What Does a "Breakage" at Pivotal Lab Network (PLN) Mean?

A breakage doesn't indicate that the lens "broke" — it's a common occurrence in every optical lab's production cycle.

"Breakage" is an optical manufacturing term referring to any production failure. These can happen at almost any stage of the manufacturing process, including:

  • Generating
  • Polishing
  • Hard coating
  • AR processing
  • Tinting
  • Finishing
  • Etc...

Although most of these lenses aren't actually breaking in half or into pieces, the term "breakage" is used universally for all failures which require the lens to restart from an earlier stage of the manufacturing process.

Some jobs are more prone to production errors and therefore breakage. For example:

  • Jobs with high Rx, high plus or cyl, prism, large blanks, difficult edging jobs, etc.
  • Sometimes there's a hardcoat batch that didn't pass inspection — resulting in the jobs getting restarted, A.K.A. "broken".
  • Customers who submit jobs with the wrong frame type may result in a lens produced with the wrong thickness to account for a groove — thus may need to be broken and reprocessed.
  • Final inspection might catch a lens's power measuring differently than what was ordered, in which case it's "broken" and restarted. Production reprocesses these jobs with a brand new lens blank.

Depending on where in the production process the breakage occurs, it may slightly delay the job. Many times it doesn't affect the delivery time at all.

These production failures are a normal part of every lab operation. The goal is to always keep these as low as possible.

Some labs disclose those production failures transparently to their customers (like we do), but most do not. Rest assured that, even with breakages, your work will almost always show up within the quoted turnaround time that we promise to our members at PLN.

If you have any additional questions about lab breakage or if there's a specific job you'd like us to research for you, please never hesitate to email us at support@trypivotal.com.

We're standing by to help however we can.