When it comes to achieving exacting standards in manufacturing, nowhere can it be seen better than in contact lens production. This is why a world-leading soft lens manufacturer sought the expertise of AB Systems when it came to installing a new materials handling system for the manufacture of the company’s latest advanced lens innovation.
The lens manufacturer makes hundreds of thousands of contact lenses each week at its UK plant on the south coast, a process that involves the injection of a polymerisable feed material into a mould, which is then oven-cured. It is the manufacture of the plastic mould assembly – which in reality comprises a male convex and female concave mould surface – for which AB Systems designed and installed the material handling system.
The new installation uses equipment from leading OEM, SB Plastics, for whom AB Systems is UK distributor. It includes three material loaders, a desiccant dryer, an insulated drying hopper, a vacuum pump, and a central system vacuum filter to remove debris. AB Systems also designed and installed a bespoke touch screen panel that enables operators to quickly and easily pre-program and control processes such as conveying times and filter cleaning.
Mould manufacturing standards must be nothing less than exacting when it comes to the production of lenses, as any formation of surface voids would render the cast object unsuitable as a lens.
This is why AB Systems were selected to design, install and commission the system. “We have installed several materials handling systems at this particular UK facility and continue to be counted as a trusted supplier. It is fantastic to work with a client that is so active in ensuring that the highest standards of manufacturing are achieved,” commented Jeff Day, managing director of AB Systems.