Anti Reflective Coating Facility

 

At Cherry Optical, Inc, our passion for making the most advanced optical coatings led to our investment in a progressive, on-site anti-reflective coating laboratory. As an authorized Essilor distributor, Cherry formulates and processes world-class leading Crizal No-Glare lenses at this facility. The Crizal coatings are known for their anti-static qualities and are made of multiple layers, allowing for decreased reflections, easier cleaning, and improved light transmission for clearer vision.

Through Cherry Optical, Inc’s 24-hour, on-site AR coating facility, eye care professionals benefit from significantly reduced turnaround time as well as unparalleled lens clarity, durability, and resistance to scratching.

The Crizal AR Coating Process

Step 1: Ultrasonic Cleaning
The Crizal AR coating process begins with hand washing all of the lenses. Then they are put through a series of automated ultrasonic cleaner and de-ionized water baths. The primary purpose of the ultrasonic cleaner is to clean thoroughly and exfoliate the lens. The ultrasonic cleaner will remove all of the surface-born contaminates. The process ensures a bond between the lens, anti-scratch elements, and Crizal AR formula.
Step 2: Backside Scratch Coating
The lenses are again inspected and cleaned before Cherry’s TD2 Spin Backside Mythril machine primes them with a light layer of latex to help the scratch coating adhere to the lens. The latex is cured halfway, and the lens is then evenly coated with a layer of TD2 scratch coating. The lenses are then placed on a conveyor and moved into a curing chamber.
Step 3: Application of AR Layers

Emerging from the curing chamber, the lenses are ready to have the AR layers applied. They are placed in a vacuum chamber and bombarded with high-energy particles to hyper-clean the lenses and ensure maximum adhesion of the AR layers. Next, an electron beam gun is used to evaporate and evenly disperse the six chemicals that make up the seven layers of the Crizal AR coating. During this part of the process, the proprietary anti-reflective technology, a double-sided layer of scratch resistance, and anti-static/hydrophobic layer adhere to the lens.

Step 4: Quality Control

At the end of every Crizal AR coating process, a lens’ hydrophobic properties, finish-blocking adhesion, color hue, and adhesion durability are all put through comprehensive testing on-site. Three lenses are also sent daily to Essilor to ensure product produced meets the Crizal brand’s rigorous standards.

AR Coating Expert - Ryan Vande Walle
Cherry-7711

Name: Ryan Vande Walle

Title: Director of Anti-Reflective Coating Operations

Years with Cherry Optical, Inc: 9

Job-Related Certifications: ABO (American Board of Opticianry) Certified

What do you do for Cherry Optical, Inc? I apply the anti-reflective coating on the lenses. Basically, after being given surfaced lenses, my team and I clean them and use multiple machines to adhere a backside scratch coating and anti-reflective coating to them.

How did you become interested in the optical industry? When I was 19, I suffered a serious eye injury that required many visits to the eye doctor. It was during these trips to the doctor that I became fascinated with the working of the human eye.

What do you find most satisfying about your job? I enjoy helping the company grow and seeing how much it’s advanced from when I started here.

What makes Cherry Optical, Inc different from other optical laboratories? Cherry Optical, Inc sets higher standards than most optical labs – especially when it comes to technology, air quality, and cleanliness within our anti-reflective coating facility.

What are your most significant challenges in your position? It’s challenging to get the timing of everything correct and follow the exact procedures Essilor put in place for the Crizal anti-reflective coating. With all of the research Essilor has done, it’s vital we develop the processes precisely to ensure our lens quality is above and beyond the clients’ expectations.

What do enjoy doing in your spare time? I enjoy watching sports (specifically Brewers baseball), fishing, and camping.

What music are you embarrassed to like? 1992 rap

What celebrity or historical figure wears or has worn glasses best? Ozzy Osbourne

Mei Lens Milling Technology

 

Cherry Optical, Inc’s finishing process includes two Mei641 CNC lens milling machines that allow us to handle everything from simple edging jobs to the complexities required of many sport and fashion frame designs. With this leading milling technology and integrated quality control systems, Cherry Optical, Inc makes precise lens sizing, brilliantly polished edges and the highest-quality beveling. Every lens, no matter the price, gets the same advanced edging treatment at Cherry Optical, Inc.

Milling vs. Grinding
Over the past eight years, with the help of Mei technology, we’ve made significant advancements in the finishing of lenses. In 2010, we gutted our entire finishing lab of its old fashion grinding lens edging machines. The outdated machines ground the lenses with heavy diamond wheels that produced a lot of heat, friction, and dust and dramatically widen the margin of error. In contrast, Cherry’s milling machines, use small high-speed cutting tools specifically designed for all the modern lens materials.
Accuracy
  • Through the use of three-dimensional frame images, lens sizing is perfect on a one-cut basis and provides an optimal fit for frames with added curvature. This process and technology decreases turnaround time and increases overall customer satisfaction.
  • By milling plastic lenses with high-speed cutters, the sizing will be accurate down to the hundredth of a millimeter. The consistency of the product is optimal, and the edge quality is superior.
Speed
  • Cherry’s Mei 641 milling machines have a combined throughput of 45 jobs per hour.
  •  Each job is individually programmed for best bevel placement and fitment before being automatically loaded, processed and return to the job tray by the machine.
Quality Control
  • All jobs are thoroughly inspected to ensure they are free of defects.
  • Frames are adjusted to a four-point alignment.
  • Optics are inspected to make sure the prescription is exactly what was ordered and that the specified finish has been completed.
Mei Technocam Software
Custom lens designs and unique lens shapes are made possible through Mei’s Technocam software. This advanced CAD (computer-aided design) technology gives us the power to manipulate every detail of how a lens is made. Technocam creates the shapes and steps needed to complete the most complex finished lenses.
Sports & Wrap Frames
  • Eye care professionals are often put in the position of having to tell patients it is impossible to have their lens prescription put into many popular brands of sports and wrap frames. Using the MEI technology, Cherry Optical, Inc can process lenses for all kinds of safety, sports and wrap frames – even those not initially designed for prescriptions.
  • Many sports and wrap frame brands set limits for prescriptions. Cherry Optical, Inc can, however, fit lenses with an expanded prescription range in wrap sunglasses for brands like Oakley, Adidas, Maui Jim, and Wiley-X.
MEI Expert - Josh Freimuth
Josh Freimuth

Name: Josh Freimuth

Title: Production Manager for the Night Shift

Years with Cherry Optical, Inc: 8

Job-Related Certifications: ABO (American Board of Opticianry) Certified

What do you do for Cherry Optical, Inc? I follow the jobs through the finishing process. Which includes the final edging into frames, inspection, and sending the final product out to the customer. Cherry trains its employees in more than one job, so we all understand what every employee does. I believe this helps all of us do better in our roles within the company.

Why is the position the right fit for you? I excel in my position due to my close attention to detail. It is not easy to balance the technical fit with the requirements of precision optics while trying to make the product look like a piece of jewelry at the same time.

What do you find most satisfying about your job? I enjoy the extra challenges I sometimes encounter the custom edging or when people give us a very complex frame that’s not intended to have prescription lenses. Delivering on those projects can be very rewarding. We here at Cherry can give a customer results no one else can.

What makes Cherry Optical, Inc different from other optical laboratories? Eye care professionals can come to us knowing we will bend over backward to do anything they need. We have both the will and the means to do it. We can surface most major brands and fit them into almost any frame the patient chooses.

What are the most significant challenges in your position? The biggest challenge we’re facing right now is efficiency. In a small lab, it’s difficult to give every specific job the attention it needs while still being able to maximize production for all customers.
What do enjoy doing in your spare time? I like many outdoor activities like camping, hiking, and kayaking.

What inspires you? The chance to get up every day and produce something tangible for someone—something they’ll enjoy, something that literally helps them better see the world.

What celebrity or historical figure wears or has worn glasses best? Johnny Depp – Those old Ray-Ban aviators he wore in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas are just fantastic!

 

Digital Freeform Lens Production

 

In 2007, Cherry Optical, Inc began 100% digital surfacing, which allows us to manufacture lenses at a much higher degree of precision. Digital surfacing uses CNC lathing technology that is calibrated to within 0.001 mm accuracy. Through digital surfacing, Cherry can produce numerous freeform lens designs. As early adopters of freeform technology and digital surfacing equipment, Cherry’s experience is unique. On a national scale, the percentage of freeform progressive addition lenses is close to 65%. Here at Cherry, nearly 100% of our progressive lenses are freeform designs.

Lenses processed on-site include Carl Zeiss Vision, Crossbows, IOT, Hoya, Seiko, Shamir, Shaw Vision, Signet Armorlite – Kodak, Essilor and Varilux Designs.

What are Freeform Lens Designs?
  • Basic optics have maintained the same principles since their invention. A front curve, rear curve, and thickness are used to create a standard prescription lens.
  • Freeform technology uses digital CNC lathing technology and produces hundreds of curvatures creating a topography, or optical design, on the lens surface.
  • The most common freeform designs are full back side (FBS) and dual surface (Enhanced or Optimized) designs.
  • Full back side is frequently used because of its endless availability and consistency.
  • Starting with a semi-finished single vision lens, FBS designs allow us to optimize every frame, prescription, and fitting value combination to maximize the width of all visual zones.
  • Enhanced or optimized freeform designs start with a semi-finished lens that has some component of “design” molded into the front surface. Cherry Optical, Inc then freeform surfaces a second design onto the backside of the lens.
Digital Surfacing Process Control
  • To ensure quality and consistency at the highest possible level, Cherry Optical, Inc goes above and beyond with its process controls.
  • Machines are calibrated every three to four hours.
  • All machines must be kept within 0.7 degrees Celsius of the target temperature.
  • DSPC (Digital Surfacing Process Control) lenses, with an extreme curvature, are run through the digital surfacing process throughout the day.
  •  These sample lenses are verified on-site and by an independent, third-party to ensure they are within tolerance to ensure proper freeform manufacturing results.
Digital Surfacing Manager - Jon Degreef
Cherry-9495-2

Name: Jon DeGreef

Title: Digital Surfacing Manager

Job-Related Certifications: ABO (American Board of Opticianry) Certified

Years with Cherry Optical, Inc: 10

What do you do for Cherry Optical, Inc? I run and maintain highly-sensitive digital surfacing equipment, keep jobs moving through the lab, troubleshoot problem jobs and machine errors. Along with doing preventive maintenance, I am always checking lens clarity, thickness, and design clarity issues to ensure our customers get exactly what they asked for. A lot of what you see in a lens can be directly related to how individual machines are operating. With Cherry being a 24-hour, five-day-a-week production lab, I spend a lot of time checking lens quality, machine calibration, and machine operation. I also am in charge of working with lens manufacturers to load their technology parameters in the machines as the new designs and upgrades are created. Beyond that, I also have regular managing duties: ordering parts, keeping consumables stocked and training the Digital Surfacing Opticians on the ins and outs of digital surfacing and its machines.

What inspires you? Doing my job well inspires me. I take pride in my work, and minimizing spoilages, keeping the lab running smoothly and being a productive part of the company makes me feel good. I also really enjoy furthering my knowledge in digital surfacing to ensure I can be an effective manager of a state-of-the-art optical facility.

What do you like most about working at Cherry Optical, Inc? The thing I enjoy most about my job is the people. Everyone in this building is a real joy to work alongside. It’s hard to be negative if you’re working with 40 other people who also truly enjoy their jobs.

What makes Cherry Optical, Inc different from other optical laboratories? Cherry Optical, Inc goes above and beyond with its process controls. We calibrate our machines every three to four hours and keep them spotless. People touring the lab always think the machines we’ve had for five or six years are brand new.

What are your biggest challenges in your position? I have a hard time finding the right people to give me the right answers when troubleshooting an issue with our equipment. We’ve found only a handful of people know digital processing, and they happen to be here at Cherry Optical, Inc in Green Bay.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I like mountain biking, camping, water sports, boating and live local music.

What did you want to be when you grew up? I’m an adrenaline junky, so I always wanted to be a stuntman.

What celebrity or historical figure wears or has worn glasses best? Roy Orbison

Lens Inspection & Quality Control

 

Cherry Optical, Inc can deliver outstanding quality by training and empowering outstanding people. The greatest optical machines in the world are simply tools in the hands of our skilled craftsman and artisans. Cherry Optical, Inc’s Opticians, understand optics and know what a properly assembled pair of eyewear should look like. Numerous inspection stations can be found throughout the manufacturing process, and our final inspect procedures ensure accountability and consistency of the finished product.

Focovision A&R MBVP

When lenses are ready to be inspected, they are sent to Cherry Optical, Inc’s ultra-precise A&R MBVP and Focovision SPV-2 systems. These machines will inspect the lenses in a unique way that makes the process extremely accurate and efficient. The prescription, prism and add power (when applicable) are read in a matter of seconds by a series of light beams transmitted through the lens at the proper reference points. Optical power is accurately measured to 0.02 diopter.