MEI has released the RacerTBA ophthalmic lens edging unit, which is said to revolutionize lens edging and reduce production costs. The RacerTBA features the Tba (Throw the Block Away) inspection style process and an edging system in one single unit, combining the two operations of lens loading and inspection and edging. An indexed rotating table, with four positions for each side, enables the two operations to be carried out simultaneously and to process eight lenses at the same time. Based on the results of the first productivity tests, the machine is said to process around 150 lenses per hour, the equivalent of 1,200 lenses per eight-hour shift. The functions that the new unit can perform include vertical and inclined bevel, flat edge, grooving, drilling and non-through drilling, polishing (flat and bevel edge), square bevel (T), step back on bevel, groove and chamfer. According to the Italian machinery maker, the elimination of the blocks, adhesives and protective films used in traditional grinding as well as the integration of lens quality inspection into the machine itself allow for a significant reduction in production costs. The RacerTBA builds on the MEI BispheraTBA but features an evolution of the TBA lens orientation system which carries out full quality inspection on all lenses (single vision, progressive, bifocal, gradient tinted, polarized, etc.) through a new mobile lensmeter integrated into the control process and thickness detection. The precision of power checks is 0.05 diopters for progressive lenses and 0.03 diopters for single vision lenses. The preliminary inspection of lenses to be edged is no longer needed because once the lenses have been positioned inside the trays, the unit performs the processes automatically, providing inspected and edged lenses.

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