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"We're still dreaming," says Laboratory Manager Julie Dewane of Continental Dental's move from its cramped, outdated building into a new 12,000-sq.-ft. facility in July 2008. She notes that clients are just as enthralled with the lab's new digs. "The doctors we work with are very proud to bring their patients here, because our lab is an extension of their practice and it makes them look good too."
Continental Dental Laboratory is a National Dentex lab, employs 48 people and is located in Phoenix.
The first glimpse visitors get of Continental is an elegant reception area featuring rich wood and river rock accents, ceramic tile flooring and the Continental logo--a technician at work--inlaid in marble on the floor. The reception area also includes an adjacent shade-taking room for patient comfort and privacy.
In the old facility, departments were separated by walls and a lack of space created disorganization. The new facility gives technicians a lot more elbow room as well as a more efficient design; large, open departments allow work to flow in one continuous direction instead of backtracking. "It's also a lot easier to communicate," says David Rogers, production manager and director of training and education. "You can look around and see who is at his bench at any moment. People are just happier now and happier technicians make for a better product."
Continental features a dedicated education room with three workstations, and the laboratory now trains technicians using the PTC system; employees have embraced the new training room and education program. "Our technicians are always asking 'when do I get to go again?'," says Dewane. "They're afraid they're missing out."
The lab's Nevin benches feature esthetic, white Corian surfaces that compliment the bright, open space, thanks to plenty of windows and natural light. The state-of-the-art lab equipment includes a Bego USA Nautilus induction casting machine; LaserStar laser welder; and an energy-efficient, on-demand Zubler vacuum unit at each workstation.
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Summit Dental Lab: An Energy-Efficient Expansion
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