As marketing manager of Santa Fe Springs, CA-based iCoat, Imtiaz Hasan knows the ins and outs of not only the company’s business but also the coating business. OLP chatted with him to find out about iCoat’s place in the lab industry and how it can boost the coating operations of any lab.
Q: Why is iCoat as a company unique?
A: iCoat Company has been a pioneer in innovative optical lens coating technologies and has a legacy of bringing advanced technologies and services to the optical industry. “Making Lenses Better” has been our mission, and it drives all areas of iCoat’s research, development and operations.
We offer a range of products and services that serve the needs of large merchants, retail chains, vision health organizations, wholesale labs, sports/sunwear frame manufacturers, ecommerce companies and ECPs. Our customers face varying market demands of their own, and iCoat has developed unique technologies and processes to serve each market segment.
Q: What services does it offer?
A: iCoat offers various products and services tailored to an expanded range of market channels utilizing different business models. We offer coating technology licensing services, custom coating services, mass coating services, private-brand frame Rx services and typical wholesale lab services. We custom design our coating innovations, in-house digital lens generating capabilities, finishing lab efficiencies and efficient workflow operations into unique packages that fit the needs of our customers. This includes optical retailers, independent optical labs, sports and sunwear frame manufacturers, safety eyewear providers, optical frame brands and various e-commerce companies to list a few.
Q: What can iCoat do for a wholesale, independent lab?
A: iCoat provides unique value proposition to independent optical labs that are interested in state-of-the-art coating technologies. This turnkey licensing program provides everything from initial planning and facility layout to ongoing support, training, backup coating services and regular audits for quality control. The flagships of our licensing service are our proprietary coatings, chemicals, consumables, tooling, continuous lens testing for quality assurance and on-site support services. This ensures independent labs achieve the consistent quality that iCoat stands by.
iCoat can also partner with an independent lab by absorbing coating and surfacing overflows to provide help during sudden market growth or equipment downtimes. We also offer specialty products available exclusively through iCoat such as mirror coatings and permanent premium anti-fog coatings.
Q: What are the advantages for a lab to license iCoat technology?
A: Our Coating Technology Licensing program offers our customers state-of-the-art coatings that can bring significant competitive value to their own market. Our technology licensing program is built upon our metrics-driven coating operations model that requires precisely composed operations procedures, production systems and unique workflows that allow our licensees to deliver highest quality lenses efficiently and with fast turnaround times.
The prime advantage of licensing iCoat’s coating expertise is to gain immense technological advantage and process know-how that took decades to develop. Over the years, iCoat has perfected efficiencies in manufacturing and profitable coating operating procedures. A licensing lab can take advantage of this from the get-go with no R&D cost, optimized investment planning, manufacturing, and efficient operations. iCoat’s coating technology licensing program is a turnkey plan for a successful in-house coating operation that is designed to generate higher yields and profits while keeping costs low and financials effective. It provides a wide range of state-of-the-art coating offerings and different grades of coatings, lens processing flexibility (can coat any lens, material and style) and equipment selection and choice.
Q: Is there an “ideal” independent lab that would benefit, or would it work in any lab?
A: The program is flexible to accommodate any size customer, lab or retail chain doing anywhere from a couple of hundred coating jobs per day up to thousands of coating jobs per day. Prior to getting started, iCoat can assist in a detailed analysis of cost savings and profit margins as they can vary greatly based on coating volumes, production efficiencies, selling prices and capital investment.
Our program offers assistance in making these calculations and optimizing equipment and layout to the necessary specifications for keeping the entire program effective. Bringing coating technologies in-house through our licensing program can help reduce delivery times and provide consistent quality products that will bring significant competitive value to the independent lab’s own market.
Q: Does iCoat provide training and ongoing support?
A: When labs decide to license iCoat technology, we train them in every step of the way. The goal with training is to get the labs to run efficiently and on their own. In addition, continuous quality testing is offered to help keep the quality consistent.
iCoat provides complete assistance from financials analysis, planning and going live to hands-on, on-site production training so that a unified coating department can achieve smooth operations. From classroom training and training via web to live tech support, tutorials for troubleshooting and coating backup services, iCoat provides the whole-nine-yards to ensure all operations are efficient.
Q: What makes iCoat coatings unique in the market?
A: iCoat’s coatings are a combination of years of innovation and extensive experience in coating processes and recipes. Our coatings are unique because they are developed to work with any lens, material or style. Our coating processes are flexibly engineered to be implemented in any size lab, at any location, for any equipment. No matter the specification, we are able to design and install our coating technologies that a lab may choose while ensuring the highest quality is being met at all times from initial installation to continuous production.