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A Specialist for Bridges and Bars

Thu, 09/19/2013 - 12:51pm
Siemens Industry

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Small but meticulous—allshape AG in Lengnau, Switzerland, near Biel specializes in high-precision products for all common shapes of dental implants. Thanks to the reliable Sinumerik 840D CNC, allshape AG gives dental laboratories customized and fast delivery service.

Switzerland is known for detailed precision work—one only needs to think of the legendary Swiss watches. Founded in 2008, allshape AG unites expert technical knowledge in the dental field with high-precision mechanics “made in Switzerland.” Together with dental technology partners, co-founders Bruno Aschwanden, Pieter Wackenier, and Bruno-Reto Aschwanden have developed a product that is in high demand in a booming industry sector.

Dental labs commission allshape to manufacture dental bridges and bars and custom abutments (the implant structure only or technical crown portion on the implant). The process employs all conventional prosthetics materials such as titanium, chromium cobalt, and zirconia. As it says in the company logo, “biocompatible solutions” refers in particular to the technologically very demanding milling of hard and brittle zirconia to produce a product that is highly compatible with the human body. “Precision is not enough; it also has to look good,” underscores CEO Bruno-Reto Aschwanden. At allshape the finest details for a perfect denture are therefore worked in with utmost care and devotion. Mass market products such as crowns or caps on the so-called tooth stump are left for others to do. allshape is not dependent on the implant systems of major manufacturers and thus can satisfy almost any requirements when completing custom patient job orders.

Delivery in as Little as 24 Hours
In addition to customized order completion, allshape also sets itself apart from large manufacturers by promising to deliver the finished product as soon as 24 hours after receiving an order. That can be done only if technology in the workshop is absolutely reliable. And allshape has such technology—after closely studying various machine and control solutions, the company chose Ultrasonic 20 from DMGSauer for hard and high-speed milling with the Sinumerik 840D. For perfect results, co-owner Pieter Wackenier modified off-the-shelf CAD/CAM software to meet his high demands. He is very satisfied with the CNC because the nonproprietary Sinumerik standard and the numerous options for programming parameters pay off even in complex workpieces.

The entrepreneurs are especially pleased by the high number of zero offsets and the ease with which zero offsets can be managed. “This allows optimal use of the integrated automation system.”

The installed network functions make it possible to rapidly process orders from the network. Because managing the program is similar to using a personal computer management of the various job orders is clearly structured and easy to handle.

Fifteen Bridges a Day
allshape manufactures approximately 15 bridges on each workday. “That would be inconceivable using conventional technology,” emphasizes Bruno-Reto Asch­wanden. Services offered by the company include scanning of models and designing dental bridges and bars as well as abutments.

allshape receives orders from dental labs through its own scanning center, but also from external scanning centers in Switzerland and the Benelux countries, and prepares them for production. The predesign is displayed for the dental lab on a viewer where further adjustments can be made before the order is milled from solid material on the 5-axis milling machine.

According to Bruno-Reto Aschwanden, his own company’s expertise is in producing precision-engineered workpieces, and he relies on his customers for expertise in dental technology. And he has no worries about what lies ahead. Although he anticipates that the dental technician profession will transform from a craft-based profession to one based on CAD programming, at the same time he sees the know-how for cutting technology and elaborate, customized solutions continuing to be the field of expertise for companies like allshape AG.

For more information, visit www.usa.siemens.com/cnc.

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