Cutting-edge technology comes to MIDO

After its recent announcement that it is opening a new repair department in the USA, MEI will be attending MIDO with a whole host of new products and upgrades for certain systems.
Stefano Sonzogni, MEI’s President an
d Technical Director, reveals to WMIDO the reasons behind consolidating MEI’s presence on the US market, and the innovations that will be debuted at the Milan show.

You have created a new control and repair laboratory in the USA for spindles and other components of your lens cutting machines. Could you explain to us why you have decided to consolidate your presence on that particular market?
Our company has always been guided by the desire to offer the best possible service to our clients. Repair quality, response times and reduced costs are elements that define an after-sales service. Opening the new repair department at our US headquarters satisfies this constant desire to improve the service offered to our clients.
The laboratory, equipped for inspecting spindles and other critical parts, which will include tool sharpening, was made possible thanks to the joint effort of MEI Italia and Meisystem Inc., and the close collaboration between both headquarters’ highly qualified technicians.
For our clients’ laboratories, being able to count on the perfect running of the machines supplied by MEI is crucial. Our repair department is another significant step forward for the group towards its clients.

Since 2014, you have been taking major steps into the retail world, introducing the process of shaping of ophthalmic lenses by way of milling within optical stores. How is this segment progressing?
The marketing work confirmed to us the need, for these clients as well, to implement a rapid and reliable lens cutting process, compatible with that used in laboratories. This requirement saw us install some machines at optical stores with medium/high volumes, but we particularly received great interest from those optical stores which, by nature, are thinking more about the future. With the latter we established an immediate and enthusiastic harmony, confirming the direction to be taken and strengthening our determination to keep going down that path.

What role do you think MIDO has on the international trade show stage?
The world of international trade shows is constantly evolving, and competition between the various events is becoming increasingly fierce. As an Italian company, we hope that MIDO will maintain its predominance, expanding its unique character as a global industry event in the sector, where visitors can find all innovations in lenses, frames and systems used to manufacture, market and promote eyewear products as a whole.

What are your expectations for the 2019 edition?
Obviously, we hope to have lots of visitors, and to be able to convince them that our company works with the aim of improving their businesses and their lives.

What innovations will you present at MIDO?
This year, we will present various innovations and developments of existing products. For a first, there’s the FlawLessFit lens fitting system, which now consists of a new measuring device to be combined with the existing tracker and integrated with the software of our lens cutting machines.
The 100% final automatic control system on the 4Racer machine, on the other hand, was also developed as an upgrade that can be used with all 4Racer machines, even those already installed.
Smart Loader, which is compatible with Mei Sphera2Plus machines, is enhanced by new features required to keep up with new fashion trends. Indeed, as well as positioning shaded and polarized lenses, it has an automatic multifunction lighting system, suitable for the search and alignment of other distinctive elements present on the lenses. It provides a solution to centered shaping requirements for pre-existing designs and logos. Decorative elements, including semi-visible ones, can be noted and perfectly aligned to the cut shape.
In response to the need to maximize the use of our machines in laboratories, and to implement the benefits provided by Industry 4.0, we have developed the JobTracking 4.0 software package which encompasses all tracking functions already installed in the individual lens cutting machines. It integrates them with applications aimed at collecting and analyzing, and remotely, all laboratory data as a whole, maximizing the use of systems, tracking the causes of shutdown, supporting preventive maintenance and interfacing the laboratory – in an Industry 4.0 perspective – with the company’s global management systems.
The new Eyegoal software release is now completely oriented towards slow cutting operators and has in mind the need to have a powerful and flexible cutting system, which keeps up with the evolution of the eyewear industry, but at the same time is easy to use and does not require lengthy learning times.
Finally, Shape Finder EVO Reflector, an evolution of Shape Finder EVO, has a different lighting system and, as well as performing all the functions of the previous version, is suitable for checking the dimensions of cut lenses and the position of visible logos, performed both with laser and with paint.