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GERBER OPTICAL INTRODUCES ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE OPTICAL MANUFACTURING SYSTEM

 SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn., Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Gerber Optical, Inc. has developed a new method of preparing ophthalmic lenses for prescription processing. The Step One Blocking System was introduced at the recent Optical Laboratory Association Annual Meeting in Las Vegas. Its revolutionary design eliminates low-melting point metal alloy normally used to adhere lenses to blocks during the surfacing process. Typical alloy composition contains hazardous ingredients including lead, tin, cadmium, and indium. Alloy has been long recognized in the optical industry as a personal and environmental danger but until now efforts to eliminate its use have been unsuccessful.
 "The optical industry has been looking to someone to develop a way to remove alloy from the lab," says Kevin Thompson, director, marketing for Gerber Optical. "As the industry leader in developing successful high technology solutions for optical manufacturing, it was natural for the market to look to us for solutions to today's environmental issues. OSHA and the EPA are becoming increasingly stringent concerning toxic materials in the workplace as well their disposal. We are proud to have developed a new, safe method of lens blocking that takes into consideration employee and environmental concerns while maintaining our standard of technological advances and ease of use."
 The Step One Blocking System uses a unique thermoplastic adhesive called FreeBond to adhere lenses to blocks. FreeBond was formulated by Gerber with nonhazardous components used in the cosmetic and food packaging industries. Traditional alloy blocking systems require special handling, reclaim and disposal techniques to ensure that the hazardous alloy is safely used and the waste properly discarded. The lead and cadmium in alloy are extremely dangerous to lab personnel and must be filtered out of waste water before it enters water treatment facilities. The non-alloy Step One Blocking System uses no toxic metals and the FreeBond may be reclaimed and reused for long periods of time. It is completely safe to handle without special precautions and will not harm the environment.
 "Gerber believes that every laboratory should consider a non-alloy Step One Blocking System to promote personal safety and to protect the environment," says Thompson. "We must all take a proactive stance in product development as we move into the next century. Technological advances for the optical laboratory must be responsible for improving working conditions in addition to enhancing productivity."
 Gerber Optical designs and produces computer Integrated Optical Manufacturing Systems. Gerber Optical, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Gerber Scientific, Inc. (NYSE: GRB), a leading manufacturer of high technology automation systems for a wide range of industries including optical, graphic arts, garment and design.
 -0- 12/9/93
 /CONTACT: Christine Maloney of Gerber Optical, Inc., 800-843-1479, or 203-648-6600/
 (GRB)


CO: Gerber Optical, Inc. ST: Connecticut IN: MTC SU: PDT

TM-JG -- NY067 -- 2336 12/09/93 16:13 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 9, 1993
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