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Nanotechnologies convert a piece of plastic into the lenses for glasses

The first digital laboratory of lenses for glasses in the Baltic States, Baltic Optical Dimension (BOD), producing lenses for only three months, has something to brag about. Lenses produced in the laboratory successfully find their buyers, who send compliments to their producer.

The assortment of lenses for glasses produced by the individual order is very broad. These include individualised monofocal, multifocal (lenses for office, progressive lenses, etc.) and bifocal lenses. The enterprise can be reasonably proud of the implemented technologies they are of the same level as are applied in the leading laboratories worldwide.

The high quality of BOD products has been ensured by the leader in this segment, the German Schneider company. The newest equipment from this company, the MODULO line for production of lenses, has been implemented in the Lithuanian enterprise. This digital line for production of lenses for glasses is the first such line in Europe and the third in the world after USA (Sacramento) and Hong-Kong.

The Schneider company has been recognized in Germany as one of the leading introducers of innovations. The MODULO line has been presented in exhibitions only in the last year and currently it is the best solution available worldwide.

Tautvydas Monkeliūnas, BOD’s Head of Sales Department, has explained in more detail what individualised lenses for glasses are and what advantages they have: "Individualised lenses for glasses are lenses developed and produced specifically according to your order. They could be compared with an individually tailored suit. During the production of lenses for glasses we consider certain vision habits of our client, peculiarities of the desired frame, the nature of the client’s job and activities as well as the purpose of use for specific glasses. All these aspects are assessed and individual lenses are produced. I can assure that they are much more convenient and functional. 

Lenses for glasses mass produced in China currently prevail in the Lithuanian market, and, in some cases, people buy them in a marketplace or in supermarkets without any consultation with a professional. Certainly, this is not the best way to take care of your vision.

It is our purpose to help people to distinguish an individualised lens that can be adjusted for an individual according the parameters of his/her eyes from a lens obtained by mass production and intended for a universal consumer.

Can we state that these lenses are most important for people requiring progressive lenses for their glasses?

Progressive lenses are already individualised. However, not only progressive lenses are covered by the category of individualised lenses.

Sometimes people think that our laboratory has been designed for progressive lenses only. This is half true, but progressive lenses are only one kind of our production. Undoubtedly, it is a very important product and the centrepiece of our company creating the largest added value, but our production is not limited to it.

Nowadays we see an obvious tendency for people in their thirties or of a similar age intensively working in front of a computer screen or with documents, suffering from tiredness of the eyes. We produce lenses that help reduce tiredness and prevent the drying and reddening of the eyes. Usually such glasses are used when a person needs to stay at the office all day. The lower section of such lenses has an additional part designed for better vision (micro-addidation), which helps to avoid tiredness of the eyes while reading or working with computer.

A young person working with computer, sitting at his/her workplace every day, can also have individualised lenses, which reduce drying and reddening of the eyes. Sun-corrective lenses are increasingly popular in the market. For people with weakened vision we can produce sun-protective polarised lenses and those that darken in the light (photochromic), protecting the eyes from the sun. These lenses are in great demand now, during the high season.

How important is the appropriate coating for plastic pieces used to produce the required lenses?

Plastic coating is of great importance, as it improves the resistance of the lens against scratches and permeability of light, i.e., characteristics requested by every consumer. In addition, the appropriate coating ensures many other properties properly finished lenses are protected against scratches and formation of condensation. They are easier to clean and more resistant to different types of shock, such as temperature variations.

How long does it take to produce lenses?

The primary production of a lens takes about one hour, but the surface coating process involving nanotechnologies requires four to six hours. In general, the implementation of an order from booking to delivery of the final product to a client takes two working days on average. Of course, exceptions apply, depending on the specific situation.

The lens coating consists of more than 10 layers. Therefore more time is needed for the production process to ensure the lenses with the best features.

The pieces of plastic take an interesting route to emerge as clear lenses. First of all they are cleaned by ultrasound in a special bath, and then they enter a confined and extremely clean room in which the layers are formed through the application of nanotechnologies. A special varnish is used to harden the lenses and to protect them against scratches, and then they are covered with an anti-static layer to avoid adhesion of dust.

The next step is the application of a hydrophobic layer to prevent formation of condensation, then an anti-reflex coating, which ensures the clarity of lenses and prevents reflection of light. Another layer is applied later, which safeguards the lenses against grease, fingerprints and cosmetics. Finally, the finished lenses leave this confined room. They are then packed and delivered to optical salons. Later they are inserted into a frame and passed on to the client.

Lenses can be inserted into a frame in our laboratory, if required. We do not limit our activities to those described above: currently we have been testing the processes of application of new coatings and our portfolio will be enlarged in the nearest future.