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