Article Date: 12/1/2000

This past October, the board of directors of Rodenstock North America announced the Grand Opening of the new Rodenstock North America Manufacturing Facility in the Optical Village development at Rickenbacker Air Industrial Park in Columbus, Ohio.

The new facility will manufacture ophthalmic lenses using Rodenstock's proprietary Automated Prescription Technology (APT) � a highly automated process that produces optical lenses of consistent high quality. According to a company press release, it's a process that won't completely replace traditional lens fabrication, but will provide lenses with a new level of efficiency.

Here's how APT works: As soon as a prescription is received, it's bar coded with all the relevant information. That bar code is used to select the right molds, track the lens through quality control, and even guide the finished product to the proper shipping bin. From the time the monomer is put in the mold, goes through curing, finishing, a 10-point automated quality control and several employee inspections, to the time it's packaged and labeled, is less than 3 hours.

The Columbus facility, built at a cost of $28 million including the APT equipment, covers more than 120,000 square feet and will, according to the press release, temporarily employ about 100 people, with an intended increase to about 400 employees in the near future.

The company also stated in its press release that it will soon expand the prescription ranges of its current APT-manufactured lenses and will introduce new APT lens types and designs. Rodenstock's laboratory distributors will be able to carry less inventory because most orders can be shipped from the facility within 24 hours.

Optometric Management, Issue: December 2000