New Challenges

In the months following the launch of Progressive R the new product remained the main concern. Launch of new lens materials and coatings and calculate the back surface tables for extending the power range plus supporting the sales force with new argumentations covered a big part of our capacity. For a premium progressive lens not only the optical characteristics but also the cosmetic features had to be top. So we developed the MDM -System making it possible to manufacture Progressive R particularly thin and light weight. Contrary to the competing system Precal for Varilux , MDM allowed the optician to assess how big the thickness reduction would be and to decide if it was useful for the wearer or not. Other projects concerned  a new series of aspherical lenses, at the beginning for the correction of cataract patients, later more generalized for weak and medium ametropia as well as  a special lens with less visual strain for the work in front of a computer screen. Under the mid and long term aspect Physiological Optics started research work on double sided progressive lenses and application of gradient index optics for spectacle lenses.

The number of research and development projects increased rapidly, particularly for the calculation of new aspherical designs. Moreover Dr.  Günther Guilino wanted to concentrate his activity on the spectacle lens and to leave his responsibility for the R&D of Rodenstock Instruments.  He proposed a new organization to separate the resources for the aspherical geometry calculation from the rest of the Physiological Optics. This proposal was discussed among the senior people of the department  without assistance  of an external consultant. After several tedious and exhausting discussions  a new  organization scheme  emerged. My future area of responsibility would have been reduced, particularly concerning the design of new aspherical surfaces. And this just when we started to explore some promising  concepts of double sided  progressives ([5]). I reckoned, that the  perspective of the new organization would not be very attractive for me. The alternative was to leave Rodenstock and thus also leave the business of ophthalmic optics with my close contact to the opticians and my good knowledge of the spectacle lens market. To join the competition was not easy at that time and particularly difficult in the relatively small market of ophthalmic optics. This was a really difficult decision, because of  the private aspect regarding my family.