SCENE + HEARD Schneider Unveils New Technology at DigiCon Europe Conference By Andrew Karp Monday, July 16, 2012 12:05 AM FRONHAUSEN, Germany—Schneider Optical Machines hosted DigiCon Europe, an international conference on digital lens technology last month at its new headquarters in Fronhausen, Germany, showcasing Schneider’s latest digital lens processing equipment for more than 100 optical laboratory professionals. The highlight of DigiCon Europe was a preview of Schneider’s new Modulo digital surfacing system. Designed for midsized to large optical laboratories, the Modulo system consists of a series of intelligently interlinked cognitive machines that offer integrated production flow management, automated quality management while allowing for easy lab layout, intelligent interfacing and easier expansion. The components are the CCU Modulo, a high-performance blocker that comes in an alloy or alloy-free, Connex version; the CCS Modulo, the new Schneider stacker; the HSC modulo, the company’s new Rx and freeform generator for all lens designs; the CCP Modulo, a powerful polisher; a laser marking system, CCL Modulo, with integrated power stabilization; an in-line optical inspection unit, PMD modulo, for total control of the generated surface. A proprietary LMS (lab management system) controls the system and continually monitors the performance of each individual unit. “The main reason we created DigiCon Europe is that it’s much better to explain a whole new system at a conference like this than at an exhibition, where customers stop by your booth for 15 minutes to see what’s new. They need to understand the philosophy behind the system. We gave them the global theory and then went through the system step by step, in detail, while giving them a hands-on experience. This is something they need,” said Gunter Schneider, president of Schneider Optical Machines. Kurt Atchison, president of Schneider’s U.S. subsidiary, added, “The conference was a showcase for our capabilities. We’re a technologically advanced company. If you see the facility, it’s an expression of that characteristic.” Schneider’s five-month-old headquarters is designed for efficient work flow as well as for the comfort of its employees, and features such amenities as a restaurant-quality canteen and iPads embedded in the office walls to facilitate interoffice communication. Schneider said Modulo represents a significant step forward for his company because, “This is the first time we’re presenting an integrated system as opposed to single machines.” He pointed out that a lab can add a Modulo production line seamlessly without having to re-engineer its facility, although it can install just the cutter and polisher, then add blocker and measurement system and laser marking later. The inclusion of the LM is another first for the company. “We’re offering a whole process management system that incorporates feedback from the machines,” said Schneider. That can’t be done with outside software.” In addition to Modulo, the company presented its all-in-one industrial edger, the HSE Freestyle as well as the DSC Prolab, a compact surfacing solution that combines LMS, LDS, generator, polisher, laser marker and measuring unit. ■ –Andrew Karp Schneider’s Dr. Sandra Stry explains the features of the DSC Prolab. Schneider hosted DigiCon Europe at its new state-of-the-art headquarters in Fronhausen, Germany. DigiCon attendees enjoyed go-kart races in the Schneider parking lot. Gunter Schneider, president of Schneider Optical Machines, describes the Modulo System to attendees. (L to R) Guests Ezequiel Rios, E-Z Optical Laboratories; Keith Cross, PPG; Kurt and Megan Atchison, Schneider; Allen Weatherby, Ice-Tech; Bob Niemiec, Eye Care Centers of America; and Paul Ponder, Maui Jim. (L to R) Tadeusz Szanja, Szanja Laboratory Optyczne; Ezequiel Rios, E-Z Optical Laboratories; Sabine Rentschar, VSP Optics Group; and Heike Wagner, Schneider dining at a castle in Marburg. Guests assembled for a group shot following dinner in Winningen.