Article

EYE ON EQUIPMENT

Big Ideas

An insider’s look at 5 of-the-moment trends in in-house edging, fresh from the show floor at Vision Expo West

finishing equipment built for in-office use has always had a double challenge: to maintain pace with the evolving lens materials and coatings, and to keep up with patient demands. As an equipment category, it’s grown beyond even those challenges, evolving to offer ECPs myriad ways to serve their patients. And its offerings are always changing.

Here, we reveal five key equipment + usage trends that EB noticed while perusing the booths at Vision Expo West—and talking with equipment companies about directions they’ve seen their customers shift into.

Machine Constructs

#1 Modern + Cool.

Practices are putting their finishing labs up front, or behind a glass wall, so patients can see them. As a result, equipment is now being designed with cool, modern casings that make a style statement of their own.

#2 Small + Powerful.

If it’s not up front and on display, the lab is likely located in a closet. Or on a break room counter. Today’s smaller-than-ever equipment footprints now allow ECPs to create their finishing lab wherever they need it. Literally.

Feature-Rich

#3 All in One.

More vendors are offering all-in-one systems that can handle every step in the finishing process, from blocking and tracing through edge polish and drilling. Perfect for ECPs who need to fit it all in a small space.

#4 Stand-alone.

Stand-alone edgers (those that work with separate tracers and blockers) are taking a deep dive into tech features, allowing practices to handle any finishing demand that comes their way. These feature-rich units can offer operations that rival those of their larger wholesale cousins.

Surfacing

#5 Size Matters.

Much like finishing equipment, in-house surfacing equipment has been trending to smaller footprints, making even complex surfacing doable in (larger) retail locations. However, the equipment is also getting much more user friendly—to a degree that the expertise to operate it has really diminished.

Given this evolution in equipment trends, several equipment companies noted they are seeing an uptick in first-time installs, and in ECPs opting for upgrades to higher-end units when their current system is ready for replacement.

The bottom-line trend? Installing the operational ability to keep all work in-house for maximum customer service and revenue.

—Susan Tarrant

COZINE / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM