Noah’s Arc™ is the culmination of several years of research and development into a quest for a better and more accurate method to measure the circumference of ophthalmic lenses.

The sophistication of the industry has leapt forward with robotic and automated blockers, generators, and edgers and most recently the advent of so-called “Digital Surfacing”.

For too long laboratory and retail opticians have measured the circumference of ophthalmic lenses using the familiar circumference measurement box and plastic tape. This device though in wide spread use is hardly state-of-the-art and prone to wide variances by the amount of tension applied while stretching or pulling the tape around the lens.

There is now a better way and one that incorporates machine tool technology best known as “machine vision”. Noah’s Arc™ employs machine vision through what Practical Engineering has termed “Digital Telecentric Imaging”.

Noah’s Arc™ with digital accuracy measures the circumference of your lenses to an accuracy that is unmatched by any manual or mechanical device. By means of digital imaging and sophisticated software all dimensional aspects of the ophthalmic lens are calculated; i.e. the “A”, “B”, “ED”, angle of ED, and the circumference or C-Size.

With Noah’s Arc™ in your account’s offices measuring the circumference of a patient’s lenses to digital accuracy, the laboratory’s aversion to fabricate a “lens only Rx” can now be set aside. Additionally, the costly and time consuming “frame to follow” issue for laboratories can be significantly reduced when lenses are produced and edged to digitally obtained measurements provided by your account.

Noah’s Arc™ has NO moving parts --- needs NO calibration --- and requires only minutes of training for laboratory or retail opticians.

Noah’s Arc™ is sold and distributed only through production laboratories.

Practical Engineering has received from the United States Patent and Trademark Office an "Issue of Notification" that a patent has been issued for Noah’s Arc™, the "Ophthalmic Lens Scanner".

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Practical Engineering was founded in January of 2002 with the purpose of bringing modern industrial engineering methodologies to the production of ophthalmic lenses. The production ophthalmic laboratory faces some unique circumstances respective to manufacturing in that we have been charged with mass producing custom-made products.

Although the laboratory operates in a classic “job shop” environment, the principles of manufacturing engineering are applicable as never before in today’s sophisticated machine tooled optical lab. Today’s manufacturing must be predicated on prevention not on inspection!

Production of quality products in a timely manner are only the beginning for long-term financial strength of a laboratory. The industry has changed significantly and that changed will only accelerate in the coming years.

The traditional optical lab has evolved from “making eyeglasses” into an environment best described as a manufacturing business, operating within the medical device industry, and producing a product of prescription eyewear for the ECP and their patients.

It has been said that what got you here will not get you there … yesterday’s push-through production scheme has certainly given way to a market demand-pull manufacturing necessity.

From re-engineering of processes, to line balancing and minimizing work flow travel, to cost of quality determination, Practical Engineering can assist you in discovering hidden profit potential within your organization. Contact us to learn more.


Strategic Planning

Manufacturing Review

Work flow and process cycling

Cost of quality

  • Scrap-to-output capacity studies
  • Effective troubleshooting techniques
  • Inventory management – WIP and QOH

Work instructions – ISO

Process methodology development

Machinery recommendations

Gainsharing/incentive programs

Cellular manufacturing

JIT (Just-In-Time) supply chain sourcing

Develop key performance indicators

ANSI compliance

Preventative maintenance programs


Production standards

  • Uniform plant loading (UPL)
  • Master standard data
  • Demand-pull production

Cost analysis

  • Production and spoilage costs
  • Unit cost – direct and indirect labor and material