An expert’s perspective on DAC International
An Early Innovator
Craig Norman is the director of the Vision Research Institute of the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University. He is also an Education Committee member of the Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS) and an experienced clinical practitioner. Following the recent manufacturing demonstration at GSLS —which involved DAC International machinery — Norman shared his thoughts on how the company is helping transform the world of specialty lenses and why these innovations matter for practitioners.
“DAC helped revolutionize contact lens manufacturing. Prior to their machinery, customized lenses were made using equipment that resembled something you would find in a machine shop, rather than a highly specialized medical device apparatus. The things that can be done with lathes today we couldn’t even imagine being done 20 years ago.
We went from an era where the curvatures on a contact lens were one spherical curve on the back and basically one shape on the front. Now you can take a lens and put eight different curvature segments on the back of the lens to match up with the individual eye — basically allowing the lens to fit like a glove. The ability to make these complex lens configurations has really been a godsend.”
Looking Toward the Future
“By continually investing in the development of more sophisticated machinery, companies like DAC are allowing us to be more creative in the lens designs we can come up with. Their ongoing research and development is what ultimately leads to contact lens practitioners around the globe having the ability to better correct a variety of specific ocular conditions and unusual corneal shapes.
Their instrumentation applies scientific principles to the fabrication of both rigid and soft contact lenses, taking the potential for all contact lens types to a new level.”
Quality You Can Count On
“The high level of automation and reproducibility these machines offer is such that we are able to have extreme trust in the end products. With custom-made lenses, it’s important to get the initial lens manufactured correctly. And, as a patient needs to replace a lens, or if their eye care practitioner needs to make a small change, there has to be that confidence level that it will be done with precise accuracy.
With DAC’s computer-driven machines, operator error goes down significantly because once the inputs are made correctly, the lens comes out the same every single time. As a matter of fact, it is becoming less important for practitioners to inspect the parameters of their lens products if they’re manufactured by these present generation lathes. We feel very confident that these machines can deliver products with the necessary level of quality and precision.”
Not All Lenses Are Created Equal
“Contact lens practitioners are usually not aware of the specific machinery laboratories use in the contact lens manufacturing process. However, innovations in this machinery are transforming practitioners’ ability to address increasingly complex vision problems.
Understanding the manufacturing process and the expansive capabilities these machines offer empowers practitioners to continue to push boundaries in eye care as well as speak more confidently to their patients about the products they are prescribing.”