RacerTBA is the latest extraordinary ophthalmic lens edging unit designed and developed by MEI
RacerTBA is a veritable revolution in lens edging because it combines the TBA (Throw the Block Away) inspection process and the edging system in one single unit and has an industrial design that makes it extremely compact and highly reliable. By combining the indexed rotating table concept with the experience of MEI in CNC machines, RacerTBA sets a new standard in ophthalmic lens edging, increasing productivity while maintaining the same accuracy and consistent precision that are the standout features of all MEI products.
RacerTBA specifically performs two operations: lens loading and inspection, and edging. By using an indexed rotating table with four positions for each side, the two operations are carried out simultaneously allowing RacerTBA to process eight lenses at the same time and making it the fastest edging machine on the market. The first productivity tests show that the machine can process about 150 lenses per hour (1,200 lenses/8-hr shift).
Although designed for large-scale production, the lens edging side of the RacerTBA unit has 6 spindles and 6 tools to guarantee the typical flexible processing found in all MEI units: vertical and inclined bevel, flat edge, grooving, drilling (as well as non-through drilling), polishing (flat and bevel edge), square bevel (T), step back on bevel, groove and chamfer.
One of the greatest benefits of RacerTBA is definitely a significant reduction in production costs that derives from eliminating the blocks, adhesives and protective films used in traditional grinding as well as integrating lens quality inspection into the machine. At the same time no manual processing or handling is required and therefore a great deal less space than currently necessary when automated lens blocking processes are requested.
The fundamental difference between RacerTBA and the standard BispheraTBA unit – in addition to its increased productivity– lies in the evolution of the TBA lens orientation system. The version installed in the new RacerTBA carries out full quality inspection on all lenses (single vision, progressive, bifocal, gradient tinted, polarized, etc.) by means of a new mobile lensmeter integrated into the control process and thickness detection. The precision of power checks is 0.03 diopters for single vision lenses and 0.05 diopters for progressives. With this unit, preliminary inspection of lenses to be edged are no longer needed (whether stock or prescription lenses): once the lenses have been positioned inside the trays, the unit performs all the processes automatically, producing inspected and edged lenses.