Dietz-McLean Optical, an independent glass retailer succesfully adds coating with Satisloh´s Film Lamination.
Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, Dietz-McLean Optical is truly atypical in the optical industry. They are an independent retailer that operates in six locations in Texas, each with adjacent eyecare services. The company has been in business since 1938, in the fourth generation of family ownership.
The summer of 2020, in the middle of a pandemic environment, was the turning point for Dietz-McLean Optical. They wanted to elevate their commitment to customer service. So they decided to install an in-house surfacing department. Until then, they outsourced all surfacing and AR coating.
When Dietz-McLean Optical first considered adding surfacing to their finishing operations, they talked to Satisloh. They realized that unless they could add an in-house AR coating lab, they’d still have to outsource that part of the process.
But, putting in AR coating traditionally would be equal to the cost and effort of installing a full surfacing line. That’s when Satisloh offered its new film lamination technology as part of the installation. It allowed the company to include AR without the typical infrastructure and equipment costs.
Drake McLean, President Dietz-McLean Optical
"We have a different approach to business compared to other labs, We want to provide the fastest service possible to our stores. Adding the best technology in-house, including AR coating, allows us to tailor our products and better serve our customers.”
President Dietz-McLean Optical
“We immediately saw that this was a game-changer. We could put AR coating in our lab and not worry about batch processes but rather could coat individual orders,” said McLean.
The film lamination technology was literally a good fit for Dietz-McLean. All told, their lab is approximately 700 square feet. So the film lamination line, only 54 sq.ft., easily fit into the physical space along with the new surfacing line. According to McLean, “What makes this nice for our application is that it’s manageable with limited personnel. Two cross-trained people can easily run our surfacing and film lamination operations.”
The most important benefits the technology offers are speed and local control.
Film lamination technology is ideal for virtually all lenses, even photochromic. And Dietz-McLean discovered that they can also keep premium sunglass coating jobs in-house by coating the back of them with the film lamination technology.
McLean is pleased with the support they’ve gotten from Satisloh. “They offer a high level of industry knowledge and integrity that gave us the confidence to work with them. It’s a top-notch team.” The equipment they installed includes Satisloh’s Film-Pod and Hydra-Film for the lamination process and in the surfacing line the Art Blocker-M, VFT-macro, Toro-FLEX, Magna-Spin, and ART-Deblocker-M. As the industry evolves, Dietz-McLean Optical, as a growing independent operation, now has a niche to serve customers in an exciting new way and better compete with faster turnaround.
"We’re committed to next day service. It only takes 15 to 20 minutes per coating job. Unheard of on an AR coated product. We can block, surface, polish and laminate in one hour or less. Adding this technology is all about maximizing our service and flexibility.”
President Dietz-McLean Optical