IVS helps global contact lens manufacturers achieve error-free lenses (at speed!)

This month, we are talking about automated visual inspection of cosmetic defects in contact lens inspection, a major area of expertise in the IVS portfolio. Contact lens production falls between medical device manufacturing and pharmaceuticals manufacturing, but it does mean that it falls within the GAMP/ISPE/FDA validation requirements when it comes to manufacturing quality and line validation.

The use of vision technology for the inspection of contact lenses is intricate. Due to the wide variety of lens profiles, powers, and types (such as spherical, toric, aspherical etc.), manufacturers historically relied on human operators to visually verify each lens before it was shipped to a customer. Cosmetic defects in lenses range from scratches and inclusions, through to edge defects, mould polymerisation problems and overall deformity in the contact lens.

The Challenge: Manual Checks are Prone to Human-Error and are Slow!

The global contact lens industry must maintain the highest standards of quality due to the specialist nature of its products. Errors or faults in contact lenses can lead to negative recalls, financial losses, or a drop in brand loyalty and integrity – all issues that could otherwise be very difficult to rectify. However, manually checking lenses has become extremely time-consuming, inefficient, and error-prone. Due to the brain’s tendency to rectify errors naturally, human error is a common cause of oversights. This makes it next to impossible to spot faults by hand, therefore many errors are missed, and contact lens defects can be passed to the consumer.

Coupled with this, many global contact lens manufacturing brands run their production at high speed, which means using human inspectors simply becomes untenable based on the volume and speed of production; so in the last twenty-five years, contact lens manufacturers have moved to high-speed, high-accuracy automated visual inspection, negating the need for manual checks.

To ensure their products’ quality, accuracy, and consistency, many of the world’s top contact lens manufacturing brands have turned to IVS to solve their automated inspection and verification problems. This can be either wet or dry contact lens inspection, depending on the specific nature of the production process.

The Solution: Minimize Errors and Ensure Quality Through IVS Automated Visual Inspection

IVS contact lens inspection solutions have been developed over many years based on a deep and long heritage in contact lens inspection and the required FDA/GAMP validation. The vision system drills down on the specific contact lens defects, allowing finite, highly accurate quality checks and inspection coupled with the latest generation AI vision inspection techniques. This allows the maximum yield achievable, coupled with full reporting and statistical analysis, to give the data feedback to the factory information system, providing real-time, reliable information to the contact lens manufacturer. Failed lenses are rejected, allowing 100% quality inspected contact lenses to be packed and shipped.

IVS have inspection systems for manual load, automated and high-speed contact lens inspection, allowing our solutions to cover the full range of contact lens manufacturers – from small start-ups to the major high-level production volume producers. Whatever the size of your contact lens production, we have validated solutions to FDA/ISPE/GAMP for automated contact lens inspection.

Contact lens manufacturers now have no requirement for manual visual inspection by operators; this can all be achieved through validated automated visual inspection of cosmetic defects, providing high-yield, high-throughput quality inspection results.

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