When one of the premier ophthalmic manufacturing companies in the world fine-tunes efforts to enhance their business, you know that the ophthalmic world is in for a treat
Dedicated service, smart planning and the ability to foresee a dynamic future have shaped the destiny of 60-plus-year-old ophthalmic company Coburn Technologies, Inc., erstwhile known as Gerber Coburn. Headquartered in South Windsor, Connecticut, with branch offices in the United Kingdom, Latin America and Singapore, Coburn Technologies, Inc. has emerged as one of the finest players in the ophthalmic market. According to the company president, Alex Incera, this is primarily so because “You can count on Coburn Technologies for solid application support, field service, and a global distribution network to respond to questions and concerns.” With over 7,000 customers spread across 75 countries and more than 15,000 of their systems installed worldwide, Coburn Technologies, Inc. can indeed stake claim to name and fame.
This independent privately-owned company is constantly making efforts to better its own standards. Innovation is one of the main tools and the company’s management swears by it. With futuristic products like the Cobalt DS generator and DP polisher, the company has gone into an overdrive ensuring customer well-being by fine-tuning quality and reducing waste, thereby leading to lesser breakage and higher output.
The earliest avatar of the company was Coburn Manufacturing Company that came into existence in 1954 and later came to be known as Gerber Coburn. In January 2011, Gerber Coburn became Coburn Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of computer-integrated ophthalmic lens processing systems, designing and manufacturing optical lab software equipment and supplies that are used in all aspects of surfacing prescriptions lenses, coating lenses and finishing lenses. Coburn Technologies believes to have pioneered the introduction of automation to the lens making process.
Coburn’s mainstay in the last 60 years or so has been its quest to provide quality products backed by efficient and friendly service. The company mainly deals with surfacing equipment, finishing equipment and consumables, but in 2014 it ventured out into a new field, that of refraction and diagnostic equipment.
The surfacing equipment line includes a broad family of surface blockers, generators, finers and polishers, coaters, and ancillary products such as chillers. Coburn complements these surfacing products with a strong portfolio of consumables products consisting of fining pads, polishing pads, polishes, and laps, including digital laps for its own and competitors digital polishing machines. Most recently, Coburn has been investing significant R&D resources in the development of new coating products such as UVMax and UVAR, both of which are usable in its own coaters, such as the Simplicity, or competitors spin coating systems.
On the finishing side of the product portfolio, Coburn has teamed up with industry leader, Huvitz of Korea, to offer a broad range of edgers, tracers and blockers. This partnership has been instrumental in helping Coburn remain one of the leaders in the finishing segment.
Two of Coburn’s new innovations are causing ripples in the ophthalmic world. The first is the New Cobalt-LTE Lens Generator. This innovation does not require water management equipment, thereby making it ideal for small to medium sized labs to incorporate this mist-cut generating technology into their existing system.
The other is the Cobalt DP Digital Polisher. This new polisher is fast, robust and versatile. It can be paired with the Cobalt LTE Generator, the Cobalt DS Generator, or with competitors generators to offer superior polishing quality.
Exxpert Automatic Lens Tracer/Blocker is one of the company’s best-sellers. The HAB-8000 is a one-window solution for fully automated lens centering and blocking. It combines the functions of a lens tracer, lensmeter, and auto blocker. When combined with a compatible Excelon or Exxpert Edger, it makes for a complete solution that has been customised to meet specific finishing needs. Some of the features of this lens tracer and blocker include instant automatic lens recognition and an integrated high performance lensmeter for accurate reading and size. It can also digitally scan demo lenses and patterns.
The Excelon Edger, CPE-4000, is part of a series that fits the bill completely. All the finishing processes, tracing to edging, are fully optimised with advanced 3D Digital Technology. This is a great lever to optimise productivity and efficiency. What was once a tedious, lengthy process, is now completed with the touch of a button.
Lens beveling, polishing, grooving and safety beveling are some of the processes that have been simplified extraordinarily. Its advanced 3D digital technology and its digital pattern tool only value enhance it further.
Coburn Technologies, Inc. offers several Edgers. Top amongst them is the Exxpert Optical Lens Edger HPE-8000 which smoothly and effortlessly finishes plastic, hi-index, polycarbonate, and Trivex® and offers a large range of bevel options – standard, mini bevel, asymmetric, semi U and customised beveling for high curved lenses. Its coveted features include integrated, accelerated long-life milling technology that eliminates axis twisting. It also has a dual CPU system that can multitask and support editing and loading.
Excelon EZ Lens Tracer and Blocker, CFR-3000, is a smaller, more compact finishing system that is supremely cost-effective. It integrates edging, blocking and tracing for easy use. Some of its features include automatic detection of reading point, a 3-dimensional feel of the front and rear side of the lens. Additionally, both normal and rimless frames can be traced along with high-curved goggles.
Coburn Technologies also provides software solutions. These customised software aid the ophthalmic processes by providing a network of solutions that are aimed to make the process of lens production simpler. There are two basic software. The Innovations Lab Software is a modular optical lab software, but can be customised to suit individual customer need. It can suit specific operational needs and can be used on one PC or on LAN, in a network. Based on Windows controls and graphics, the software is available in a variety of configurations. Navigation through the program is also relatively easy. The software provides complete inventory control as well. Innovations Remote Software, on the other hand, is a combo offer of a hardware and software solution that eases the traffic between patient Rx, lens and accurate frame trace data between satellite locations and a central optical lens laboratory. Features of the Innovations Remote Software include a three-axis control that captures three-dimensional shapes. It also does automatic internal calibration and lens selection, surfacing and finishing calculations.
A tech savvy organisation, Coburn Technologies, Inc. has a swank web store from where customers from anywhere in the world can order consumables and parts. Coburn has over 5,000 spare parts for Coburn, Gerber Coburn and Essilor systems and components, most of which can be ordered online. The complete catalogue is available online for general viewing, though of course if there is a purchase to be made, you have to register. Called shopcoburn.com, it makes the shopping process simpler and more doable. But if you still face issues, the company also has a customer care number which is manned by people only too eager to help.
Coburn believes in sharing their knowledge with customers worldwide. So they often conduct product training seminars to lab equipment owners. This not only helps in educating their audience, it also re-establishes the power of their own equipment and technology.
It is rightly said, “Selling is the most difficult job in the world but which becomes the easiest job to handle if you have the right products to sell.” Coburn Technologies, Inc., seems to have hit the bulls eye with their line of products.
1954: Coburn Manufacturing Company is founded by O. W. Coburn.
1960: First automatic lens generator (Dial-O-Matic).
1969: Company changes its name to Coburn Optical Industries, Inc.
1973: Opens plant for production of plastic lenses.
1987: Gerber Optical founded by H. Joseph Gerber; First automated pattern generator for lens edging (PG7).
1988: First multi-axis dry cutting surface generator (SG8 Generator).
1989: First dry cut edging system (LE3 Lens Edger).
1993: First reusable blocking alternative to hazardous alloy (Step One with FreeBond™); First single-point diamond-cutting lens lathe (IQ Lensmaker); Introduction of first integrated Premier Lab.
1998: Coburn Optical is acquired by Gerber Optical and forms Gerber Coburn, a division of Gerber Scientific.
2007: Introduction of automated Advanced Lens Processing System (ALPS) Lab.
2011: Gerber Coburn bought from Gerber Scientific Inc. and Coburn Technologies, Inc. is formed; Partnership with Huvitz for exclusive US distribution of finishing products; Partnership with OptoTech for exclusive US distribution of AR coating products and introduction of first retail, Ion‐Assisted Vacuum Deposition AR Coating System (OAC-25); First disposable Free-Form lens processing technology (LaunchPad).
2012: Opens new Coating R&D facility in Boca Raton FL; First mist-cutting surface generator (Cobalt DS); Introduces Exxpert Finishing Series.
2013: Introduction of Exxpert Finishing Series and HyperFlex digital soft tools; Lab Works Group is formed within Coburn.
2014: Introduction of first retail, mist-cut surfacing system (Cobalt LTE). Coburn enters diagnostic and refraction arena.