Photochromics report: Umbra - the breakthrough lens coating treatment

Shropshire company Shyre’s boffins have spent five years developing a
cost-effective photochromic dip coating machine, reports Simon Jones

Since photochromic lenses came to market in the 1960s, they have been controlled by handful of major corporations. Production has remained costly, which has been passed on to opticians and their patients.

Shropshire firm Shyre is hoping to challenge the corporate hegemony with a new dip coating machine, designed for ophthalmic labs and larger optical chains, that can produce photochromic lenses and coatings at a fraction of the cost.

Umbra has been in development since 2013 and company directors, Lee Gough and Dan Hancu, first began experimenting with the idea of a dip-based photochromic coating in a garage.

‘The concept of a dip coat photochromic was a real, “what if?” moment for us. You had world leading experts in dip coating automation and photochromic dye production and it seemed like a logical step.

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