Keeler welcomes optometry students to Windsor headquarters

April 30, 2016

Ophthalmic instrument manufacturer Keeler has recently hosted undergraduate optometry students at its UK headquarters in Windsor, Berkshire. Visitors included students from the University of Bradford, Anglia Ruskin University and Aston University.

Ophthalmic instrument manufacturer Keeler has recently hosted undergraduate optometry students at its UK headquarters in Windsor, Berkshire. Visitors included students from the University of Bradford, Anglia Ruskin University and Aston University.

The students were taken on an in-depth tour of the factory, which has been located in Windsor for over 90 years. Following an introductory talk about the company from Laura Haverley, Keeler’s UK sales and marketing manager, Jeff Landucci, business development manager, gave a lecture about the instruments manufactured by Keeler, outlining their features and benefits. Later in the day, there was a chance for the students to purchase equipment. Keeler supplies specialist kit and instrument bundles for optometry students and is keen to foster close links with undergraduates at this early stage of their careers.

Factory tour

The factory tour included everything from production of the lenses and mirrors that are incorporated in Keeler’s key products – slit lamps, ophthalmoscopes, retinoscopes, tonometers and otoscopes – to the assembly line of binocular indirect ophthalmoscope headset units, as well as watching the manufacture of many of the other products that Keeler provides to the optometric community. Specialists in each sector gave a short talk about their role in the production of the instruments. One of the students commented that it was ‘great to see that working at Keeler was like working for a family’.

Hands on

 

Hands on

The tour then moved on to look at a deconstructed premium professional ophthalmoscope. As well as watching the manufacturing processes, an exciting and eagerly anticipated part of the day was a hands-on session in which the student visitors put together an ophthalmoscope, adding the different powered lenses into the lens rack.

Gurveen Johal, a second-year optometry student at Anglia Ruskin University, commented that this was a lot more fiddly than she had expected. ‘I applaud those that do it on a regular basis! My hands were shaking so much.’ Matt Roney, a third-year student from the optometry programme at the University of Bradford’s School of Optometry and Vision Science, very much enjoyed this session and said that it had not failed to live up to the hype from the days before the visit.

In-depth knowledge about the manufacture and operation of these products helps students understand the practical side of diagnostic care, allowing them to implement eye care with confidence in the future. Matt said, ‘the visit enabled students to develop their knowledge with regards to processes that they had previously merely read about in text books. … It was a great opportunity to develop an appreciation of what is involved in producing the instruments that in practice will be our “bread and butter”.’

The students were surprised to see how much time and skill is involved in producing the instruments that they use on a daily basis and the sheer number of individuals who contribute their expertise.

The day ended with the chance to meet Keeler staff for an informal Q & A session.

Tours

 

Keeler is the only instrument manufacturer in the UK to offer students the opportunity to tour the factory and learn how ophthalmoscopes are made. Laura Haverley, who hosted the students, said, ‘It was a real privilege to meet with future optometrists and host them here in Windsor. We had a great day and I hope the students left with valuable knowledge that will help them with their course and future career.’

The students agreed that the day had been fantastic: an incredible visit that everybody enjoyed and would recommend to their colleagues. Matt Roney said ‘Thank you so much to Keeler for their hospitality and generosity. The University of Bradford’s Optometry Department eagerly anticipates the next visit to Keeler’, and Gurveen Johal echoed his sentiments: ‘I would like to say a huge thank you to Jeff and Laura for organising this. It was a fun experience and we appreciate the good work that you do for all of us’. Both students made special mention of the lovely lunch that had been provided.