PPG announces North American launch of TRIBRID lenses

X-Cel Optical and Thai Optical Group participate with PPG at Vision Expo East event

Wirach Pracharktam of Thai Optical Group, Christine Camsuzou of PPG Industries and Connie Achman of X-Cel Optical Co. announced the North American launch of TRIBRID(TM) lens material at the International Vision Expo East 2013.
NEW YORK, March 16, 2013 – PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG), Thai Optical Group and X-Cel Optical Co. announced the North American launch of TRIBRID(TM) lenses today during a news conference at the International Vision Expo East 2013. To introduce the new Tribrid lens technology to North American editors, executives from all three companies presented their perspectives on this innovative product and what it means for patients and practitioners.

Tribrid lenses were developed by PPG's optical products business using a hybrid approach merging elements of the chemistry for TRIVEX(R) lens material with traditional high-index lens chemistry. The result is a high-index lens that provides the patient with a superior combination of performance benefits, according to Christine Camsuzou, PPG general manager, optical materials. Suited to patients with higher prescriptions within the +/-3.00 to +/-7.00 diopters range, Tribrid material features optical clarity (Abbe number 41), lightweight comfort (density 1.23 grams per cubic centimeter), thinness (refractive index 1.60), impact resistance (withstands more than 160 times the energy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration drop ball test) and protection (100 percent protection from ultraviolet radiation [UV]).

"Tribrid material represents the next evolution in lens material technology," Camsuzou said. "It expands upon the foundation of Trivex material that North American opticians have come to trust – clarity, light weight, strength and UV protection – and makes similar attributes available in a high-index lens to meet the everyday visual needs of patients with higher-prescription requirements."

This achievement is the result of a strong commitment to research and development, she said.

Thai Optical Group has been a dedicated partner with PPG in Trivex material, and it now continues that collaboration in the development of Tribrid lenses. The company focused its lens manufacturing teams on developing the parameters and processes to successfully manufacture and commercialize lenses made with this unique material.

“We are proud to collaborate with PPG and X-Cel to bring Tribrid lenses to North American opticians,” said Wirach Pracharktam, managing director, Thai Optical Group. “We are confident that Tribrid lenses will complement the existing Trivex lens sales in North America by providing a greater balance of lens performance features in a thinner, high-index format.”

Similarly, Joseph Doescher, CEO and president of Minnesota-based X-Cel Optical, which is a leading lens manufacturer that was one of the first to cast Trivex material, said his company is well-aligned to add Tribrid lenses to its already broad range of products.

"Our customers have come to expect a commitment to high-quality products that address the individual lifestyle, occupational and prescription needs of their patients, so it makes sense that we are upholding the expectations of optical laboratories and eye care professionals with the addition of Tribrid lenses," he said. “We pride ourselves on having the most extensive line of Trivex lenses in the world, and we look forward to supporting the evolution of this technology by offering Tribrid lenses."

Tribrid lenses will be available this summer from X-Cel Optical in semi-finished single vision clear and TRANSITIONS(R) lenses. Tribrid lenses are compatible with digital, free-form processing and anti-reflective coatings. For more information on Tribrid lenses visit www.ppgtribrid.com.

The optical products business of PPG Industries is a leading manufacturer of optical lens materials such as Trivex material, Tribrid material, CR-39(R) monomer and HI-GARD(R) lens coatings. PPG is the owner of Intercast Europe S.r.l., a leading manufacturer of sun lenses such as NXT(R) sun lenses made with Trivex material, and it is the majority owner of Transitions Optical, Inc., a supplier of photochromic lenses to optical manufacturers worldwide. For more information, visit the company’s websites: www.ppgtrivex.com, www.ppgtribrid.com, www.nxt-vision.com and www.ppgopticalproducts.com.

PPG Industries' vision is to continue to be the world’s leading coatings and specialty products company. Through leadership in innovation, sustainability and color, PPG helps customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets to enhance more surfaces in more ways than does any other company. Founded in 1883, PPG has global headquarters in Pittsburgh and operates in nearly 70 countries around the world. Sales in 2012 were $15.2 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol:PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.

Bringing innovation to the surface and Tribrid are trademarks and CR-39, Hi-Gard and Trivex are registered trademarks of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc.
Transitions is a registered trademark of Transitions Optical, Inc.
NXT is a registered trademark of Intercast Europe S.r.l.

Nathan Troxell
PPG Optical Products

Angela Mineo
Havas PR