From the lab into the lab
He is “one of the specialists” or as Wolfgang Weber would say: “has first hand experience”. Because that’s part of the Renfert philosophy. Making work easy doesn`t start at the product development stage, making work easy already begins in the dental laboratory. Wolfgang Weber is a Master Dental Technician. He has worked at Renfert as a senior technician since 2014 in many areas of product development and in communicating with dental technicians and dental laboratories. In this interview he talks about the challenges at Renfert and about the role that dental knowledge and excellent contacts in dental technology plays for Renfert.
Mr Weber, after your training as a dental technician and your work in various commercial dental laboratories and practice laboratories, you gained your Master’s Certificate in 2000 and worked until 2014 as a dental technician. What motivated you, to enter into the world of industry?
After 30 years it was time for a new challenge. Renfert was looking for an experienced dental technician and offered me an interesting and varied working perspective. I was given the opportunity to devote myself to the dental technician’s issues and problems in his daily work. Through my many years of experience in the laboratory, I am able to bring a lot of impetus to improve and simplify the technician’s working processes.
What are the main differences in your new field of activity compared to your work as a dental technician?
Of course, my work at Renfert is also very practice-oriented. Precision, for example, is one of the most important issues. In particular, in the development of new materials or instruments we deal with the functions of the products in great depth. While it is important for the practicing dental technician to rely on the pledged properties of the Dynex cutting disc, in product development you have to delve into a lot more detail. How does a blade act when it rotates at different speeds? What happens when the pressure on a blade is changed? Work situations of all kinds are examined so that the product can be used in everyday laboratory situations. Another example is the die varnish: smallest changes to the formula can also change the product properties. Here it is our duty to guarantee the dental technician consistent quality and properties.
Renfert advertises that the products are developed by dental technicians for dental technicians. What is behind this statement?
Only if I know what is important when using a particular product, am I also able to develop various test scenarios. The experiences of other dental technicians are important. We are in very close contact with laboratories and are always on the lookout for new or different testing partners for our products, in order to prevent routine-blindness. Many solutions for new products or product enhancements require creativity and sometimes unconventional ideas to reach their destination. In this case, our design and development department relies on the user’s opinion.
For example, our new Renfert polishing paste should ideally save as many working steps as possible. These working steps can obviously only be demonstrated by a dental technician. To develop products such as these, we prepare practice-oriented models and test objects and then work hand in hand with our developers. When a product is market-tested and put through its paces by selected users, we dental technicians develop testing scenarios together with our specialists for new products, so that the products can be tested to the full extent.
Are there topics or typical problems that you experienced whilst you were employed as a dental technician, which you have been able to have a positive influence in during your work at Renfert?
A core competence area at Renfert is dental extraction systems. Dust bag free suction units, such as the SILENT compact, ensure money saving in consumables; powerful dust filters are a guarantee for consistently strong suction and play an important role in health protection within the laboratory. This field is a very exciting area for me and a large team at Renfert is constantly working on new solutions and innovations.
A dental technician is expected to create perfect results in terms of fitting accuracy, aesthetics and functionality. This is precisely why process reliability in all areas is very important for him. Consistent processes require consistent product properties for materials and this is just as important as reliable extraction devices or mixing devices. My aim as a dental technician is to constantly think ahead about processes and to improve and co-create the correct products. I know I have done a good job when a co-developed product is accepted by my dental colleagues / in the market, because then I know that we at Renfert have kept our promise “making work easy” once again.