UK-based ancillaries supplier, AB Systems, has installed a new materials handling system for a major international contact lens manufacturer.
The lens manufacturer makes hundreds of thousands of contact lenses each week at its UK plant on the south coast, a process that involves the injection of a polymerisable feed material into a mould, which is then oven-cured. It is the manufacture of the plastic mould assembly – which in reality comprises a male convex and female concave mould surface – for which AB Systems designed and installed the material handling system.
The new installation uses equipment from OEM, SB Plastics, for whom AB Systems is UK distributor. It includes three material loaders, a desiccant dryer, an insulated drying hopper, a vacuum pump, and a central system vacuum filter to remove debris. AB Systems says it also designed and installed a bespoke touch screen panel that enables operators to quickly and easily pre-program and control processes such as conveying times and filter cleaning.
Mould manufacturing standards must be nothing less than exacting when it comes to the production of lenses, as any formation of surface voids would render the cast object unsuitable as a lens. “We have installed several materials handling systems at this particular UK facility,” commented Jeff Day, Managing Director of AB Systems. “It is fantastic to work with a client that is so active in ensuring that the highest standards of manufacturing are achieved.”