A Space Odyssey – farewell words by Jörg Spangemacher

A Space Odyssey – farewell words by Jörg Spangemacher

An ophthalmic optician like me is not directly involved in the optical industry. He only needs to know that they make spectacle lenses. However, this all changed for me in 1979 when I attended a seminar in Amsterdam on the question of how to prevent scratches on the surfaces of plastic lenses during production. At the time plastic lenses were in the process of taking the market by storm.

The seminar in Amsterdam was organized by a well-respected British journal, “Manufacturing Optics International – MOI” now long since defunct. But ever since that day I wanted to organize a proper congress for the labs and optical industry in Europe.

I did not anticipate the resistance to this idea that I would encounter. The German industry association F+O and Randolf Rodenstock were dead against it, with Rodenstock saying bluntly: “We don’t need that in Europe!” It was not until several years later that I managed to persuade Eric Lenoire, head of SILMO, to host such a congress in Paris.

In the year 2000, the first congress – at that time under a different name – was a huge success. It was actually like the beginning of Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey. A year earlier someone had exhibited some strange red-and-white machines for the treatment of surfaces. But nobody really knew what they were for.

This new technology introduced by Günther Schneider represented the first major revolution in the surface treatment of optical media for over 400 years. And thus began a new era of questions which had hitherto been unknown, and demands for solutions to production problems that no one ever knew would one day be needed.

Since the year 2000, ‘MAFO – The Conference’ has offered a platform for discussing such questions and solutions and how to apply them. New developments and solutions were needed, such as small chambers for coating individual spectacle lenses, how to polish individual progressive surfaces without changing the curvature and how best to clean lenses, etc.

The optical industry has now met 20 times for ‘MAFO – The Conference’, first in Paris and later in Milan, with ever increasing interest. We are currently preparing for the next edition in February 2020.


How can you organize a congress for an industry with which you had no dealings until the turn of the millennium? The answer is simple: As the technicians, engineers, physicists, chemists and mathematicians also had to learn themselves, I learnt along with them from the many discussions with these experts.

By far the greatest help in this learning process, however, were the congresses organized by the Optical Laboratories Association (OLA) in the USA. Thus I would like to express my sincere thanks to those at the OLA who made these mammoth events possible. The lectures there helped to open my mind to this technical world which was new to me. However, I deeply regret that this important organization was killed off due to Essilor’s destructive policies in the USA.

Despite this, I hope that the Lab Division within The Vision Council will be able to continue OLA’s original idea.

As of July 1 this year, I am handing over all the magazines of MediaWelt GmbH to three employees as part of a management buyout. I had two reasons for doing this: I did not want to be still taking full responsibility well in my 80s. And secondly, the day-to-day work has increasingly been taken over by younger minds. They have brought with them their own fresh insights into the editorial and marketing fields. Thus it is only fitting that they should also take responsibility and enjoy the fruits of their work.

However, this does not mean that in future I will be devoting all my time to breeding my kois and the never-ending expansion of my model railway. The really nice thing about being a journalist is that you can continue writing for as long as you can still hold a pencil – or at least for as long as there is still someone there to read it.


(Editor’s note: We are not going to let Jörg Spangemacher off the hook that easily. For more, see the next issue of MAFO.)



Satisloh names Luis Cerqueira Head of Region Latin America

Satisloh names Luis Cerqueira Head of Region Latin America

Following the move of Christian Jakober to VP of Global Strategic Accounts, Luis Cerqueira takes over as Head of Region Latin America effective September 1, 2019. “Luis’ expertise in directing sales teams, running manufacturing facilities, and managing large organizations in all facets of business management makes him uniquely qualified to lead our Latin American group,” said Pete Lothes, President and CTO of Satisloh worldwide.

Cerqueira has MBAs in both Corporate Finance and Supply Chain, and speaks four languages – Portuguese, English, Spanish, and German. He has held positions in IT (Latin America) and in Finance, Business Development and Sales Operations (USA) in the optical industry, including most recently Senior Director Sales Operations for Essilor of America. “What I find most compelling about Satisloh is its undisputed leadership in the market and the passion of our staff to develop best-in-class technology that allows our customers to produce the best eyeglasses possible,” said Cerqueira.

New sustainable eyewear material

New sustainable eyewear material

“BD8 – Bio Plastics” is a 100% bio-degradable plastics which can be naturally broken into carbon, water and bio mass. In a world where approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into the oceans every day, “BD8 – Bio Plastics” offers an eco-friendly solution: millions or even billions of eyewear and other products can be made of a bio-degradable plastics which can be absorbed by the organisms and enrich the soil on decomposition. “BD8 – Bio Plastics” is lightweight, durable, crystal clear, hypoallergenic and good for any colors, designs or patterns. BD8 can be used to realize not only eco-friendly frames but also a full range of other eyewear products aiming to build a more sustainable future of the eyewear industry.

One product deriving from BD8 is “Bio Lens”, a revolutionary 100% bio-degradable lens that can be naturally decomposed into a landfill, leaving behind carbon, water and organic matter. Bio Lens will start to bio-degrade in 10+ days, and takes five years to biodegrade in soil. Besides offering supreme comfort and performance, this sustainable lens meets optical standard, features high impact resistance and can be used for both clear and sun lenses. It can be adapted to any styles, shapes, curvatures and sizes and matched with any kinds of coating. 100% UV protection is granted for the sun version.

Another product is “Bio Polybag”, a bio-degradable plastic eyewear bag which can be naturally broken down in 5 years. With a high tensile and impact strength, this crystal clear product comes as the best alternative to oxo-degradable plastic eyewear bags, as it can completely biodegrade into carbon, water and bio mass without leaving any plastic fragments behind.

The Vision Council announce the publication of new eye protection standard

The Vision Council is pleased to announce the publication by ASTM of a new eye protection standard, ASTM F3164-19 Standard Specification for Eye Protectors for Racket Sports (Racquetball, Squash, Tennis). This new standard replaces the previous requirements for racket sports eye protection contained within ASTM F803 Standard Specification for Eye Protectors for Selected Sports.
ASTM F3164-19 Standard Specification for Eye Protectors for Racket Sports (Racquetball, Squash, Tennis) provides performance requirements for both plano and prescription eye protection devices. The standard dictates frame and lens minimum robustness requirements (impact resistance), optics requirements and downstream Rx filling requirements for optical laboratories and opticians/dispensers prior to delivering racket sports eyewear to the customer. The standard applies to all plano and prescription sports eyewear worn for “racquetball, squash and/or tennis.”

The new standard supersedes ASTM F803-01 – Standard Specification for Eye Protectors for Selected Sports as is appropriate for racket sports. This represents five years of work by a team of industry experts led by ASTM F08.57 Chairman Dale Pfriem of Protective Equipment Consulting Services, Vice Chair Jim Archibald of STX Lacrosse, and principle contributing members Michael C. Vitale of The Vision Council, Karl Citek of American Optometric Association and David Petit of ICS Laboratories.

This is the third standard to be excised from the general F803 document to address more specific requirements for a specialized category of products – the others being ASTM F3077-17 Standard Specification for Eye Protectors for Women’s Lacrosse and ASTM F2713-18 Standard Specification for Eye Protectors for Field Hockey. The F803 moniker has been exploited resulting in misleading and overbroad compliance claims. It is crucial that eyecare professionals including clinicians, opticians, optical laboratories and dispensers be aware that ASTM F803 eye protectors are no longer appropriate for these sports. To further prevent misuse of these standards, eyecare professionals should ask for documentation substantiating compliance of protective eyewear to the applicable sport standard and its issue revision date.
The aforementioned standards that were separated from ASTM F803 include modifications that aim to assure the standards keep pace with the latest advancements in these specific sport areas. These include important modifications to several portions of the previous F803 standard, including:
• Revised plano lens optical requirements and references to the current ANSI Z80.1-2015 Prescription Ophthalmic Lenses – Recommendations (Rx) protectors
• Changes and modifications to impact test protocols reflecting better ocular injury protection
• Modifications to marking guidelines
A copy of the standard publications is available through the ANSI Web Store.

ASTM committee F08.57 is a long-established group of protective eyewear experts comprised of manufacturers, eyecare practitioners and game and rule regulating authorities tasked with the development of national standards that apply to sports and recreational protective eyewear. ASTM is accredited by ANSI to develop national standards in this area.
Questions can be directed to Michael C. Vitale, The Vision Council’s Senior Technical Director and Lens Division Liaison, at mvitale@thevisioncouncil.org.

The IOT website now speaks Chinese and Portuguese

The IOT website now speaks Chinese and Portuguese

IOT continues to update its website to make t he information and knowledge available for all customers to manufacture the best lenses. From now on, all that information is available in two new languages, Portuguese and Chinese, which are added to the English and Spanish versions. The IOT website is evolving and growing to meet the needs of our customers. We are always looking for ways to connect with social network to share our extensive knowledge on optics and educate our customers about the state-of-the-art product and services offered by IOT. Find out more about IOT at www.iot.es

Speed Dating at Vision Expo West

Vision Expo West is pleased to introduce The Next Generation of Retailers – Speed Dating event at this year’s Show. For the first time ever, new and potential business owners will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with some of the industry’s most successful independent retailers to learn the ins and outs of business ownership.
New and potential business owners interested in participating can submit their application online.
Hosted by Erinn Morgan, editor-in-chief of Eyecare Business Magazine, and James Spina, editor-in-chief of 20/20 Magazine, the event will take place Thursday, Sept. 19 in The OPTImum Lounge (Booth #18130) from 3 p.m.–4p.m.
“I wish I had access to something like this when I was first starting out,” said Wendy Salle, owner of Salle Opticians and participating veteran retailer for the event. “It’s a great opportunity to bounce things off people who have already ‘been there, done that’ or to ask really pointed questions that you may not otherwise have an opportunity to ask.”

Participating retailers include:
• Edward Beiner, owner of Edward Beiner Eyewear
• Siobhán Burns, owner of The Eyeglass Lass
• Julia Gogosha, owner of Gogosha Optique
• Tanya Gill, OD and owner of Oakland Vision Center
• Stephanie Haenes, COO and owner of Art of Optiks
• Utenzi Miller, owner of Elegant Eyes
• Nate Ogura, owner of Eyes on Fremont
• Todd Rogers, owner of Todd Rogers Eyewear
• Selima Salaun, owner of Selima Optique
• Wendy Salle, owner of Salle Opticians

Following the event, a sangria reception hosted by Etnia Barcelona will be open to all Vision Expo West attendees.
“Etnia Barcelona is extremely excited to sponsor The Next Generation of Retailers – Speed Dating event,” said Pablo Cobian, U.S. general manager for Etnia Barcelona. “All the panel members are independent and unique in their own way, matching perfectly with the Etnia Barcelona core values. As the optical industry is expanding and growing, Etnia Barcelona is in a great position to partner with Vision Expo West to bring a fun new form of networking to the independent optician that helps build relationships across the industry.”
To register for Vision Expo West 2019, visit visionexpowest.com and be sure to follow along on all of Vision Expo’s social media channels, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.