3-Year-Old Laboratory Uses HeyGears 3D Printing Solutions for Rapid Growth
Building a scalable dental ‘Dream Factory’
Rob Dinker knew he was taking a risk when he opened Integrity Dental Services in Duluth, Georgia, in 2019. Dinker had spent more than 11 years at another laboratory, working his way from account manager to Vice President of Operations to Chief Operating Officer. However, he saw immense promise in starting his own business in a segment where many of the customers are backed by the spending power of private equity, and digital technology provides immense promise for internal workflows. "Branching out on my own was a gamble," says Dinker, who has an MBA from the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business. "I formulated a business plan for an industry that is changing as fast as you can blink, knowing that I did not have an established reputation like many of the laboratories with whom I would be competing. I used my background in business to the best of my ability, leveraged relationships, and brought in key people."
The risk paid off. Integrity has grown from three employees to more than 170 in just 3 years, and Dinker expects to surpass 200 next year. The laboratory's goal is to eclipse $55 million in revenue this year. "We have scaled tremendously," Dinker says. "At the same time, we are very much known for customer service and support, so we have maintained the approach of a small laboratory." Indeed, Integrity technicians still interact directly with dentists via text messages and FaceTime. "Our dentists really get to know the technicians and account managers," Dinker says. "Our goal as a business is to continue to scale without allowing any of our accounts to get lost in the numbers." A key aspect to Integrity's scalability is bringing together great teamwork and customer care with advanced technology.
Dinker attributes much of Integrity's ability to balance these elements to Chief Operating Officer Chris Niquette, an industry veteran. Niquette's experience with 3D printing, in particular, has proven to be a major driver for Integrity. "My background fit well with Rob's business expertise," Niquette says.
Digital production is key for Integrity's growth and scalability, and the laboratory has chosen to partner with HeyGears for all of its 3D printing needs. They have three HeyGears UltraCraft A2D printers—versatile, industrial grade machines designed for dental production. The UltraCraft A2D can print applications ranging from implants to orthodontics to restorations. "Those have been workhorses," Niquette says. "They are tremendous printers." The laboratory recently added a HiVE—HeyGears' automated module equipped with a 3-liter material refilling system for large volume printing. An automated arm automatically removes the build platform, collects printed parts in an internal storage bin, and returns the build platform for continued printing. The storage bin is capable of holding more than 400 printed parts and can operate unmonitored for 16 hours. "The HiVE is wonderful because it can run overnight," Niquette says. "It has become a very efficient 3D printing employee because we can load so many jobs in it."
Just as impressive as the machines—if not more so—are HeyGears' validated UltraPrint-Dental printing resins, including Denture UV for denture bases and Denture Teeth UV. "HeyGears works hard to validate these great options," Niquette says, "and we tend to find that they are approximately 20% better than other materials on the market in the key areas of importance to us: strength and esthetics. Their resin materials are consistently better across the board."
Beyond HeyGears' products, Dinker says the company's forward-thinking attitude sets it apart. "They are constantly asking what we need next, rather than being satisfied with what has already been accomplished," Dinker says. "They never say something cannot be done; they work to find solutions. At a laboratory like Integrity, that is important because it helps create a competitive advantage." Often, when a need arises, Niquette finds that the HeyGears team has already been working on a solution before even being asked. "That is huge because at the pace at which we are growing, we cannot wait a year and a half for certain solutions like we might have to with other manufacturers," Niquette says.
HeyGears has also worked with Integrity to design their "Dream Factory," a service that HeyGears now offers to its laboratory partners. Integrity highlights the project as the nation's first dream laboratory—a futuristic room for both production and education. "We are excited to show what the workflows and capabilities are, and what the capacity can be for a laboratory working hand-in-hand with the clinic in real time," Dinker says. "The Dream Factory tells a story of who we are, how far we have come, and how far we are about to go in the future." HeyGears 3D printers, materials, service, and support are a significant part of that future. "The way HeyGears has grown exponentially worldwide is a beautiful story," Dinker says. "Both HeyGears and Integrity are future-forward. We are not just settling for how far we have come. We are looking at how much farther we can go."
UltraPrint-Dental Denture Teeth UV and Denture UV
HeyGears UltraPrint-Dental 3D printing resins are designed for specific dental application requirements. The Denture Teeth UV and Denture UV resins provide a complete solution for your digital denture production needs.
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