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Amann Girrbach America (AGA) is proud to announce the opening of its new state-of-the art training center in Charlotte, NC. The facility, also home to the US headquarters since late 2012, features the...See more AGA Learning Lab, a fully-equipped working laboratory, showcasing the entire Ceramill CAD/CAM Suite plus Amann Girrbach's well-known line of Model Management products. The goal of the new AGA Learning Lab center is to provide multi-faceted training programs, which include introductory to intermediate courses, plus advanced programs where new users can receive intensive, multi-day instruction on how to utilize their specific equipment. This unique facility can host multiple laboratories at a time, providing individual workstations to attending lab personnel. The center will also host ongoing educational seminars on the latest advances in digital dentistry, featuring industry experts and thought leaders. Round-the-clock phone and email-based support along with remote computer access that gives technicians the ability to troubleshoot or demonstrate techniques remotely, is available on premises. Amann Girrbach's facility is also home to the Finance and Administration offices, US Marketing and Sales, Technical Specialist Team, Online Help Desk and Distribution Center, all designed to provide expanded sales, service and support to customers. Located less than 10 minutes from the Charlotte International Airport, the center is easily accessible to laboratories throughout the US. To learn more about the complete Ceramill CAD/CAM System or AGA Learning Lab, visit www.AmannGirrbachAmerica.com or call 1-800-851-3719.
Lake Forest, CA Owner: Mike Hill 15 Employees Many labs call themselves“studios” but Mike Hill, Owner of 6-11 Dental Studio, makes sure his lab lives up to the name. Treating his technicians...See more like artists is his number-one priority in his employee-centric laboratory. To inspire creativity and productivity, each ceramist’s work area is a spacious 12' by 12' and set up like an individual studio, with divider walls to create a sense of privacy. The L-shaped workstations are twice the size of typical workbenches, giving technicians ample room to spread out, and the 19-ft-tall ceilings add to the roominess. Technicians are encouraged to play their own music, burn incense or scented candles and really make their workspaces their own. Interruptions are kept to a minimum and, even then, non-technical staff and managers try to wait until there’s an obvious breaking point for the technician. “There’s an unwritten, although clearly articulated, rule that it is very peaceful in here,” explains Chris Thompson, Hill’s longtime business partner. “Mike doesn’t treat them like production people who make stuff for him. He treats them like artists.” Hill knows it’s difficult to find good technicians, so when he finds them he does everything he can to keep them happy. Potluck dinners are held most weeks and lunch is brought in to the lab almost every Friday. Last summer, Hill even arranged for a local ice cream truck to stop by the laboratory every Thursday afternoon and treated everyone to free ice cream. In November, they had Mocha Mondays with custom-ordered Starbucks runs to kick off the workweek. The technician also comes first when working with customers. Earlier this year, the lab had a $7,000-per month client who refused to modify his preps to the recommended designs and, as a result, had a number of issues and remakes. The ceramist dedicated to the account was frustrated with the situation but the doctor insisted it was the lab’s fault. Hill chose to part ways with the dentist. “I find it much easier to win new customers than to find great technicians,” says Hill. “Every lab owner has to make a decision about where he will invest his resources. The family feeling among my staff is the result of a clear business model. For me, winning with my staff is substantially more important to me than winning with my customers.”
Furniture manufacturers and distributors offer a wealth of design and renovation strategies. Here, seven companies share how they helped their laboratory customers realize their vision, whether it was...See more an intimate 600-sq-ft training laboratory or a bustling 83,000-sq-ft operation. Nobilium (CMP) Installs 33 Workbenches in Louisiana Laboratory In 2011, Custom Dental Arts in Shreveport, LA, wanted to expand from its 2,500-sq-ft space so it purchased a 6,000-sq-ft facility located across the street. Lab Owner Ben Hart wanted to renovate the space, customize its layout and purchase new benches, so he worked with Nobilium (CMP) to develop a functional, yet economical solution. Nobilium helped design the lab's layout to ensure its benches would fit the space and recommended where to place equipment in order to maximize efficient workflow. Hart selected 33 adjustable-height Nobilium Single Benches with a stainless steel work surface. The benches also feature built-in dust collectors, compressed air hoses, overhead lighting, arm supports, a shelf for case pans and electrical outlets. To create a more interesting look, he chose blue benches for one half of the lab and red benches for the other. The Nobilium field technical rep installed all 33 benches on-site in two days. Two months after the renovation began, Hart and his 27-person staff moved into the new facility. 800-833-2343, 518-434-3147, email@example.com, www.nobilium.com NevinLabs Creates Functional, Esthetic Lab at Ivoclar Vivadent Training Center Ivoclar Vivadent purchased a new training facility in Toronto, and asked NevinLabs to design the workstations and layout for the 600-sq-ft laboratory. From initial design to installation, the project took eight months. During that time, Nevin prepared various layout options for Ivoclar to choose from--highlighting the pros and cons of each design--and worked closely with the architect to ensure the workstations fit within the space and the appropriate utilities were provided at the proper locations. Once the design was selected, Nevin manufactured the workstations and shipped them to Canada for installation; assembly took about 10 days. Nevin's ergonomic ErgoEZ benches--set up in a classroom style to maximize space--provide a functional area for training and offer a sleek and modern look consistent with Ivoclar Vivadent's image. The benches and stainless steel-topped cabinetry are crisp white and blue in keeping with its logo. The nine technician benches and one instructor bench feature variable-speed dust collectors with automatic or manual settings; removable dust hood with shield; motor-control panel with lighted power switch and indicator lights; stainless steel scrap drawer; and a gas valve and retractable air blowgun with regulator. 773-624-4330, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.dentalez.com Dental Arte Inc. Helps Design Bonadent's New 83,000-sq-ft Facility Bonadent Dental Laboratory, a 42,000-sq-ft lab in Seneca Falls, NY, needed more space for production, equipment and other technical areas, so it purchased an 83,000-sq-ft facility. During the 12-month renovation project, Dental Arte worked closely with Owner Bruce Bonafiglia to help design the laboratory and made several recommendations, including switching from linear to corner benches to maximize space and to create short, T-shaped walls between workstations to help contain dust. The company furnished the laboratory with 220 of its top-of-the-line, fully equipped Penta workstations with bagless vacuum, color-corrected lamps and spacious shelving on wheels. It also installed 270 Lab line cabinets and 80 Penta line cabinets including specially sized chemical hoods in the denture department, fume hoods for sintering furnaces, enclosed sandblasting cabinets with vacuum systems and a casting ring rack with a cooling fan. Both the cabinets and workstations offer all-metal construction and a powder-coated and liquid paint finish. Dental Arte also customized the benches in the lab's CAD/CAM department. For instance, the benches were made wider to accommodate a computer monitor and keyboard and allow technicians to easily adjust the height of the monitor. The workstations also include wider drawers and built-in air nozzles. 866-998-0807, 858-486-5484, email@example.com, www.dentalarteinc.com Freuding Labors GmbH, Germany Offers Variety of CAD-Designed Layouts In 2011, Dental Laboratory WOLF in Mainz, Germany moved into a 2,475-sq-ft facility and renovated it to fit its production needs, choosing Freuding Labors GmbH, Germany as its design partner. Based on floor plans and feedback from the lab, Freuding interior designers used 3D-CAD drawings and detailed views to provide the lab with a variety of layout and furniture options. Owners Juergen Wolf and Hussein Beydoun chose Freuding's two- and four-seater F20 and F40 workbenches with air and gas connections, suction units and funnels, workplace mats, lighting, instrument cabinets, bench pegs, shelves for worktrays, handpiece holders and arm rests and had them customized to fit the lab's requirements and layout. Special features include integrated PCs, a stainless steel suction hood and special work preparation area, backsplashes to contain messes, and cut-outs for gas hoses and soldering guns. Some cabinets in the lab are illuminated for easy visibility and others are equipped with wheels, making them movable for flexibility. To create a hygienic, clutter-free space in the treatment/shade-taking area, Freuding also incorporated a wall-mounted cabinet with dispensers for gloves, masks, disinfectant, towels and cups. From planning until completion, the project took about four months. 0049 8261 7676-0, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.freuding.com Handler Mfg. Co. Furnishes Laboratory for Growing Technician Training Program As the dental laboratory program at Georgian College in Ontario, Canada grows, the school wanted to create an improved area that could accommodate a larger number of students. Over six months, it renovated a 1,700-sq-ft space, including a main student lab and two processing rooms. Handler was given the space requirements and worked closely with Sinclair Dental, a Canadian dental supply dealer, to create a training laboratory suitable for 35 technicians and a variety of procedures. Handler and Sinclair worked with the college to select the proper pieces of furniture for maximum efficiency, workflow and comfort of the students and instructors. In the main student lab, 18 new Handler Model 215WS double-pedestal workstations were installed for the students. For the instructor, a Model 311 Master Technician bench was customized to be 4" taller at his request, a back panel was added for esthetics, and a false safety bottom was incorporated to conceal gas and air lines. In the processing rooms, Handler installed its plaster and casting benches and, since it also manufactures its own equipment, it incorporated its high-volume denture processing units, fume hoods and high-volume complete polishing units. All of the school's benches include lighting; storage; air, gas and electric hookups; and dust collection, water and waste systems. 800-274-2635, 909-233-7796, email@example.com, www.handlermfg.com Lista International Offers Modular Bench and Cabinet Solution Peebles Prosthetics, Inc. was located in a 4,500-sq-ft space spread over three levels and it wanted to better streamline production and workflow. During a 14-month project, it redesigned and renovated a new, 20,000-sq-ft building to better meet its needs. Completed in December 2012, the new Lakewood, CO, facility features an 11,000-sq-ft production area on the main level, with a training room, break room and offices on the second level. Lista worked with Owner Richard Peebles, AAS, CDT, and his architect to select and lay out the furniture. The goal was to increase the number of technician workstations, allow the lab to easily adjust and move furniture, increase efficiencies, and allow room for growth in the lab's technology and education areas. Lista's modular Technician Workstations and cabinets in light gray with burgundy accents were used throughout the lab. The workstations allow easy reconfiguration and tool-less repositioning of accessories. They also include high-output, color-corrected lighting; multiple case pan shelves; and Lista's unique downdraft system for dust collection that integrates seamlessly with the lab's central suction system. The cabinets feature stainless steel work surfaces and multiple drawer, door, shelf and sink cabinet configurations. 800-722-3020, 508-429-1350, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.lista-dentallab.com Fusa Dental LLC Designs Bright, Ergonomic Laboratory Seeking additional space, Nova Oral Design moved from an 800-sq-ft facility to a new, 1,200-sq-ft building with a lot of natural light. Owner Ken Shapiro's goal was to create a laboratory in which technicians felt comfortable and enjoyed working. He also wanted an open space that wasn't cluttered with benches and utility cabinets, an ergonomic workflow, and an area for shade taking and working closely with dentist-clients. Fusa Dental supplied a turn-key solution for the Calgary, Alberta, Canada laboratory, from planning drawings to plumbing and electrical support. Shapiro chose a design that features six rooms: two production rooms, a contemporary reception area, a shade-taking room with a dental chair, an office and a small kitchenette. The main production area is furnished with six blue and gray FUSA Bench 1 workbenches that feature maple butcher-block tabletops, retractable armrests, built-in suction units, 55-W daylight-corrected tabletop lamps, Werksitz ergonomic swivel chairs and several utility cabinets. The plaster/casting room features FUSA Bench 2 workbenches, stainless steel countertops with a marine edge to contain spills, high-heat-resistant cement tabletops and a welded-in double sink. Fusa technicians installed the furniture in three days, working over a weekend to minimize disruption to the lab. 310-922-8102, Lothar@fusadental.com, www.fusadental.com
Last month, Dental Arts Laboratories (DAL) launched DAL DT Technologies, a new division that is solely dedicated to the development and service of CAD/CAM technology and other subcontracting services to laboratories.
In 1999, Gary and Darlene Daymude opened Daymude Dental Studio in the garage of their home. They eventually outgrew the space and moved to a 4,000-sq.-ft. building, but the facility was far from perfect....See more "It was a 40-year-old building, with the departments divided up all over," says Daymude. "The only way we could have stayed there any longer would have been to completely gut it." Instead, the couple opted to build a 5,000-sq.-ft., state-of-the-art facility in Peoria, Arizona to house its 10 employees. To accommodate future growth, they installed 20 two-person workstations so it could easily accommodate up to 40 technicians. Representatives from NevinLabs (now part of the DentalEZ® Group) assisted Daymude in designing the facility and ensuring it would be equipped to handle the requirements of a laboratory, from power supplies to air hoses. "Nevin helped things go up with the organized efficiency of an erector set," says Daymude. The new facility has provided a boost to employee morale. "Because of the crispness and newness of the facility, people really enjoy coming to work," says Daymude. "I'm proud of the good working conditions and it's a joy to work in a nice facility." Daymude admits that the transition to the new building and its layout required some getting used to, but says his employees adjusted wonderfully. "We moved on a Friday, and everyone sat down at their benches on Monday and got to work," he says. Workflow is streamlined from the moment a case enters the laboratory. It moves from the reception area to the model room, then on to the die trim, waxing and metal finishing areas. "It's set up like a small circle and provides an easy transition from place to place," says Daymude. He helped employees feel like a valued part of the planning process by giving every worker a copy of blueprints and asking for input. While he wasn't able to include everyone's ideas, Daymude incorporated some suggestions in the plans, like an open atmosphere in the waiting room that allows patients to watch technicians go about their work while waiting to get shades taken. Daymude Dental has a state-of-the-art training facility that accommodates up to 30 attendees. It features an eight-foot drop-down video screen, overhead projector, audio/visual feed wired directly to the lab's operatory and kitchenette. "The training center is a very good draw for dentists and a good way to get to know them and become better partners," says Daymude. More Design Showcases: A Dream Come True For Continental Dental Laboratory Eurotek Dental Studio: Historic Home For a Modern Lab Summit Dental Lab: An Energy-Efficient Expansion