Don’t be surprised to hear the phrase “free-form technology” more and more when discussing Progressive lenses and Aspheric lens processing. Instead of traditional base curve-dependent surfacing techniques and molding methods of manufacturing, free-form lens design and manufacturers use high-speed diamond cutting machines to craft the lens surfaces three dimensionally. The cutting machines can be programmed with the unique optical and physiological characteristics of the wearer. The Progressive lens starts with a spherical front surface single vision blank, and the free-form digital generator custom sculptures the lens on the back. Since several steps of the “surfacing” process are eliminated, there is minimal chance for surfacing errors.
Challenges — It is important to understand the challenges that lie ahead. Without a seamless lab management software system, each order can require data entry into your existing lab management software system and secondly into the software provided by the lens designers. Since all software provided by the lens designers is new and are solely designed to their specifications, the scope of their software can be limited. Many systems cannot import a frame tracing or provide an internal lens databases. If you intend to cost justify your new Free Form generator by processing regular orders and cut-to-polish as well as Free Form orders, it may be necessary to reboot your generator each time you switch order types.
Solution — A seamless CC Systems Lab Management Software System will eliminate all of the above headaches into a one-time data entry process via their Labzilla software. Labzilla determines which orders are regular, cut-to-polish or Free Form. Labzilla automatically prices and invoices each order, with seamless options for tray tracking, management reporting, inventory control, remote ordering with updated lens databases. Labzilla automatically populates the software provided by the equipment supplier and the lens designer. Generators are not required to be rebooted.
CC Systems was the first Lab Management Software supplier in North America to seamlessly interface Satisloh’s equipment with Seiko lenses. CC Systems has seamless interfaces between all the leading Free Form equipment suppliers (Schneider, Satisloh, and Coburn) and all leading Free Form lens suppliers (IOT America, Seiko, Crossbows, Signet, Shamir, Hoya, Zeiss and Essilor). All of these interface combinations are already completed, tested and in production.