How are the lenses for your glasses made? At Divel Italia, we have recently installed new equipment at our Milan production lab to further strengthen our production of prescription lenses. But what are the steps involved in making a prescription lens? How are the lenses for your glasses made? But what are the steps involved in making a prescription lens? From the design and development of our first free-form, progressive lens, Aurora Clear by Divel Italia, our Milan lab has continued to evolve and bring in the most sophisticated equipment available. Alongside these equipment upgrades, our Research & Development lab has been designing the increasingly innovative software that has enabled us to create the latest addition to the Divel family: our progressive lens ALIENA. ALIENA is an extremely comfortable lens that eliminates distortion and ensures strain-free vision. But what are the steps involved in making a prescription lens? 1) BLOCKING The semi-finished lens, known as a lens blank, is taken from our inventory. Blanks can be made of either plastic (which is the most common) or mineral (e.g. glass). The blank is “semi-finished” in that the outer side is already curved. It is on the inner side that the machinery will act in order to create the right prescription for the finished lens. The first step in making the lens is called BLOCKING. The lens blank, with its protective film, is placed in a special machine that affixes the blank to the support that will enable to lens to be held in place by the lens generator. For Divel’s first line, a large part of this blocking was done manually. Now, it has become a semi-automated process, and the blocking of a lens blank takes just a few seconds. 2) GENERATION Lens GENERATION is one of the most important steps in making a lens. This is the phase in which the lens is given the thickness needed to reproduce the recommended prescription. The lens generator is given special software in order to create the lens design. Each program is designed and developed in our Milan labs, and every year we release better and better software that enables us to produce lenses that ensure visual comfort and minimize any areas of aberration. Our new equipment has made the process even faster, so we are now able to generate a lens in just one minute. 3) POLISHING The third step is lens POLISHING. During this phase, the new lens is polished so that it achieves an optimal degree of transparency. The polishing process is also crucial to ensuring that the subsequent coatings adhere properly to the lens. 4) BLOCK REMOVAL The lens is placed in a machine that removes the block applied previously. During this phase, the lens is rinsed with water and cleansers in order to eliminate all dirt and grime and get the lens ready for its coatings. 5) HARD COATING The primary treatment done to a lens is the hard coating, which helps to harden the lens and make it more durable and scratch resistant. A special hardening layer is applied to both sides of the lens to protect the lens against scratching and ordinary wear and tear. This hard coating is applied by dipping the lens in a vat of special hardening enamels of different refractive indexes. Alternatively, these enamels may be applied by way of spinning. 6) AR Lens coatings are essential in order to give the lens a variety of characteristics in addition to the protective hard coating, including: Anti-reflection Dust repellent Water and grime repellent During this high-vacuum AR phase, a batch of lenses is placed in a chamber and loaded into a special machine in which the various crystals of the coating to be applied are vaporized. It is during this phase that we create coatings such as Divel Italia’s PERFORMANCE or our brand-new PERFORMANCE PLUS, which gives the lens an additional oil-repellent layer for enhanced resistance to liquids, dirt and grime. ** 7) MARKING** During the MARKING phase, the lenses are given the markings needed in order for the optician to center the lenses in their frames, so as to optimize the performance of the various lens zones. The lenses then go to quality control 8) QUALITY CONTROL The next-to-last step is quality control. During this phase, a specific machine is used to ensure the lens has the proper corrective power and to check for any scratches and/or improperly applied coatings. When a lens passes this QUALITY CONTROL, it is ready to be sent to the optician. 9) PACKAGING After placing the lenses in their packaging along with their warranty card, they are shipped either to a Divel branch office or directly to the customer. At our Divel lab, we also produce prescription sunglass lenses, such as our FOTOCHROMA, SPEEDY, FOTOCOLOR and polarized lenses, which can be made in either monofocal or progressive versions.