Shamir announces program to support first responders

Shamir is collaborating with US optical laboratories nationwide, which produce their freeform or digital lenses, and have chosen to participate in the company’s #VisionFIRST initiative.  The program was designed to provide complimentary prescription lens designs for safety eyewear or other lens types for healthcare workers and first responders.

“We are all in this together”, said Raanan Naftalovich, CEO, “The nation will return to normal, but first we need to ensure the safety of our healthcare professionals.”  Shamir’s lens products are used in the optical industry today in the form of safety eyewear or occupational (small task) lenses, progressive or single vision lenses.

The company expects #VisionFIRST to contribute thousands of pairs of complimentary prescription eyewear, with Shamir digital designs, to first responders.   “Our hope is to collaborate with as many Shamir Optical Lab partners as possible, increasing the opportunity to provide enhanced vision for those holding the front-line”, said Raanan.  “All our digital lens products will be available to our optical laboratory customers so they and the eye care professional will have no constraints in finding a lens that will work for just about every first responder in need of eyewear”.

Over 20 partnered optical laboratories confirmed participation right from the start.  Shamir anticipates up to 100 total optical laboratories nationwide will actively work with eye care professionals across the country, offering first responders personalized safety eyewear.

Participating #VisionFIRST labs can be found at




IOT webinars for education during confinement

IOT webinars for education during confinement

The research and development company in the field of optics says it wants to enliven the weeks of confinement with its own webinars that encourage to strengthen knowledge in a pleasant and productive way.

IOT has decided to publish weekly different webinars that seek to entertain and also teach and review various general and fundamental aspects of optics.

With the aim of offering a quality teaching adapted to as many users as possible, the webinars are being broadcast virtually and, in several languages, specifically, in Spanish, English, Italian and even Mandarin.

The call for these webinars is sent by e-mail, through which interested people can sign up with just a click. In addition, these courses are also promoted through the company’s social networks, thus offering an alternative way for all who are interested in them.

IOT recommends signing up as soon as possible for the webinar in which the user is interested because of the limited capacity.


This week the topic is Ophthalmic lenses for digital life.

April 30, webinar in Spanish / 12 PM ( GTM +5), Bogotá – 7PM  (Madrid)

April 30, webinar in English / 11 AM (GMT +2) Madrid

April 30, webinar in English / 9AM PDT- 12 PM EDT







The Vision Council announces the publication of ANSI Z87.1–2020

The Vision Council has announced the revision of the ANSI/ISEA Z87.1 American National Standard for Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices. This standard sets criteria related to the general requirements, testing, permanent marking, selection, care, and use of eye and face protectors to minimize the occurrence and severity or prevention of injuries from hazards such as impact, non-ionizing radiation, and liquid splash exposures in occupational and educational environments including, but not limited to, machinery operations, material welding and cutting, chemical handling, and assembly operations. New content has been added to address anti-fog lens assessments, relaxed optics requirements, and additional clarity to the execution of testing.

The following ANSI standards packages are also available and contain the revision of ANSI/ISEA Z87.1:

  • ANSI Z80.3 / ANSI/ISEA Z87.1 – Eyewear Requirements Set
  • ANSI/ISEA Z358.1 / ANSI/ISEA Z87.1 – Eyewash and Eye Protection Package
  • ANSI/ISEA Z87.1 / ANSI Z80.3 / ANSI Z80.1 – Eyewear Package


California Lab Committee Announces Norm Kester as 2020 Goodfellow Award Recipient

California Lab Committee Announces Norm Kester as 2020 Goodfellow Award Recipient

Norm Kester, President of Quantum Innovations, Inc.

Norm Kester, President of Quantum Innovations, Inc.

The California Lab Committee has announced Norm Kester, President of ophthalmic coatings company Quantum Innovations, Inc., as the recipient of the 2020 Goodfellow award. The annual award recognizes a lab executive or business leader who actively contributes to the advancement of the optical industry.

The award will be presented to Kester during a virtual happy hour on Thursday, April 23 at 5 p.m. PT. Hosted by the California Lab Committee, members of the optical industry are invited to attend the celebration, which will be conducted via a ZOOM video call. To register to attend, click here.

“During this time of uncertainty and unprecedented challenges for the industry, we think it is more important than ever to find ways to bring our community together and celebrate successes, exceptional professionalism, and industry trailblazers,” said Steve Sutherlin, The Vision Council’s Lab Division Liaison. “While we are not able to gather in person this year, we are looking forward to bringing the community together virtually to present Norm with this well-deserved award and recognize his contributions.”

“I am humbled to be joining an amazing group of people that have won this award. This is a great honor,” said Norm Kester.

Prior to launching his career in the optical industry, Kester served in the United States Navy in the early 1990s. Upon leaving the Navy in 1995, he began a career at Satis Vacuum in Dallas, Texas, where he held several leadership roles, including President in Dallas and Vice President of Satis Vacuum of America in Columbus, Ohio.

In 2002, Kester moved to Oregon and launched Quantum Innovations, Inc. in his garage. Since then, Kester has grown the start-up into one of the premiere suppliers of state-of-the art vacuum coating and ophthalmic equipment and lens-cleaning products. Today, the company creates value-based, customer-centered products, and is highly regarded as a leader in UV (ultraviolet) and AR (anti-reflective) coating technology.

In 2018, Kester founded RLVNT, an outdoor experience company offering sunglasses made with durable frames and innovative technologies for use on the water or in the field, with business partner Adam Winkelman.

In his free time, Kester enjoys spending time with his wife, Tammy, and three children.


The Craftsmanship of Ophthalmic Coatings

The Craftsmanship of Ophthalmic Coatings

Principal knowledge on procedures and best practise

The objectives of this article are to provide general principal knowledge on ophthalmic coating manufacture procedures and best practises based on a hands-on lifetime experience in coating manufacturing. Moreover, it is meant to draw attention to pitfalls and possible risks, to show shop-floor level staff how to apply themselves, to take ownership of the work and to enable suitable candidates to be an efficient coach in the lab. At the end of the day the quality level achieved in a coating department is determined by the quality of workmanship of the least trained staff. By Georg Mayer

The text is an extract of a tutorial held first at the Annual Society of Vacuum Coaters (SVC) Techcon 2019 in Long Beach and to be presented again in an updated version at this year’s SVC Techcon April 22nd in Chicago. I will focus on the next few pages on some highlights of the full day course tutorial.  In nearly 20 years of sole responsibility of the coating division of a then market leader, I gained some valuable lessons. Having had the privilege and pleasure to work with staff from 5 European and African Countries was an enriching and exciting experience.

Some ground rules for every case

Here are a few conclusions after working nearly 40 years in coating

  • Be a professional pessimist, expect the worst to happen and plan accordingly.
  • Don´t assume, ask! There are no stupid questions, only stupid mistakes.
  • Be a stickler to the rules of the process owner, don´t change anything, it is always better to ask again.
  • Consistency is the name of the game, more of that later …

You might ask yourself how can this experience still be of any interest today, in our increasingly automated Rx factories, gearing up for Industry 4.0?

Rx lens making is mostly automated – a computerised digital production with the ability to check and verify every lens to all standards applicable in situ. Rx surfacing runs in a continuous flow, job by job and can be driven by only a few staff with the help of advanced fully integrated lab management software.

By Elisabeth Mayer

However, when the Rx jobs arrive at the coating department´s door we seem to go back in time.

We interrupt the job flow for batching, not only once but often twice with related waiting times and sorting action per material/index and per coating type. Due to the unique shape and form of Rx lenses we still have too many hands on those lenses, all the way through the coating department. First they go from batching into carriers to cleaning to hardcoating and curing. And then again they go from batching and handling into different carriers for preparation and vacuum coating, typically twice with manual flipping and prep-steps in between.

In summary, we have multiple manual manipulations on lenses and machines, meaning a lot of staff are in direct control of the coating quality. And if those manual manipulations on lenses, machines or processes are performed in a country by operators with language barriers, training needs particular attention as those staff form a crucial part of a consistently good quality.


On top of all of this we don´t have the ability to check the full and final quality of each of our coatings produced without destroying it, we can only test samples or “witness” substrates which have taken part in the same process and batch.

Test yourself: what do you think is depicted in these pictures? You can find the solutions at the end of this article.







Keep an eye on sampling method, process and FPY

This leads directly to a first major subject, – the sampling method as a basis for coating quality metrics.

  • Sampling only works if all lenses are processed consistently to the rules of the process owner
  • Only then such witness samples will have the same properties as all other “real” Rx lenses

In conclusion, if processes and staff are not consistent the sampling approach is misleading.

A second important subject is the previously mentioned process and the lab taking ownership and responsibility. The following list gives an overview of the most important points that should be considered regarding the process:

  • Apply stable robust processes, manageable by the local infrastructure, machines and team.
  • The process must be well documented and the documentation has to be easily understandable and available to staff at their workplace.
  • Part and parcel of a stable process is strict maintenance of machines and use of the correct consumables since you can´t separate machine from process.
  • Well trained staff is essential, each of them could be the weak link in an otherwise strong team.
  • Create a work atmosphere that is open to continuous questions, learning and improvement, all the time.

Such stable and robust processes are the basis for a third most critical topic, the first pass yield (FPY) and its primary impact on an Rx lab’s ability to deliver consistently on time which leads to customer satisfaction.

A simplified example/case for this is based on the Markov Chain:

Of 100 lenses to enter a coating department, how many will come out “first round / first try” with its typical successive process steps? Let´s assume each main coating production steps FPY being

Hard coat                          96%

First side AR                      99%

Second side AR                 99%

Handling/washing            99%.

Looks pretty good, doesn´t it, but the key is that in combination the final score is a multiplication of 0,95×0,99×0,99×0,99=0,92 or 92%, meaning 8 of our 100 lenses didn´t make it first time round.

To make matters worse, in Rx where jobs are 2 lenses it could be double the number as a single bad lens in a job will hold back the other good lens too. So, this coating department could have a FPY as low as 84%, or in other words 16% of all work is not out first round in the expected time.

Once the whole Rx lab’s various factors have been modelled the results can be used for the prediction of the customer’s perception of this lab, i.e. if customers’ expectations will be met.

The main delivery quality indicators are delivery speed, reliability and consistency.

Such a lab might be competitive fast with the jobs making it on first attempt (84% FPY), but with a significant 16% of work not on time the lab will be seen as unreliable, and worse, of those 16% another 2% will not make it through even the second time and will need a third round. And because of this noticeable tail of very late work the lab is also regarded as not consistent.

Conclusion and brief outlook

Rx labs coating management must focus all efforts to achieve and maintain the highest possible yield rate for each type of product made by the lab, based on stable processes and well-trained staff, because of its primary impact on delivery quality and customer satisfaction.

Once this goal is achieved the focus can shift to removing the remaining major system shortfalls in most coating departments, i.e. to the improvement of the degree of automation and the reduction of the process times while still maintaining expected market quality standards for Rx lenses.

We can foresee some exciting new developments and projects in that direction, partly already in use or still to come, which will change the landscape of Rx lens coating to bring it closer to the level of automation seen already in Rx surfacing.

Solution for pictures a) to d):

a) Hardcoating failure
b) AR stack thermal cracking
c) Hardcoating striae
d) Droplet spitmark residue under AR