Lab Showcase: Happy Technicians, Happy Laboratory

Kim Molinaro · Labs & Profiles · May 2011

  • Benches: New England Ortho-dontic Laboratory features the Arlink modular bench system from Lista International. Each technician has his own ergonomic 5-ft workspace that includes a horizontal 3-ft bench light that can be tilted, raised or lowered; drawers for supplies; wire racks for casepan storage; and magnetic privacy panels so employees can post papers and personal items.

  • Father-and-son team: Bill Saurman (left) and his son, Christian.

  • New System: The lab also installed a three-phase compressed dry air system that offers constant psi regardless of how many people are using equipment simultaneously, and a heating and cooling system with eight different heating and cooling zones—one for each department.

  • The lobby of the 7,000-sq-ft laboratory.

  • The front office.

  • Fume Hoods: The move gave the laboratory the opportunity to invest in new equipment. For instance, although the lab’s fume hoods more than met OSHA’s requirement for venting methyl methacrylate fumes, they still weren’t as powerful as the Saurmans desired. The new facility boasts acrylic fume hoods meant for formaldehyde testing. “In our old lab, someone would open a tiny bottle of methyl methacrylate and you could smell it on the other side of the lab,” says Christian. “Now, people walk in and they don’t even know we’re using it.”

  • New System: One of the most expensive parts of the renovation project was installing a new electrical system to bring it up to code. “I had our electrician run so many dedicated circuits he thought I was crazy,” laughs Christian. However, as a result, machines get the power they need to run at top performance and, if one piece of equipment blows a fuse, it won’t affect any others. Technicians report that lathes are running more smoothly and efficiently and it’s taking less time to polish appliances.

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