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Editors of 20/20 and Vision Monday
Multifunctional edging systems can do just about everything but “sell” today’s popular eyewear. In fact, since these systems enable your staff to spend less time edging and more time selling and servicing patients, they even help the selling process.
To understand the capabilities of a fully-integrated finishing system, think about the steps required to take an uncut lens from its oversized state down to the shaped lens that fits perfectly in a selected frame. The more steps a machine performs automatically, the higher the equipment cost. But the investment is offset by a reduction in the time and skill needed to finish jobs, which lowers your cost of doing business significantly.
Fully integrated edging systems perform all steps using one, two or three machines linked by software. They automatically trace frames, center and block lenses, bevel or groove, apply a safety bevel, drill rimless and polish, all with minimal operator input. They can do optical calculations automatically and process lenses with impressive speed and precision.
Here’s a rundown of features available on the higher end of the technology spectrum:
TRACING: Frame tracers may be combined with blockers or integrated with edgers. Features to look for include:
CENTERING AND BLOCKING: The machines that perform these functions automatically eliminate what was once a very labor intensive process. Top-of-the-line equipment can:
EDGING, GROOVING and SAFETY BEVELING: In the view of one veteran optician, even the best of his peers could not produce by “the old edging methods” the consistent level of accuracy that today’s automatic equipment can produce, at high speed, day in and day out.
Features that help achieve consistent accuracy include:
DRILLING: Drilling technology has advanced dramatically with the popularity of fashion rimless eyewear. Some systems integrate the drill with the edger to eliminate lens handling between steps. Others offer a separate drill and special software that links the systems seamlessly. Even new operators can learn to drill expertly with these high end machines.
Key drilling features include:
To learn more, talk with each of the major manufacturers at an industry conference, or set up meetings in your office. Consider the skill level of your employees who will be edging. Then compare the functions and benefits of each system to determine which can best support your practice.
— Compiled by the editors of 20/20 and Vision Monday