Choosing to perform lens edging in-house can be very profitable and can certainly increase customer satisfaction by decreasing turnaround time on orders, however it is not without its challenges. Currently one of the biggest challenges with in-house lens edging is working with today’s super slick optical lens coatings. These new lens coatings keep improving for the consumer by making the surface easier to clean and more resistant to environmental conditions such as dust, water and oils. However, this also makes lenses increasingly more difficult to hold securely in the lens edger. Here are some lens edging tips to help ease the process!
Listen to the lens manufacturer
Be sure to follow the lens manufacturer or labs recommendations for anti-slip pads or protective tapes. If your lens manufacture or lab provides you with an anti-slip disc use them. You can also ask your lab what they are using for pads in their finishing department. Most likely they are using a product that they know works well with their coating.
Use an anti-slip layer
Many labs also will apply either a silicone or mag-flouride layer over the hydrophobic layer in their A/R coating chamber to reduce slippage. The anti-slip layer is meant to wash off after the lenses are edged. If your lab is applying this type of coating it is critical that you do not clean these lenses prior to applying the finish block as you may remove the anti-slip layer.
Consider “fragile” mode
Make sure that you are using your lens edgers best mode to reduce slipping; most edgers have a “fragile” mode of some kind that reduces cutting speed and force. If you are not sure what mode to use call your edger manufacturer to find out.
Most Coburn edgers include a specific “Hydro Mode” that is designed specifically to reduce slipping. This mode also allows the operator to increase clamp pressure if needed. Our Excelon HPE-410 Lens Edger and EXXPERT® HPE-8000X Lens Edger both feature Hydro Mode.
There are also some general maintenance issues that can help prevent slipping issues. First off make sure that your chuck clamps are in good condition. Often the rubber dries and deteriorates over time so that it does not grip the lens as well as it did when it was new. If you still have the original pad or one that looks worn contact your lens edger manufacturer and order a new one. Another often overlooked item is the roughing wheel. If your wheel is worn or damaged you want to replace it.
Do these lens edging tips encourage you to explore new equipment options? For more information on lens edging with Coburn Technologies please contact us today.