The Manufacturers Forum Conference (MAFO) takes place the day before MIDO starts.  This year the topic was INDUSTRY 4.0.  New developments to increase the use of artificial intelligence in the manufacture of lenses were explained.  Two examples were:

  • Satisloh presented their Lab 4.0, which is fully interconnected.
  • MEI showed how their equipment, which is interconnectable, can increase productivity by reducing edging times as well as reducing waste. They also launched their latest milling machine to be used for cutting and edging lenses in large retail outlets.

The MAFO Conference has over the years seen a decline in visitor numbers.  This year, it was well attended.

MIDO opened under a light covering of snow.  This did not prevent some fashion-conscious persons in dressing in the shortest of skirts.  According to official figures released by the organisers of MIDO:

  • 1,305 companies exhibited
  • 58,000 persons visited the show, an increase of 4.9% on 2017

SWV can confirm, from their own observations and from discussions with exhibitors, that MIDO was well attended and that companies exhibiting had lots of visitors. The impression gained was that the stands were well lit, had a fresh look and were almost always well laid out.

The large Piazza (square) in hall 1 flanked by all the big names in the frame and sunglass industry was impressive and well attended.  The pavillion of Mondottica was at times full.  The appearance of the motorbike rider Andrea Dovizioso (5-time Moto GP winner in 2017) for the launch of the Ducati brand by Mondottica and the 40th anniversary of De Rigo probably helped.

People used to come to optical shows to see the launch of new products.  With optical shows now taking place throughout the course of the year, it is difficult to coincide a launch with an optical show.  Having MIDO at the end of February, so short after OPTI, probably does not help.

SWV try to see trends taking place in the industry.  Trends in ophthalmic lenses and equipment for opticians were covered in the OPTI 2018 report.  In the area of ophthalmic frames and sunglasses the trend was a return for large companies to very large stands exhibiting fashion and glamour.  To a certain extend similar to what one saw before 2008.  Whether these large companies are trying to counteract the slowdown in the growth of ophthalmic lens volumes in Western Europe is difficult to judge.

The trend towards complete spectacles continues.  This despite the switch taking place not so fast as some companies expected.  Meetings with persons responsible for complete spectacles at Luxottica and Silhouette confirms these intentions.  Silhouette launched a new system to attach rimless frames to the lens.  There is no overlap and is only available through their Rx laboratory. 

There seemed to generally be a trend to exhibit more rimless frames.  Metal frame models were also more in evidence.  The trend to 3D printed frames, described in the OPTI 2018 impression report continues.  Generally, plano sunglasses are reasonably flat and apart from sport use there does not seem to be a return to more curved high base models.  One exhibitor selling quite large numbers of ophthalmic lenses in Italy has picked up a return to fashion tints. 

It was not possible to visit the stands of all the 1,305 exhibitors; however, three companies did catch our eye:

  1. At Fedon the title was the „Ecological Revolution, a process to quantify and cut the environmental impact of the resources taken from the environment.“ Spectacle case ranges had products made from recycled fishing nets, plastic bottles and cellulose, coming from managed forests.
  2. Horizon Optical is a recently formed company belonging to Sherpa Capital. They were the research and development arm of INDO.  They develop:
    1. Lens designs for manufacturers
    2. Coating technologies for manufacturers. At MIDO an infrared blocker coating designed to cut infrared light, was shown
    3. 3D scanning systems to allow 3D frames to be made.
  3. Luxexcel was giving a lot of information as to how they make ophthalmic lenses by 3D printing.  Watching the complete technology being used to build up layer after layer of a lens was most interesting.  They demonstrated future showcases on how the technology can print electronic lenses with Rx.  A diode is inserted in the lens and can switch from light to dark immediately.  One of the more successful products launched in the USA is the installation of two Luxexcel VisionPlatforms which 3D print specialty lenses like a bifocal element in the right side of the lens to be used by golfers when putting.



The MIDO 2019 dates are Saturday February 23rd to Monday February 25th.

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