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18 August 2005 Producing optical (contact) lenses by a novel low cost process
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The rapid and impressive growth of China has been achieved on the back of highly labour intensive industries, often in manufacturing, and at the cost of companies and jobs in Europe and America. Approaches that worked well in the 1990's to reduce production costs in the developed countries are no longer effective when confronted with the low labour costs of China and India. We have looked at contact lenses as a product that has become highly available to consumers here but as an industry that has reduced costs by moving to low labour cost countries. The question to be answered was, "Do we have the skill to still make the product in the UK, and can we make it cheap enough to export to China?" if we do not, then contact lens manufacture will move to China sooner or later. The challenge to enter the markets of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries is extremely exciting as here is the new money, high growth and here is a product that sells to those with disposable incomes. To succeed we knew we had to be radical in our approach; the radical step was very simple: to devise a process in which each step added value to the customer and not cost to the product. The presentation examines the processes used by the major producers and how, by applying good manufacturing practice sound scientific principles to them, the opportunity to design a new low cost patented process was identified.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Richard S. Skipper and Ian D. Spencer "Producing optical (contact) lenses by a novel low cost process", Proc. SPIE 5872, Advancements in Polymer Optics Design, Fabrication, and Materials, 58720G (18 August 2005);


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