Schneider goes contact lenses and IOL

Schneider goes contact lenses and IOL

Schneider UPC 100 Vision und UPC nano

Schneider is entering the market for contact lens and IOL manufacturing technology with two new solutions for single-point diamond turning.

The fully featured UPC 100 Vision is designed for the manufacturing of mold inserts with surface roughness values in the 1-2 nm range, individualized contact lenses or hydrophilic and hydrophobic IOLs.

The machine combines hydrostatic linear guides and aerostatic spindle technology. Its perpendicular arrangement of Fast Tool axis and X-axis allows for direct coupling of dynamic forces into the super rigid hydrostatic guiding.

The device uses one single main controller to drive the entire machine, including the optional Fast Tool which can process a wide range of custom-fit freeform geometries like scleral, orthokeratology, toric, or any lens to correct high order aberration.

The UPC nano includes an integrated Fast Tool for freeform manufacturing and comes with on board spherical, non-spherical and freeform capabilities to manufacture all types of contact lenses.

The design allows for air cooling or spray mist lubricated dry machining and wet machining for contact lenses and IOLs. Thanks to the machine’s small and compact size as well as its light weight it can be operated virtually everywhere.

For high volume requirements, UPC nano can be equipped with an optional automation system for non-stop automated processing of larger batches without operator intervention. It can also be enhanced with an optional scanhead based laser engraving system.

All Schneider UPC machines comply with international safety standards.







Infrared protection for sun protection lenses

Infrared protection for sun protection lenses

The sun

Any reduction of the light spectrum using filter lenses triggers a lot of discussion. Even with UV420 lenses, there are many arguments for and against in the market and some even ask the question whether the lens industry will soon recommend protecting the eyes by not letting in any more light at all. The simple background to this discussion is the continuously rising life expectancy of the population in developed countries and the understanding that for the foreseeable future it won’t be as easy to replace the “worn out part of the eye” as it is, for example, to replace a hip.

By Florian Gisch

While incidences of cataracts and AMD were characteristic of the later years of life in the 1950s, patients affected today are typically in the middle of their lives, possibly in a job and needing their eyesight more than ever to use digital media, smartphones, etc.

Thus all these efforts are simply aimed at keeping the harmful effects as low as possible over the entire lifetime, in order to delay the inevitable onset of signs of wear and tear to as old an age as possible.

Development of sun protection products

After initial suspicions that UV light could be harmful in the middle of the 19th century, Crookes sun protection lenses appeared in 1913, guaranteeing 100% UV light protection. In 1908 the Swiss ophthalmologist Alfred Vogt succeeded in proving its harmfulness. In 1926 he published his conclusions that ultraviolet light has a damaging effect on the eye, pointing out at the same time that infrared radiation was likely to have a similarly damaging effect.

In 1930, the first sunglasses were produced in series, with the main focus still on glare protection. In addition to the fashion aspect of sunglasses, protective standards such as the recently developed EN183 were introduced which speak of complete UV protection as soon as there is absorption of 95% in the range up to 380 nm. The more popular standard – which every end user knows – in the meantime is the UV400 quality seal, which also takes into account visible light and the amount of harmful high-frequency blue light blocked.

Infrared protection has received little attention so far up to now.

Interestingly, the same was true for infrared protection in the field of dermatology until the topic was rediscovered a few years ago. Far from a purely “marketing gimmick”, but from the field of environment-related molecular aging research, the development of sunscreen creams was initiated, which in addition to pure UV protection also offer infrared protection. In this connection, premium manufacturers now often make the claim: “Without infrared protection, you are only half protected against the sun”.

If one compares the proportion of UV light striking the earth with the amount of infrared in the sun’s radiation, the question inevitably arises as to why this topic was not addressed much earlier. There seems to be no point in unnecessarily exposing one’s eyes to heat radiation.

UV-light diagram

Amounts of UV light and infrared light striking the earth due to solar radiation.

According to the findings of the Association for Radiation Protection, wavelengths of light between 780 and 10,000 nm can cause significant thermal damage to the eye. It is important here to make a distinction between work safety protection and sun protection, because the spectrum of sunlight hitting the earth is completely different from that e.g. when working in front of a blast furnace. Thus the relevant area of ​​consideration in this context is the frequency range up to 2,500 nm.

Radiation intensity diagram.

Radiation intensity diagram.

Depth of penetration: What impinges where on the eye?

A significant proportion of the dominant infrared (IR)-A component in sunlight in the range up to 1,400 nm penetrates to the retina. This follows the general rule: the shorter the wavelength of the IR radiation, the greater the depth of penetration. This particularly affects the choroid which can be damaged by IR-A, leading to localized defects in the retina tissue. Only a small proportion of radiation with wavelengths longer than 2,000 nm gets through the cornea. The anterior chamber of the eye absorbs all radiation above 2,000 nm. All wavelengths greater than 1400 nm are filtered out by the lens and vitreous part of the eye.

Spectral transmittance

Spectral transmittance.

Significant radiation in the wavelength range of 400 to 1400 nm can fall on the retina. The infrared radiation energy that the eye absorbs causes it to warm up (Vos and Norren 2004, Brose et al. 2005). The exact mechanism by which long-term exposure to IR radiation leads to clouding of the eye lens (cataract) is still not fully understood (Brose et al. 2005). It is also difficult to distinguish between the fundamentally multifactorial-related development of cataracts and numerous other biochemical changes – in particular changes in the composition of lens proteins with increasing aggregation of insoluble high-molecular proteins – and cellular changes that are genetically modified and are affected and exacerbated by environmental factors (Truscott and Zhu, Michael and Bron 2012).

Not for nothing are certain kinds of cataract referred to as fire cataracts or glassblowers’ cataracts. The effect of infrared radiation on such a condition is difficult to prove due to its development over a very long period and thus it is difficult to setup a test, but it is considered very likely.


A general distinction must be made between the front and rear parts of the eye. Where protection of the lens with regard to sun protection is concerned, the infrared spectrum from 780 to 2,500 nm is of interest​​, whereby the anterior chamber of the eye already offers fairly good protection between 1,300 and 1,500 and above 2000 nm.

Thus the main stress on the lens is in the ranges 780 to 1,400 nm and 1,500 to 2,000 nm. Up to 1,400 nm, IR radiation penetrates to the retina, causing it to warm up.

The well-known reasoning that a reduction in the transmission of visible light (e.g. through standard sun protection of 85%) leads the eye to adapt to the light conditions, thus in the case of lenses without UV protection letting in more UV radiation than untinted lenses, can be transferred 1: 1 to the infrared problem. In other words: wearers of sunglasses without infrared protection expose their eyes to more IR radiation than if they were not wearing sunglasses at all.

As a consequence of increased life expectancy, no opportunity should be missed to limit potentially harmful external influences – particularly on the retina – to an absolute minimum. Ultimately, this is exactly what we have been doing in our industry with regard to UV protection for decades.

Transmission change simulation

Simulation of the effect on the transmission change on the respective medium – black without the coating / red with IR coating.

An IR protection coating on sun protection products reducing the transmission between 780 and 2.000nm to a minimum for providing optimal protection to the lens and the retina is a useful step to differentiate professional sunglass protection products from discounter products by providing additional benefits

It is an added value that can be easily explained to the end user. Ideally, in time it should be recognized with a similar stamp of approval to UV400. Moreover, this additional protection would highlight the distinction between our products and those of the fashion sunglasses industry.





Digital use has increased in corona times

A representative study among spectacle wearers shows how much digital use has increased in the times of corona. This also has an impact on our visual dynamics today.

Whether video conferencing, e-mail, chat or video streaming: As a result of the corona crisis with home office and social distancing, 59 percent of German spectacle wearers spend significantly more time privately and professionally with computers, smartphones, tablets and other digital devices. This was the result of a representative Innofact survey commissioned by the lens manufacturer Zeiss Vision Care.

Three hours and more with digital devices and services

Specifically, the increase in “digital time” by corona has proven to be significant: 10.8 percent of spectacle wearers have stated that they have spent between three and five hours more a day using digital devices since the onset of the corona crisis. In 13.5 percent, it was even more than five additional hours a day.

Almost 14 percent spend between two and three hours more on smartphones, tablets and computers, 16 percent between half an hour and two hours – and five percent up to half an hour more.

But even before the corona lockdown, the use per day was high: almost half of the spectacle wearers surveyed stated that they had spent more than five hours a day using digital devices.

Further increase in digital time

The survey also evaluated whether a further increase in usage time in the coming twelve months is expected from digital offerings such as digital news media, smart homes, streaming providers or video calls. This is assumed by 41.5 percent of the spectacle wearers surveyed.

Around half of all respondents were still unsure. Only nine percent think that they will use their digital devices a little less again in the next twelve months.

Demand for optimized vision solutions

“The survey shows that there has been a clearly measurable increase in the use of digital devices in both private and professional life,” says Matthias Wehrle Marketing Manager at Zeiss Vision Care Germany. In general, interest in relaxed and healthy vision in everyday digital life has increased significantly. “This is also reflected in a great interest in glasses that are optimized for digital devices and thus support the eyes and vision. More than half of the respondents indicated that they would buy such glasses.”

Changing vision: why digital life requires new glasses

But in “digital times”, not just glasses that are optimized for the use of digital devices alone are in demand. Our gaze behavior today is characterized by an unprecedented dynamic of vision. We always have the smartphone at hand and often orient ourselves out of the corner of our eyes. Our gaze constantly changes from the display into the distance, downwards, to the front and to the side. Our “smartphone” vision means that we make more eye movements than head movements and look much more through the edges of glasses than before.

Study design

As part of a so-called omnibus survey, Innofact AG asked a representative sample of 694 spectacle wearers aged between 18 and 69 years at the beginning of July 2020, including 322 men and 372 women. 64.4% of the participants stated that they were employed.

In addition, people without visual aids or contact lens wearers were also interviewed as part of the representative study. The results in this section of the population were very similar or almost identical to those of the spectacle wearers.




Silmo 2020 cancelled

Silmo 2020 cancelled

Organizers of Silmo 2020 announced today the cancellation of the event which had been scheduled at the Paris Nord Villepinte Centre, Oct, 2 to 5. In its statement, Amelie Morel, chairwoman of the Silmo Association, wrote, “Since the beginning of the worldwide health and economic crisis, we made clear commitments and established extensive measures to protect and guide the companies of our industry throughout this particularly difficult period. In particular, we promised to announce our decision as to whether the 2020 edition of Silmo Paris would go forward as of mid-July, based on various criteria relating to the trade fair fundamentals as well as developments in the international health, economic and political situation.

Morel added, “We extend great thanks to the 688 registered exhibitors who demonstrated great entrepreneurial courage by deciding to maintain their participation in Silmo Paris 2020, despite the crisis we are going through.” She noted that “Agility is key. We will therefore pursue our commitment to guide the industry’s return to business, ensure our mission to promote its products and services, and uphold our pledge to the optical and eyewear sector, which will mean:

• From October to November 2020, Silmo will set out to encounter opticians in France and throughout Europe. “Silmo Hors les Murs” (“Silmo Outside the Walls”) will propose events that honor its commitment to support the industry, in keeping with the Silmo convivial spirit!

• This unprecedented operation will begin on October 4-5, 2020 in Paris, and will be repeated every Monday in the month of October in a different city, such as Bordeaux, Lyon, Rennes and Brussels (the program is still being finalized).

• The 2020 Silmo d’Or awards will go forward, open to all the companies registered to date.

• Once again this year, Silmo Academy will issue a scholarship to support a scientific research project in vision and optics.

• Through a specialised application, Silmo Next—a laboratory of ideas, a forum for interprofessional discussions, and a showcase for creation and innovation—will present the summary of the work that began two years ago, probing into the future of the sector, product developments, and the optical profession “toward a techno-responsible optical and eyewear future.”

SILMO 2021 will welcome visitors and exhibitors back to the Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition centre from September 24-27, 2021.

N-Tec Talks in the Rhine Valley

N-Tec Talks in the Rhine Valley

N-Tec talks stage

The high-tech congress N-Tec Talks will take place parallel to the fair W3 + Fair Rheintal on September 23 and 24, 2020 in Dornbirn, Austria. The event focuses on prospects, opportunities and ideas for the high-tech industry after the corona crisis. More than 35 speakers from companies and research will provide their assessments and recommendations. The lectures will focus on the areas of medical technology, production & quality assurance and the management topic “learnings from Corona”. The congress is included in the admission price of the fair.

The lectures will be held in German or English. The entire program is available here.

Jörg Brück, Project Director of the event, ensures that the safety of all participants is top priority and that all requirements will of course be met.