Where the magic happens.
At Incheon, the port city located near Seoul, YUN’s lens factory Opticom remains strong for 20 years now. YUN’s mother brand Opticom started in 2000, boosting the company with first developing free form lenses in South Korea in 2005. Breaking the common conception that quality lenses are pricey, YUN supplies quality lenses with a reasonable price tag and this is, unsurprisingly,appreciated by many Europeans from the beginning. Visiting the factory, I discovered the charm of the brand and uncovered what it is that makes YUN different to the rest.
To find out more about the YUN, I spoke to general manager Mr. Bae.
Q. The first thing I notice is that there is a certain atmosphere around the employees – intimacy.
A. Our employees are highly skilled technicians in their own field. Many years of training makes each of them confident and that confidence leads the overall factory atmosphere being comfortable and relaxing because we know what we are doing.
Q. I heard that all employees have served in the company for a very long time.
A. Yes. Most of us have been working together since the foundation. Maybe the long years of service is possible because we focus more on sharing the vision of the company and grow constantly rather than thinking what we do is just simply making the lens. Our company values lens quality and developing the new techniques the most. That is our core vision and makes us move forward. Therefore, employees cannot perform the same task forever. They have to learn new techniques constantly and stimulated by it. All of them are our valuable asset who accumulated deep understanding of lens and skills that machines cannot replace. But to be honest… frequent staff dinner parties is what hold us together – really.
Q. It is a bitter reality that customers rarely take time and think about ‘lens’?
A. Yes as you said, it is a bitter reality. Until you use it for a long time, it is hard to notice the lens’ quality and compare the difference. However, as you see and follow through the factory until now, to make one lens, highly sophisticated and systemised machines and people are required. The lens quality might not be noticeable by everyone, but what makes YUN lens different from other brands depends on the functional coating layer. Like this element we put our effort at every step to produce on fine lens and we believe customers will eventually understand and appreciate its special qualities.
Q. Please explain the lens producing process.
A. When the YUN office at Berlin gives an order, personalised information is adopted immediately through our optical design system where we build the lens.
Through the generator, raw materials of the lenses become the real lens with a degree. High-end computer system makes 0.001mm perfect cutting. When a degree cutting process is done, next step is the laser marking. This process makes tracking possible with its information contained. Lens quality can be trusted with this marking. Lens is polished after that. And then washed and coated. Coating is the key step where customers can most directly experience the quality of lens, so we invest hugely for managing this process and developing the techniques. Finally drying step and the free form lens is born, voilà!
Q. As smartphones become part of our lives, eye health is a hot topic.
A. When we first developed the blue ray breaking technique, it was a huge hit in the industry. Back then, we considered personalised computer users but now we believe almost every modern-era person needs this product. Now smartphones let you know your daily pattern, as well as total amount of time you use it at the end of the day. We are constantly exposed to harmful blue ray which can damage your eyes. YUN’s BOHO series is needed for everyone since it can protect your eyes form the blue rays and it is needed even if you have good eyes now. Make a habit of wearing the protecting spectacle. To make lens colour remain clear is difficult when breaking the blue ray but we own this technique.
Q. I am looking forward to the future path of Opticom and YUN.
A. Opticom is the brand with high technique. But we have a hard time approaching to the customers. Even if we have the best lens in the industry, people have to know and recognise the product. YUN can help and develop those needs. Lens can dress up with the beautiful frames and be whole. Strictly speaking we do not collaborate, we need each other. YUN is always more closed to customers. YUN can deliver their voices to Opticom and we can develop new products based on those opinions. Also when we keep producing quality lenses, YUN can sell glasses with pride and reason. It can be YUN’s strongest marketing point.