now a division of Carl Zeiss A.G., Sola International Inc. designs, manufactures and distributes a broad range of
monocle lenses, chiefly focusing on the faster-growing plastic lens segment of the ball-shaped lens market, which the company helped develop in the 1960s. Sola ’ randomness strong global presence includes manufacture and distribution sites in three regions including North and South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Since its administration in 1960, the company has produced more than two billion lenses and today, with the Carl Zeiss Vision-Care Group, sells approximately 110 million lenses per annum .
Sola ’ sulfur brand portfolio concentrates on four product segments : progressive lenses, photochromic lenses, coated lenses, and plastic lenses. Their primary research and development center is located in Australia, and Sola prides itself on its particular expertness in the development of new lens materials and designs.
The majority of their mass manufacture is located in high-tech but low-cost production zones including Mexico, China and Brazil. Complementing these three sites are six specialize facilities located in France, Italy, Ireland, Venezuela, Australia and the United States .
From these locations, product flows to primary coil distribution centres located in California and Kentucky, the UK, Brazil and Australia .
Sola was founded in 1960 by a group of australian opticians, who while working in a garage in Adelaide, helped pioneer the use of formative lenses. The research team began their work in 1956, hoping to find a surrogate for glass lenses. The incorporation of their ship’s company, Scientific Optical Laboratories of Australia, in 1960, heralded a revolutionary development in the monocle lens industry .
Sola received considerable publicity in 1968 when Captain Walter Shirra, commander of the Apollo 7 spacecraft, chose Sola light-weight lenses. The beginning astronauts to land on the moon in 1969 besides wore Sola lenses .
Sola grew for closely two decades before it was acquired in 1979 by its first gear corporate parent Pilkington PLC, a field glass manufacturer based in England. By the end of the 1980s, Pilkington was awash in debt and still reeling from a hostile takeover try made on the party in 1987. In late 1990, Sir Antony Pilkington announced the company would begin selling peripheral assets, which finally led to the sale of Sola .
Sola ’ s following parent company was AEA Investors Inc., an investment firm that included merely the most herculean of the global ’ mho CEOs, the leaders of IBM, Exxon, General Motors, and a short list of early industry behemoths. AEA paid $ 315 million for Sola, gaining the company ’ s manufacture and distribution sites in North and South America, Europe, Australia and Asia .
Sola debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in February 1995, raising $ 81 million from Initial Public Offering ( IPO ) of broth. In the wake of the IPO, Sola announced two acquisitions that would help it go a hanker way ahead. The larger of the two acquisitions was that of the cosmopolitan lens division of American Optical Corp. Sola revealed in May 1996 that it had agreed to pay $ 107 million for
the purchase of American Optical Corp. Less than a month belated, in 1996, Sola announced the $ 16 million buy of Neolens, Inc. Neolens was one of the few companies with the engineering to produce polycarbonate lenses, a type of credit card that could be fitted
directly into monocle frames .
A monumental event in the history of Sola occurred at the goal of 2004 when the german ocular group, Carl Zeiss, and a swedish individual equity firm, EQT Partners AB, announced they had reached an agreement to acquire Sola. The transaction was valued at $ 1.1 billion, 30 per cent more than Sola ’ s store measure when the deal was announced.
today, Sola is a stigmatize of the Carl Zeiss Vision Care Business Group, wholly owned and controlled by Zeiss .
Sola has a rich history of invention, particularly in lens designs. progressive addition lenses are the premium choice for people affected by presbyopia ( a lifelike senesce of the center ) because they offer vision correction for all correction zones from a single pair of glasses and provide a seamless passage from one distance to another. Sola sells over $ 245 million of progressive lenses annually .
Sola continues to promote general purpose progressive lens designs with the SolaOne family, ( including freeform customised lenses SolaOne HD ). SolaOne HD liberal lenses are available in a fully crop of reduce, lightweight lens materials and treatments to maximize vision and befit life style. Its anti-reflection coatings eliminate lens reflections. The Sola range is completed by the special invention for modest frames, Sola Compact Ultra HD .
Sola besides recognises that the competitive military capability in the ophthalmic lens industry requires manufacturing competence in a broad range of materials, particularly polycarbonate and other high-index substrates. therefore, meaning investments were made in their polycarbonate fabricate capacity to meet the market ’ s increasing demand for this material .
In addition to being a manufacturer of ophthalmic lenses, Sola is besides a supplier of first lens coatings and treatments. importantly enhancing the operation of their lens products, these coatings and treatments include :
• Scratch insubordinate coating that prolong
the life sentence of lenses
• Anti-reflective coatings that allow
more light to pass through the lens for
• Photochromic treatments that darken
the lens when it is exposed to direct
In the Middle East, Lutfi is the empower distributor for Sola and AO for UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar. They follow standard operational procedures as per Sola ’ south guidelines and use the best hardware such as Schneider to ensure that customers are assured of the highest quality .
Mr Gurmeet Singh – Business Development Manager of Lutfi Opticals, says, “ Since we partnered with Sola, we have initiated the
process of making the Middle East market mindful of the technical transcendence of Sola. I am certain the grocery store will notice our efforts in making Sola as a post to trust and rely on in the years to come. The USP of Sola is that it ’ s a technologically superscript product and is being positioned in a way that still makes it low-cost to the end consumer. ”
“ At Lutfi we have always kept tempo with technology. Partnering with Sola for their products — which includes the latest freeform technology, is another step towards this, ” adds Mr Mahmood Zafar – Senior Manager of Lutfi Opticals .
perennially ranked as one of the worldly concern ’ sulfur largest lens makers, Sola continues to set higher standards in lens plan and material development by doing what it knows best — manufacture excellence .