Primary Health Net
Visit our Public Information Site
Go to my LOC site
ocuco mainline optical Events

Opchat Magazine Industry NewsIndustry News, January to March 2018

Okia: “Frameout”, The First 3d Printed Eyewear Collection Featuring the Revolutionary 360° Hinge.
Norville announces New VX36 Automatic Lensmeter
Grafton Optical announce the appointment of Andrew Robson as Sales Manager for the North of England and Scotland
Graham Avery joins Easyscan
No7 gears up for greater lens production.
Grafton Optical announce the launch of their new website.
New Customer Director announced by VE
WESTGROUPE names Chief Operating Officer
No7 Contact Lenses appoints two new directors
WESTGROUPE welocome new export sales manager.
Hoya introduces LifeStyle 3.
Team of innovators in shared care grows at Heidelberg Engineering.

Okia: “Frameout”, The First 3d Printed Eyewear Collection Featuring the Revolutionary 360° Hinge.

March 2018

360 Logo Frameout Logo SFERED

OKIA announced the launch of “FRAMEOUT”, the first 3D printed eyewear collection featuring the revolutionary 360° Hinge, at Mido 2018.

Frameout 24
Always committed to research and innovation, OKIA opens up completely new and unlimited design possibilities through this surprising collection, according to the unlimited inspirations that can come from anywhere around us.

The “FRAMEOUT” collection adds small details such as lines, layers and structures that we see every day in our life into the eyewear. Thanks to the 3D printing technique, even the simplest design can become an authentic eyewear masterpiece.

The “FRAMEOUT” collection includes 3D printed glasses that not only ensure a wonderful and up-to-date look but also offer a supreme comfort wearing experience to the user, without compromising style. Thanks to 360° Hinge - a 360o rotated integrated hinge with worldwide invention patent by OKIA which successfully passed a 10,000 times of rotation test - the temple can be bended 45 degrees outward and 25 degrees upward and downward, as well as rotated 360 degrees: this enhances the eyewear’s durability and makes it more valuable. From a design point of view, glasses can be customized and built more easily by 3D printing than by traditional acetate CNC or injection.

A3 Hinge
Developed in partnership with SFERED - an Amsterdam based company specialized in developing advanced technologies for customized eyewear - the new “FRAMEOUT” collection has been conceived by OKIA from the first sketch to the final 3D printed product.

Thanks to a state-of-the-art 3D scanner, it is possible to obtain a high-resolution 3D scan of the customer’s face in just 1 second. Then, by means of the SFERED Platform, a software for the customization of eyewear based on a patented unique technology, adjustments can be made and the 3D scan can be converted into a production file. As soon as the 3D printer receives the production file, a perfect-fitting and tailor-made pair of glasses can be produced.

Nothing is impossible if we keep innovating and now, thanks to the new “FRAMEOUT” collection, OKIA can integrate the revolutionary 360° Hinge and the innovative 3D printing technique into the eyewear and offer completely out-of-the-box designs to their customers.


Norville announces New VX36 Automatic Lensmeter

March 2018

VX 36 Lensmeter

Perform lens measurements simply and easily with the new VX36 from Norville.

This new generation of lensmeter offers an intuitive user interface to enable the user to perform lens measurements simply and easily.

Features and Benefits

• Measuring function and an optical center marketing function

• The VX36 displays the P.D and P.H measurements

• It can measure both uncut single lenses and glazed spectacles, as well as contact lenses.

• Furthermore, it provides automatic detection of multi-focal lenses. A wide tilting angle colour LCD Display, a simple and intuitive GUI and a printer.

Grafton Optical announce the appointment of Andrew Robson as Sales Manager for the North of England and Scotland

March 2018

Andrew Robson at Grafton
Andrew Robson brings with him over 16 years of experience and knowledge of the optical industry, most recently selling Heine diagnostic instruments in the UK and Ireland.

Over the past 10 years he has focused his efforts on offering support to optometry schools across the country. Andrew’s experience is mostly in Key Account Management, but he likes nothing more than to meet new people and talk about new products and how they can assist you in your everyday working life. You may even have met him at one of the many UK exhibitions where he would have been demonstrating hand held diagnostic instruments with Heine.

With full responsibility for the development and sales of Grafton Optical’s business in the North of England and Scotland, Andrew will play a key role in meeting the company's growth targets as well as building on Grafton’s excellent reputation for customer service.

David Thickens, Grafton CEO, said: “Andrew’s track record and experience in the optical industry are second to none and we are thrilled to have him on board. Attracting someone of Andrew’s calibre into the business is a great endorsement of our strategy and ambition. He brings with him incredibly strong knowledge and experience which will be vital as we continue our ambitious plans to grow and develop solutions for our customers."

Andrew commented on his appointment “I am delighted to become part of the team at Grafton Optical. We have an exciting portfolio of innovative products that offer solutions for all situations, in both high street practices and hospitals. Many of my new colleagues have been with Grafton for many years which I believe shows the company’s commitment to staff, which in turn offers their customers long-term continuity of service.”

If you would like to contact Andrew to discuss how Grafton can help you, drop him an email on or pop by to see him on stand C54 at Optrafair 2018.

Grafton Optical is one of the UK's leading suppliers of ophthalmic instruments, equipping and servicing independent and larger chain opticians as well as Britain's hospitals.

Graham Avery joins Easyscan

March 2018

EasySacnEasyScan B. V., the Dutch manufacturer and supplier of EasyScan SLO Smart Retinal Imaging equipment is pleased to announce the appointment of Graham Avery as Business Development Manager for the UK and Ireland. Graham Avery will be responsible for introducing EasyScan to UK opticians and managing new sales. Graham has worked in the UK contact lens industry for over thirty years holding numerous senior sales management roles including running his own business.

EasyScan is an all-round solution tailored for the needs of independent opticians and optometrists evolving in a fast-changing and competitive environment. EasyScan provides its customers with a technologically advanced, clinically acclaimed retinal imaging device, assisted with features designed to facilitate the customer/user relationship as well as furthering the users’ skills.

Graham Avery commented, ‘I am particularly excited not just by the innovative technology and USP’s of EasyScan but also the emphasis put on the optician/patient journey through providing support and tools helping ECP’s retain loyalty and opportunity to upsell’.

No7 gears up for greater lens production.

March 2018

Sterling LatheNo7 is gearing up for greater production capacity with a £100,000 investment in a new ultra-precision CNC ophthalmic lathe to manufacture the most complex contact lenses.

The bespoke Sterling lathe was delivered to the Hastings, Sussex lab, and is now producing spheric, aspheric, toric, defractive and other non-symmetrical designs. With a growing international reputation, No7 is taking on more specialist work and needed to increase capacity.

Process and R&D Manager, Kevin Sanders, who has 38 years of contact lens manufacturing experience, explained, “We are focused on proving the optimum solution for the most challenging visual demands. This new investment will strengthen our position at the forefront of innovation in lens design. This Windows-based lathe has limitless capabilities and is going to play an important role in the development of new lenses. It also opens the way for more robotic automation, running teamviewer which makes the transfer of files very immediate, wherever they are in the world. Not only is it designed to produce the most complex lenses but it will also increase our production considerably.”

Grafton Optical announce the launch of their new website.

March 2018

Graftons New website

Grafton Optical is inviting customers to explore its new website at

The website has been designed to provide a user-friendly experience with improved navigation and functionality throughout, allowing customers to access detailed product information, brochures and videos to help them understand Grafton’s complete range of ophthalmic equipment solutions.

Grafton hope that the new website will help to make their vast portfolio of products easy to browse for customers.

Grafton 's extensive web catalogueVisitors can also keep up to date with the latest company and industry news and request meetings at any of Grafton’s upcoming industry shows and events.

Grafton Optical will be launching the online Grafton Shop in the coming months, which will allow visitors to the website to purchase the most popular equipment and practice essesntials items at the click of a button.

To ensure that you are notified when the Grafton Shop is open for business, please visit and sign up.

Grafton Optical is one of the UK's leading suppliers of ophthalmic instruments, equipping and servicing independent and larger chain opticians as well as Britain's hospitals.



Grafton Optical are pleased to sponsor PHN allowing the publication of the profession and insustrys we Opchat News. Visit their newly updated pages here

New Customer Director announced by VE

March 2018

Danielle Papagapiou
Danielle Papagapiou has been appointed as customer director of Vision Express and will take responsibility for the company’s marketing, category management and merchandising divisions.

Having started her career with Cap Gemini consulting, the Vision Express executive board member spent 14 years at Tesco, where she held the customer director role within its One Stop convenience store business.

Jonathan Lawson, CEO of Vision Express, said: ‘Danielle is a key appointment for us and I am confident she will add significant value to our team and our culture, while assisting us greatly in our challenges to develop our customer experience in a manner that continues to lead the market.’

WESTGROUPE names Chief Operating Officer

February 2018

WestGroupe announce the promotion of Michael DeBono to the position of Chief Operating Officer.

Mike Debono
Mike has a strong background in the optical industry that spans more than 25 years.

He started his career with WestGroupe in 2005 as Canadian National Sales Manager. During this time he oversaw the successful expansion of the Canadian sales force, which led to his promotion to Vice President of North American Sales in 2010.

Mike’s subsequent promotion to Executive Vice President of Global Sales in 2015 has seen him lead the North American and International sales teams to new heights. In his new position, Mike will continue to oversee the sales teams along with the corporate head office.

“Mike is an experienced leader who takes the time to listen to his team, finds solutions and leads by example. With a record of success in leading the Westgroupe sales teams internationally, I am confident that Mike is the right person to help us guide WestGroupe into the future.” says WestGroupe’s President, Michael Suliteanu.

“I’m very excited about this new opportunity that the Suliteanu family has given me at WestGroupe. I’m looking forward to working closer with my colleagues in the various internal departments and exploring new challenges. I owe my sales team a special THANK YOU, because if it wasn’t for their outstanding performance I wouldn’t be in this position,” says Mike DeBono.

No7 Contact Lenses appoints two new directors

February 2018

No& DirectorsNo7 Contact Lenses, the independent UK laboratory which has a growing international reputation for its specialist lenses, has appointed two new directors.

Katie Harrop has been promoted to Professional Services Director, from her role as Professional Services Manager - a role she has held since 2005.

A Manchester trained optometrist - and BCLA Fellow - Katie has extensive specialist contact lens experience. Katie leads the company’s educational programme and training days, working closely with No7’s customers not just in the UK, but also globally.

Cathy Gallop Johns has been promoted to Operations Director, from Operations Manager, following 20 years with the Sussex-based company.

With responsibility for the day to day running of the business, including customer services, finance, export and overseeing the laboratory, Cathy has seen huge changes, as she said,

“In the 20 years that I have worked for No7 the business has doubled in personnel and tripled in lens sales. Our plans for the next five years show an even greater commitment to supporting independent opticians and specialist contact lens fitters, and to expand our global business. No7 is a wonderful place to work – the team is good fun, professional and focused.”

WESTGROUPE welocome new export sales manager.

January 2018

Wallata DelvailleWestGroupe announce the appointment of Wallatta Delvaille to the position of Export Sales Manager.

Wally has been an integral part of WestGroupe for the past 10 years.

She began her career in the optical industry with WestGroupe in 2007 in the international customer service division, and she was quickly promoted to department manager.

In 2014, Wally took over the Eastern Ontario territory as a Sales Representative to expand her expertise.

“Wally’s successful track record in sales, combined with her experience managing the international division gives her a unique perspective & makes her the ideal person to expand WestGroupe’s business into the global market. It makes me very happy to see us continue to promote and expand from within. I think we are very blessed to be with a company that continues to grow,” says Michael Debono, Executive Vice-President of Global Sales.

“I am very excited about the growth at WestGroupe. I look forward to starting my new role as the Export Manager and further developing our international business,” says Wallatta Delvaille.

Hoya introduces LifeStyle 3.

January 2018

Hoya Lifestyle 3

New generation of LifeStyle designs match wearers’ lifestyles even better.

Hoya lens UK launched LifeStyle 3 on 1st December 2017, a new and improved progressive lens design that responds to today’s vision challenges, and the particular needs of lens wearers. Lifestyle 3 includes design variations that are specifically tailored to presbyopes’ active lifestyles. The lenses are available for sale as of today.

Today’s presbyopes don’t let their eyesight slow them down. They are avid travellers and tenacious athletes. They work hard. They read books and eBooks. They spend a lot of time on their tablets and phones. These modern lifestyles can be a challenge for their eyes. In finding the balance that works best for each wearer, one design does not fit all. That’s why Hoya investigated ways to ensure the right lens for the right lifestyle.

Clear and simple differentiation

LifeStyle 3 offers three design variations (Indoor, Urban and Outdoor) with clear differentiation. This makes it possible to customise the lenses to the customers’ vision requirements, without the need for complicated consultations. A few simple questions about the wearer’s lifestyle is enough to determine the right design.

What’s more, Hoya equipped LifeStyle 3 with premium Binocular Harmonization Technology™ and is verified with Hoya’s Binocular Eye Model.

Binocular Harmonization Technology

Even with the smallest prescription difference, the position at which light rays pass through a lens will be different for right and left. This may lead to a visual imbalance that can cause asthenopic complaints, such as tired and burning eyes and headaches. With Binocular Harmonization Technology™, LifeStyle 3 considers the right and left prescription as individual components, defines the required binocular lens design and calculates the necessary progressive distribution for each individual eye accordingly.

The result is precise and effortless focusing, improved stability and better depth of vision.

Binocular Eye Model

Each Hoya premium progressive design is evaluated and calculated according to the Binocular Eye Model. The model is a patented binocular performance measurement program that verifies each design under real-life circumstances before going into production.

This provides unprecedented binocular performance: stable images and better depth of vision in everyday situations.

Hoya’s simplified progressive lens portfolio

In order to make our portfolio more transparent, Hoya has simplified its line of progressive lenses to make it easier to understand, easier to explain, and easier to prescribe. With LifeStyle 3, Hoya has expanded our progressive lens range to a comprehensive total of four lens options. Each is clearly differentiated in benefits.

Lifestyle 3 is customised to match the customer’s daily activities and can be selected based on the wearer’s lifestyle and preferences. Lifestyle 3 will replace the Hoyalux iD LifeStyle V+ lenses.

Team of innovators in shared care grows at Heidelberg Engineering.

January 2018

Heidelberg TeamInnovators in shared care ophthalmology pathways, Heidelberg Engineering, has expanded its sales team. Reflecting growing demand for the company’s eye scanning technology, the experienced team is providing professional guidance at every level of optometry and ophthalmology.

Tosh Vadhia, known to many in the eye care community, is promoted to Head of Sales Northern Europe with responsibility for the UK, Denmark and Nordic countries.

Since Heidelberg Engineering UK was formed six years ago, Tosh has been an essential part of its OCT education initiatives. He explained the development -
“We are strengthening our position as providers of gold standard care. Our commitment and extensive experience as suppliers to the NHS and private ophthalmology holds us in good stead as consultants and educators. Our technology is playing an increasingly vital role in eye care and we have many reference sites where practices are working in co-operation with local hospitals. We are well placed to guide practitioners to the route that works best for them as clinicians and businesses.”

Kenny Boyle, also highly knowledgeable about the NHS and private care sector, was promoted in early 2017 to Key Accounts Manager Ophthalmology. He works closely with optical businesses to build stronger links with the objective of increasing accessibility of care and reducing NHS ophthalmology waiting times.

Mike Riley, Key Accounts Manager Optometry, is well known to many in High Street practice, and is looking to support those who are wanting to integrate the SPECTRALIS OCT or SPECTRALIS SPIRIT into clinical care.

Jake Tranter, FBDO, joins from Boots Opticians as Accounts Manager Optometry North and Jason McClean returns to Heidelberg Engineering as Accounts Manager Optometry South, bringing 16 years of experience in ophthalmic and electrotherapy equipment.

Nathan Odell, Sales Manager South-West, has a deep understanding of the optical sector having worked with optometrists for a number of years and is known to many independents through his time with Hoya Lens UK and Birmingham Optical.

Nick Timms, Accounts Manager Optometry Scotland and Republic of Ireland, has been an important part of the Heidelberg Engineering team for five years and is well placed to guide practitioners in the best way to capitalise on increased demand for OCT in Scotland and Northern Ireland with shared care.

Picture above shows left to right: Nathan Odell, Mike Riley, Jason McLean, Kenny Boyle, Tosh Vadhia, Jake Tranter, Nick Timms

find my
Primary Health Net