Back to: Finishing 101
As an optician you should want to edge lenses. As an optician you should want to make glasses. That is what opticians do. I know that not every shop has an edger. But, if where you work does then learn how to use it!
Finishing is the process of cutting a lens to fit a particular frame or shape.
In reality, you could do finishing work with a few hand tools and a great deal of time and patience. Luckily, there are machines designed to do almost all the work for us. The machines used to cut lenses to fit a particular frame are called edgers. Edgers can cut lenses for routine bevel-bezel frames, semi-rimless or groove mounts, and fully rimless for three-piece mountings.
Edgers may also incorporate polishing, drilling, safety-beveling, faceting, etching, and relief cutouts.
An edger will always be paired with a blocker of some kind so you may accurately and consistently attach blocks to the lens. Lens blocks hold the lens in place while the edger shapes the lens.
Any new, mid to high end, edger will do 90%+ of all jobs with little or no thought at all involved.
But, and this is a big but, 10% of your jobs will require your doing some layout work. The edger will help guide you through the process but, you need to have some idea of what it asking you to do. Most of this section is about grasping those concepts.
But, before we get to that…
Same day service may be your very best weapon against online eyewear sales!
If the income generated from offering same-day services was not enough to offset the cost of an edger and lens stock then the industry would have ended many years ago. If that was the case, only wholesale laboratories would have edgers. In fact the opposite is true and more retail locations are edging not less.
The most important reason that stores choose to have finishing equipment is sales. A store cannot overlook the huge potential income generated from offering same-day or even same-hour service for filling prescriptions. Modern, well constructed, and user-friendly edgers can easily run a single vision job for a basic plastic frame in just minutes start-to-finish!
- Optician receives Rx and patient frame
- Optician pulls single vision finished uncut lenses that match Rx given
- Optician uses lensmeter and marks lenses for correct Rx match
- Optician uses blocker to affix block to front of lens
- Optician traces frame in edger
- Optician inputs patient PD and lens parameters
- Edger cuts the lenses
- Optician removes lens from edger and removes block
- Optician inserts finished cut lenses in frame
- Optician confirms Rx correct
People today want instant, one-stop service.
Single vision lenses receive the single highest mark-up of almost any item in an optical shop! You cannot let prescriptions and money walk out the door because you do not offer immediate service.
I cannot count the number of sales I have closed by saying, “And I can have them ready for you in about 20 minutes.” Real customer service is offering to run a job while a customer waits to save them a trip back to the store. A customer may live far away, work out of town, be juggling small children or be quite elderly.
Say, “I know you drive from way out in Powhatan. Why don’t you go and grab a cup of coffee and I’ll have these ready for you in about twenty five minutes. That way you can save a trip back.” Sell what you are offering!