For this interview, Antonio Carlos S. de Oliveira and Geoais F. de Araújo from Centro Ótico – São Paulo - kindly aswer our questions...
How is the Brazilian market currently?
For the last few years, the Brazilian ophthalmic market has become more “professional”. This is mainly due to the large groups entering the market and their quick development (partnership with independent Brazilian laboratories). Thanks to the emergence of new technologies, the quality of the products manufactured has been improved.
Could you briefly describe Centro Ótico?
Since 2005, Centro Ótico applied a new production method: ‘Lean Manufacturing’. Each production line, clearly determined, is composed of polyvalent operators. In short, one person who receives the order and follows up until delivery and two operators (one in the surfacing area and one in the assembling department) follow the job from the receipt of the order untill its dispatch. This new way of working required a complete reorganization of the lab, by investing in people, building professional, polyvalent and qualified teams in order to optimize the production flow.
We have noticed a significant improvement of the productivity as well as of the service to the customers.
Is there a high demand for free-form in South America?
The free form market is growing in Brazil and Latin America. The emergence of these new technologies created an increase in the demand for free form lenses.
You have bought a DLM. What are its greatest benefits?
The first main benefit is to measure the real values of the semi-finished, purchased from various suppliers. The second is that the DLM allows an objective quality control during the manufacturing operation (process control).
Does the DLM helps to improve the satisfaction of your customers?
For us, the DLM is synonymous with quality and certification. Yes, it contributes to acquire and keep the customer confidence. It also helps to verify the concordance between the manufactured lens and the prescription.
What is your conclusion?
The DLM is essential equipment for any prescription laboratory, Free-form or not. The quality control is very important at each step of the lens manufacturing.
Interview by Jean-Louis aussogne