Optimec Ltd (Optimec) has 34 years of experience in the design and manufacture of soft contact lens measuring instruments,
and has an understanding of customer and operator requirements and a strong presence in the market. The manufacturing processfor contact lenses has become increasingly precise and accurate through the use of higher performance lathes and moulds. It is essential that Optimec is able to offer measuring instruments capable of the same degree of precision, which current technology is unable to deliver.
In order to overcome this problem, the company has entered into a two and a half year KTP with Dr. Kate Sugden and Dr. Thomas Drew from Aston University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and School of Life and Health Sciences, todevelopa new generation of innovative soft contact lens measuring instruments, utilising novel techniques to match improved accuracy oflens manufacturing processes.
Optimec is seeking to develop its knowledge of new and emerging optical measurement technologies, to evaluate their potentialapplication to the measurement of hydrated soft contact lenses whilst immersed in saline solution. The introduction into Optimec’sinstruments of advanced metrology is a novel approach to satisfying the market’s demand for improved instrumentation. This is strategically essential for Optimec to maintain and improve its market position through the introduction of a unique product, which will form the platform for a full range of lens measuring instruments that will measure soft contact lenses and also enable expansion into new markets such as intraocular lenses.
The development of interference methods will not only minimise operator dependent variation, but offer improved resolution andaccuracy. This enables the de-skilling of these measurements and opens opportunities to address the difficulties of measuring modern non symmetrical lenses such as toric and varifocal. It is also possible to introduce the capability of full 3D mapping, lens ray tracing, simulation, performance assessment capabilities and very advanced metrology compared to current metrology systems.
For Aston University, the work will contribute to the research output of both the Schools of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Life and Health Sciences in areas of Biomedical Engineering, Vision Sciences, Electronics and Optics. The project builds on priorresearch, and within the limits of commercial confidentiality, will provide material for publications in international journals such asOptics Express (ranked 5th of 76 for impact), IEEE sensors, Applied Optics, and at the major conferences in the field.