Andrew Karp

Andrew Karp, Group Editor, Lenses & Technology

Andrew has reported on many facets of the optical industry for Vision Monday and 20/20 Magazine since 1987. He specializes in covering the latest developments in ophthalmic dispensing, spectacle lenses and treatments, lens processing technology, optical laboratories and wearable technology. Andrew contributes daily briefings to VMAIL LaunchPad, that spotlights new products, software and online applications for labs and dispensers. He also helps plan and produce Vision Monday’s annual Global Leadership Summit. Contact Andrew at akarp@jobson.com.

My Top 10 Today’s Read Picks of 2021

By Andrew Karp
Wednesday, December 29, 2021 8:30 AM Growing up listening to rock ‘n’ roll radio, I always had my ear tuned to the weekly Top 10 countdown. For many of us Boomers, those hit songs, selected on the basis of radio airplay across the country, were the soundtrack of our youth. As enjoyable as it was to hear these hits in descending order, with the #1 song played last to goose the excitement, I often found myself disagreeing with the ranking. Why was my favorite song #4 on the chart, not #1? These and other burning questions made me question the Top 10 ranking. I knew I could it do better if I’d only had the chance. So, with the new year fresh upon us, I figured it’s a good time to create my own Top 10 list. But instead of songs, I’ve assembled a list of my 10 favorite Today’s Read stories from the past year. I hope you enjoy my look back on these features.

Biomed Engineering Professor Converts Contact Lenses into Smart Devices to Monitor Glaucoma

By Andrew Karp
Friday, December 3, 2021 8:30 AM New contact lens technology to help diagnose and monitor glaucoma and other ocular health conditions may soon be ready for clinical trials. A team of researchers from Purdue University worked with biomedical, mechanical and chemical engineers, along with clinicians, to develop the novel technology. The team enabled commercial soft contact lenses to be a bioinstrumentation tool for unobtrusive monitoring of clinically important information associated with underlying eye health conditions. “This technology will be greatly beneficial to the painless diagnosis or early detection of many ocular diseases including glaucoma,” said Purdue’s Chi Hwan Lee.

What’s The Metaverse? Virtual Experiences Connect Consumers With Brands

By Andrew Karp
Wednesday, December 1, 2021 12:54 AM NEW YORK—Attendees of the final Vision Monday 2021 Summit got a glimpse of the metaverse and a quick tutorial about the intriguing possibilities this new digital world offers businesses, brands and healthcare. A previously obscure realm of cyberspace known mostly to video gamers, techno-nerds and digital content developers, the metaverse has been enjoying a breakout moment lately as high-profile entertainers, fashion and lifestyle brands and other early adopters have begun using it to engage consumers in imaginative new ways.

How Dick Paul Became Desmond Drue

By Andrew Karp
Friday, November 5, 2021 8:30 AM What makes a man take on an assumed name and a new identity? There are many reasons. For instance, maybe he’s a criminal who is evading the law, or is in a witness protection program. Perhaps he’s a con man, or even a spy. Or he could be suffering from dissociative disorder. Then again, he might be a performer using a stage name, or a writer doing business under a pen name. The possibilities are vast. I recently learned that the man I’ve known for years as Dick Paul has crafted a new name and persona for himself. Many readers probably know him as a successful independent optical sales rep. Lately, Paul has been showing a very different face to the world, that of Desmond Drue, an accomplished novelist, poet and screenwriter.

Patients Appreciate the Precise Fit and Ease of Selection Provided by Zeiss Technology

By Andrew Karp
Monday, October 25, 2021 1:27 AM BOERNE, Texas—Two years ago, Eyes on Main in Boerne, Texas, became one of the first Zeiss customers in the U.S. to get a Visufit 1000, the company’s advanced measuring and dispensing system. Although the technology was new to Eyes on Main, practice owner Loren Rodgers, OD, an ocular disease, vision rehabilitation low vision specialist, was confident she had made a good investment. “We were utilizing the Zeiss iTerminal Mobile, which is another outstanding measuring device, but after previewing the Visufit 1000 we knew it would be a wonderful asset to the practice.”

Reengineering and Renovation

By Andrew Karp and Jeff Hopkins
Monday, October 25, 2021 1:00 AM The term “work in progress” accurately defines most prescription optical laboratories. No matter how smoothly a lab may be running, there’s always something that needs updating or replacing, whether it’s adding a single piece of equipment, reengineering an entire production line or even building a whole facility. It’s an endless cycle of invention and reinvention, and labs must learn to adjust to it while continuing to service customers, a challenge which can be daunting for any business.

Cherry Optical Lab: Moving From a Modern Lab to a Future Lab

By Andrew Karp and Jeff Hopkins
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 12:59 AM Synopsis: In May, 2020, Cherry Optical Lab began a major expansion and equipment upgrade project adding 6,500 square feet of production and creating a four-building campus. Company president Adam Cherry described how the complex process unfolded, and what resulted.

Automating With Robotics for Faster Speed and Better Quality at the Zeiss Lab

By Andrew Karp and Jeff Hopkins
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 12:58 AM Synopsis: Zeiss recently completed a multi-year, $20 million reengineering project at their flagship lab in Hebron, Kentucky. Barry Lannon, head of lab operations and supply chain for Carl Zeiss Vision, managed the Industry 4.0 process. He explained what it took to plan and execute the multi-level project, and how Zeiss customers are benefitting from the upgrade.

Incremental Upgrades Yield Big Results for LBC Optics

By Andrew Karp and Jeff Hopkins
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 12:57 AM Synopsis: LBC Optics services Wisconsin Vision’s 38 stores. The regional retailer was ranked 31st in Vision Monday’s 2020 Top Retailer ranking. LBC’s reengineering project was two-fold. The first was constructing a new conveyor line that could transfer job trays automatically using existing equipment that has the capability to function in this capacity. Second was installing a new control stacker and two new auto polishers to complete a line that produced 100 lenses/hour from blocker to final wash station.

Plastic Plus Limited Expands to Accommodate Increasing Demand

By Andrew Karp and Jeff Hopkins
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 12:56 AM Synopsis: Plastic Plus underwent major expansions in 2008 and 2017, and is currently adding new equipment. (Most of this report refers to the 2017 expansion.) Lab owner and president Paul Faibish offered an inside perspective on how the lab was transformed by new technologies.

Wisconsin Vision Associates Serves Current and Future Customers Better

By Andrew Karp and Jeff Hopkins
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 12:55 AM Synopsis: Wisconsin Vision Associates (WVA) is in the midst of a reengineering process that will more than double the lab’s capacity. WVA’s vice president for operations, Jeffery Erickson, discussed the goals of the project and the many steps involved in bringing it to fruition.

Satisloh’s Checklist for Lab Reengineering

By Andrew Karp and Jeff Hopkins
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 12:54 AM Satisloh, a leading supplier of lens processing systems and equipment, has developed this checklist of important items for labs to consider when undertaking a reengineering project, and the key success factors for such a project.

Seeds of Hope: Treating Eye Cancer With Precision Radiation

By Andrew Karp
Friday, October 8, 2021 8:30 AM For patients with eye cancer, University of Florida Health ophthalmology specialist Gibran S. Khurshid, MD, is sowing seeds of hope. In Khurshid’s case, those seeds are tiny particles of radioactive iodine. Attached to a gold implant about the size of a contact lens, the “seeds” deliver tightly focused radiation to eye cancer, oruveal melanoma, according to an announcement issued by the University. Khurshid, an associate professor in the UF College of Medicine’s department of ophthalmology, began doing the procedures earlier this year. The implant, known as a radioactive iodine plaque, is sewn onto the surface of the eye. It stays there for four days, delivering precise doses of radiation to the cancer.

Novel Visual Prosthesis Brain Implant Moves to Clinical Trial

By Andrew Karp
Friday, August 20, 2021 8:30 AM Researchers at the Illinois Institute of Technology are launching clinical trials of an artificial vision system that has the potential to restore partial vision to people who have lost their sight. The first-of-its-kind system, known as the Intracortical Visual Prosthesis (ICVP), is an implant that connects directly to the brain’s visual cortex, bypassing the retina and optic nerves. The National Institutes of Health has awarded Illinois Tech researchers $2.5 million for the first year of a three-year project that includes implanting their new type of wireless visual prosthesis system in volunteers. 

PROBLEM SOLVED: POG’s Work Ticket Hack

By Andrew Karp
Monday, August 2, 2021 1:43 AM Precision Optical Group, Inc (POG Labs) in Creston, Iowa recently introduced a new and improved work ticket that consolidates needed manufacturing instructions to get orders through the lab fast and simplify the production process for laboratory technicians. As POG’s Alex Tamerius explained, “In the past, work tickets and order paperwork was routinely taken out of the job tray to follow processing instructions, which equated to unneeded loss in production time.”