Functions: Finished front side aspheric design. Lenses are 45 percent thinner and 35 percent lighter than standard-index plastic lenses. Recommended for all frame styles. Super hydrophobic coating allows lenses to be cleaned easily and kept free of smudges.
Availability: Extensive range of -1.00 to -10.00D to a -3.00 cyl, -10.50
to -12.00 in half diopters to -2.00 cyl, and -12.50 to -15.00D sph in half diopters.
(800) 621-1216

GTX Edging Wheel Series

GTX Edging Wheel SeriesManufacturer/Distributor: Salem Vision Group
Description: High-performance edging wheels
Features/Functions: Series consists of GTX-R roughing, GTX finishing and GTX polishing wheels. The wheels incorporate the latest diamond bonding technologies to produce a dramatic increase in the overall performance and cost-efficiency of plastic lens edging, from roughing to finishing to the final polish, regardless of the lens material, according to Salem.

The GTX-R roughing wheel features a brazed single-layer diamond bond. This configuration optimizes diamond exposure and concentration to produce faster, cooler, cleaner, cuts and to virtually eliminate wheel loading even with polycarbonate and Trivex lens materials. The GTX-R roughing wheel also features a surface coating that reduces torque during edging to maintain accurate axis alignment.

The GTX finishing and polishing wheels feature specifically formulated metal bonds. Each bond formulation is blended throughout with precisely graded diamond particles to optimize its specific application: finishing or polishing. The GTX finishing and polishing wheels contain the perfect combination of diamond size, concentration and bond hardness to produce fast, smooth, chip-free edges job after job.

GTX edging wheels can be used on all plastic lens materials including polycarbonate and Trivex and are available for all major brands of edgers.

(800) 234-1982, ext 232 

HSC Sprint

Schneider HSC SprintManufacturer/Distributor: Schneider Optical Machines
Description: Small size, small investment digital generator. Together with Schneider Swift Polisher, the HSC Sprint creates a low cost line that allows labs to process almost any free-form lens design, with no sacrifice in quality.
Features/Functions: Small footprint machine with all the same process capabilities of the larger HSC generators, including high speed milling. HSC Sprint uses same milling and fine turning technology as larger units. (Previously, the only smaller or lower cost digital generators were lathe turning only.) Combination of cutting technologies enables processing of all materials over a full range of curves without special handling.

The Sprint, along with Schneider’s Swift polisher, can process any lens type, from standard torics to complex, free-form surfaces. Produces around 40 lenses per hour each.

Other features include power safety system that automatically accounts for any severe power interruption without damage. Feed control system automatically detects the lens edge, optimizing process speeds and eliminating deblocking issues.

Size: 52-inches wide by 37-inches deep.

(972) 948-6381

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