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Apparatus for preparing an eyeglass lens having a prescription reader

Imported: 24 Feb '17 | Published: 13 Jan '04

John T. Foreman, Galen R. Powers, Matthew C. Lattis

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

A high volume lens curing system is described. The high volume lens curing system is may be configured to cure multiple eyeglass lenses in a continuous manner. An embodiment of the lens curing system includes an apparatus for preparing an eyeglass lens. The apparatus may include one or more lens curing units and a mold assembly. The second lens curing unit may include a heating system. One or more readers may be coupled to one or more lens curing units. The reader may be configured to read eyeglass lens prescription information from a mold assembly holder. A controller may be coupled to at least one lens curing unit and the reader. The controller may control the operation of the lens curing unit. In some embodiments, the apparatus may include a conveyor system, an annealing unit, an air distributor and/or filters.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above brief description as well as further objects, features and advantages of the methods and apparatus of the present invention will be more fully appreciated by reference to the following detailed description of presently preferred but nonetheless illustrative embodiments in accordance with the present invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 depicts a perspective view of a plastic lens forming apparatus;

FIG. 2 depicts a perspective view of a spin coating unit;

FIG. 3 depicts a cut-away side view of a spin coating unit;

FIG. 4 depicts a perspective view of a plastic lens forming apparatus with a portion of the body removed;

FIG. 5 depicts a perspective view of the components of a lens curing unit;

FIG. 6 depicts a perspective view of a plastic lens forming apparatus with a portion of the body removed and the coating units removed;

FIG. 7 depicts a schematic of a fluorescent light ballast system;

FIG. 8 depicts a mold assembly;

FIG. 9 depicts an isometric view of an embodiment of a gasket;

FIG. 10 depicts a top view of the gasket of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 depicts a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a mold/gasket assembly;

FIG. 12 depicts an isometric view of an embodiment of a gasket;

FIG. 13 depicts a top view of the gasket of FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 depicts a side view of a cured lens and molds after removal of a gasket;

FIG. 15 depicts a post-cure unit;

FIG. 16 depicts chemical structures of acrylated amines;

FIGS. 17-19 depict a front panel of a controller with a display screen depicting various display menus;

FIG. 20 depicts an isometric view of a heated polymerizable lens forming composition dispensing system;

FIG. 21 depicts a side view of a heated polymerizable lens forming composition dispensing system;

FIGS. 22 and 23 depict cross-sectional side views of a heated polymerizable lens forming composition dispensing system;

FIG. 24 depicts a mold assembly for making flat-top bifocal lenses;

FIG. 25 depicts a front view of a lens curing unit;

FIG. 26 depicts a top view of a lens curing unit;

FIG. 27 depicts an isometric view of a high-volume lens curing apparatus;

FIG. 28 depicts a cross-sectional side view of a high-volume lens curing apparatus;

FIG. 28A depicts a view of a bank of activating lights extending from a lens curing unit;

FIG. 29 depicts a cross-sectional top view of a first curing unit of a high-volume lens curing apparatus;

FIG. 30 depicts an isometric view of a mold assembly holder;

FIG. 31 depicts an isometric view of a conveyor system for a high-volume lens curing apparatus;

FIG. 31 A depicts a view of a gating device;

FIG. 32 depicts a cross sectional top view of a high-volume lens curing apparatus;

FIG. 33 depicts a side view of a portion of a conveyor system for a high-volume lens curing apparatus;

FIG. 34 depicts a side view of a high-volume lens curing apparatus;

FIG. 35 depicts a cross -sectional front view of a high-volume lens curing apparatus;

FIG. 36 depicts a schematic front view of an embodiment of a mold member storage array coupled to a controller computer;

FIGS. 37

a and

37

b depict schematic perspective views of embodiments of indicators positioned on ophthalmic mold member storage locations;

FIG. 38 depicts a schematic perspective view of an embodiment of a vertical mold member storage array;

FIG. 39 depicts a partial cross-sectional view of an embodiment of the vertical mold member storage array of FIG. 38;

FIG. 40 depicts a partial cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a mold member storage unit in which mold members interact with the separating devices;

FIGS. 41

a,

41

b, and

41

c depict schematic perspective views of various embodiments of cams that may be employed in a mold storage array;

FIG. 42 depicts a schematic view of an embodiment of a system configured to collect and transmit eyeglass lens information over a computer network;

FIG. 43 depicts a flow chart illustrating an embodiment of a method for collecting and transmitting eyeglass lens information over a computer network;

FIGS. 44,

45, and

46 depict embodiments of graphical user interfaces which may display eyeglass lens forming-related information;

FIG. 47 depicts an embodiment of a graphical user interface which may include a prescription input menu;

FIG. 48 depicts an embodiment of a graphical user interface which may include a prescription viewer display;

FIG. 49 depicts an embodiment of a graphical user interface which may include an alarm viewer display;

FIG. 50 depicts an embodiment of a graphical user interface which may include a maintenance viewer display;

FIG. 51 depicts an embodiment of a graphical user interface which may include a machine setup menu; and

FIGS. 52 and 53 depict embodiments of graphical user interfaces which may include a configuration setup menu.

Claims

1. An apparatus for preparing an eyeglass lens, comprising

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the controller is configured to adjust the time activating light is directed to the mold assembly in the first curing unit in response to the eyeglass lens prescription information.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a movable aperture disposed within the first curing unit, wherein the movable aperture is positionable in front of the first activating light source during use, and wherein the controller is configured to adjust the position of the movable aperture in response to the eyeglass lens prescription information.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the controller is a computer system.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the reader is a bar code reader.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the mold assembly resides on a mold assembly holder, the mold assembly holder comprising a body and an indentation formed in the body, wherein the indentation is complementary to the shape of the mold assembly.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first activating light source is an ultraviolet light source.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the second activating light source is an ultraviolet light.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first and second activating light sources are ultraviolet lights.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first and second activating light sources have substantially the same spectral output.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first and second activating light sources have a peak light intensity at a range of about 385 nm to about 490 nm.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first activating light source comprises a first set of lamps and a second set of lamps, wherein the first and second set of lamps are positioned on opposite sides of the first curing unit.

13. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a filter disposed directly adjacent to the first activating light source, the filter being configured to manipulate an intensity of the activating light emanating from the first activating light source.

14. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a filter disposed directly adjacent to the second activating light source, the filter being configured to manipulate an intensity of the activating light emanating from the second activating light source.

15. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a first filter disposed directly adjacent to the first activating light source, the filter being configured to manipulate an intensity of the activating light emanating from the first activating light source, and further comprising a second filter disposed directly adjacent to the second activating light source, the filter being configured to manipulate an intensity of the activating light emanating from the second activating light source.

16. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising an air distributor positioned within the second curing unit, the air distributor being configured to circulate air within the second curing unit during use.

17. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising an anneal unit, the anneal unit comprising an anneal unit heating system, wherein the anneal unit heating system is configured to heat the interior of the anneal unit.

18. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising an anneal unit, the anneal unit comprising an anneal unit heating system, wherein the anneal unit heating system is configured to heat the interior of the anneal unit, and wherein the anneal unit heating system is configured to heat the interior of the anneal unit to a temperature of up to about 250° F.

19. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising an anneal unit, the anneal unit comprising an anneal unit heating system, wherein the anneal unit heating system is configured to heat the interior of the anneal unit, and wherein the anneal unit further comprises an anneal unit conveyor system configured to convey the mold assembly through the anneal unit.

20. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a programmable controller configured to substantially simultaneously control operation of the first curing unit and the second curing unit during use.

21. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a programmable controller configured to control operation of the first curing unit as a function of the eyeglass lens prescription.

22. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first activating light source comprises a fluorescent lamp, and wherein the first activating light source further comprises a flasher ballast system coupled to the fluorescent lamp.

23. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the second activating light source comprises a fluorescent lamp, and wherein the second activating light source further comprises a flasher ballast system coupled to the fluorescent lamp.

24. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first activating light source comprises two or more lamps, and wherein the lamps are independently operable.

25. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a conveyor system, wherein the conveyor system comprises a continuous flexible member extending from the first curing unit through the second curing unit, wherein the flexible member is configured to interact with a mold assembly to convey the mold assembly through the first curing unit, to the second curing unit, and through the second curing unit.

26. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a conveyor system, wherein the conveyor system comprises two discrete conveyors, wherein the first conveyor is configured to convey the mold assembly from the first curing unit to the second curing unit, and wherein the second conveyor is configured to convey the mold assembly through the second curing unit.

27. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a conveyor system, wherein the conveyor system comprises a flexible member configured to interact with the mold assembly, and wherein the flexible member is coupled to a motor configured to move the flexible member through the conveyor system.

28. An apparatus for preparing an eyeglass lens, comprising:

29. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the controller is configured to adjust the time activating light is directed to the mold assembly in the first lens curing unit in response to the eyeglass lens prescription information.

30. The apparatus of claim 28, further comprising a movable aperture disposed within the first lens curing unit, wherein the movable aperture is positionable in front of the first activating light source during use, and wherein the controller is configured to adjust the position of the movable aperture in response to the eyeglass lens prescription information.

31. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the controller is a computer system.

32. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the reader is a bar code reader.

33. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the mold assembly resides on a mold assembly holder, the mold assembly holder comprising a body and an indentation formed the body, wherein the indentation is complementary to the shape of the mold assembly.

34. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the first activating light source is an ultraviolet light source.

35. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the first activating light sources has a peak light intensity at a range of about 385 nm to about 490 nm.

36. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the first activating light source comprises a first set of lamps and a second set of lamps, wherein the first and second set of lamps are positioned on opposite sides of the first lens curing unit.

37. The apparatus of claim 28, further comprising a filter disposed directly adjacent to the first activating light source, the filter being configured to manipulate an intensity of the activating light emanating from the first activating light source.

38. The apparatus of claim 28, further comprising an anneal unit, the anneal unit comprising an anneal unit heating system, wherein the anneal unit heating system is configured to heat the interior of the anneal unit.

39. The apparatus of claim 28, further comprising an anneal unit, the anneal unit comprising an anneal unit heating system, wherein the anneal unit heating system is configured to heat the interior of the anneal unit, and wherein the anneal unit heating system is configured to heat the interior of the anneal unit to a temperature of up to about 250° F.

40. The apparatus of claim 28, further comprising an anneal unit, the anneal unit comprising an anneal unit heating system, wherein the anneal unit heating system is configured to heat the interior of the anneal unit, and wherein the anneal unit further comprises an anneal unit conveyor system configured to convey the mold assembly through the anneal unit.

41. The apparatus of claim 28, further comprising a programmable controller configured to control operation of the first lens curing unit as a function of the eyeglass lens prescription.

42. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the first activating light source comprises a fluorescent lamp, and wherein the first activating light source further comprises a flasher ballast system coupled to the fluorescent lamp.

43. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the first activating light source comprises two or more lamps, and wherein the lamps are independently operable.

44. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the first lens curing unit and the second lens curing unit are coupled together.

45. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the second lens curing unit comprises a second activating light source and wherein the second activating light source is configured to direct activating light towards the mold assembly during use.

46. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the second lens curing unit comprises a second activating light source; the second activating light source comprising a fluorescent lamp, wherein the second activating light source further comprises a flasher ballast system coupled to the fluorescent lamp.

47. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the second lens curing unit comprises a second activating light source; the second activating light source configured to direct activating light towards the mold assembly during use and wherein the first activating light and the second activating light sources are ultraviolet lights.

48. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the second lens curing unit comprises a second activating light source; the second activating light source configured to direct activating light towards the mold assembly during use, wherein the first activating light and the second activating light sources have substantially the same spectral output.

49. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the second lens curing unit comprises a second activating light source; the second activating light source is configured to direct activating light towards the mold assembly during use, wherein the first activating light and the second activating light sources have a peak light intensity at a range of about 385 nm to about 490 nm.

50. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the second lens curing unit comprises:

51. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the second lens curing unit comprises:

52. The apparatus of claim 28, further comprising an air distributor positioned within the second lens curing unit, the air distributor being configured to circulate air within the second lens curing unit during use.

53. The apparatus of claim 28, further comprising a programmable controller wherein the programmable controller is configured to substantially simultaneously control operation of the first lens curing unit and the second lens curing unit during use.

54. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the second lens curing unit comprises a second activating light source; the second activating light source comprising a fluorescent lamp, and wherein the second activating light source further comprises a flasher ballast system coupled to the fluorescent lamp.

55. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the second lens curing unit comprises a second activating light source; the second activating light source configured to direct activating light towards the mold assembly during use; and the apparatus further comprising an anneal unit, the anneal unit comprising an anneal unit heating system, wherein the anneal unit heating system is configured to heat the interior of the anneal unit.

56. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the conveyor system comprises two discrete conveyors, wherein the first conveyor is configured to convey the mold assembly from the first lens curing unit to the second lens curing unit; and wherein the second conveyor is configured to convey the mold assemblies through the second lens curing unit.

57. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the conveyor system comprises a flexible member configured to interact with the mold assembly, wherein the flexible member is coupled to a motor configured to move the flexible member through the conveyor system.

58. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the second lens curing unit comprises a heating system wherein the heating system is configured to heat the interior of the second lens curing unit.

59. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the second lens curing unit comprises: