Mr. Brault, could you briefly describe AudiOptic’s activity ?
AudiOptic is an organization of economical interest (GIE) which offers services (especially a logistic platform and a finishing lab) to the three shop signs of Optic 2000 Group (Optic 2000, Audio 2000 and Lissac). The group includes 1.380 sales offices in total.
In 1987, Optic 2000 became a marketing pioneer by offering the “free second pair”; at that time, this service was addressed to the presbyopics for segmented bifocals which were exclusively edged and mounted in their centralized workshop. Today, Optic 2000 offers a second pair (single vision as well as progressives) to 100% of the wearers in its network comprising 1.052 sales locations in France and 38 in Switzerland.
Mr. Brault, you’ve just moved into a brand new building in Clamart providing an opportunity to review all the production flow. Could you please describe the lab organization ?
The organization of the old workshop reached its limits. The automation was the ideal solution to increase the production capacity without expanding staff.
We have chosen the “drawn flow” method, with a pre-planned number of job-trays scheduled through the workshop. Every morning a Global TAKT (production cadence) is calculated according to the number of pairs of lenses ordered. Thanks to the automatic machines we have the operating and inter-operating times under control. By using their simulation software, A&R advised us and validated the drawings, the operating times and the speed of the conveyors…
To your opinion, what are the advantages of automation in a finishing lab like yours ?
The association of A&R finish blocking machines (MCBVPU and MCBVP8) and automatic edging equipment is a success that permitted us to cancel the rejects on these stations.
Thanks to the well-studied conveyors layout, the machines are fed in a simply way, in particular via deviations to regulate the flow at the entrance of the machines. This principle strengthens “the constant number of job-trays” philosophy. Thereby, the operators’ work ensures true added value and is less repetitive, they benefit from the knowledge of the systems and plan the maintenance of the machinery. Our production capacity increased, thanks to the automation of the blocking and edging; this enabled us to centre our trainings and our quality efforts on both assembling lines, which of course have been specialised.
After approximately one month of production in your well automated lab, do you have noticed real improvements of your service to customers ?
The constant number of job-trays running in the workshop has permitted us to deliver 100 % of the stock lenses at day+1. In terms of controls and finish blocking, the automation enabled us to deliver 100 % of our production in accordance with European norms. As far as the quality of the mountings is concerned, the reaction of our associates is very positive : there have been no return for non-conformity for the first 40.000 equipments delivered.
Many thanks for answering our questions, Mr. Brault !
Interview by Christian Closset, Director, Helmut Ahn, Sales Director and Sandra Fonticoli, Sales Europe (A&R)
Thanks to Jean-Marie Braut, Arnaud de la Rochefordière, Céline Ropiquet from AudiOptic.