CMC Continues Pursuit of Excellence
New Senior Production Manager refines operation
When Shaun McCourt first became aware that the Senior Production Manager position at Custom Milling Center (CMC) was available, he was intrigued because of the sheer resources that could be at his disposal.
"As a large milling center, it has very innovative machines for manufacturing that are not usually used in the dental field," says McCourt, who joined CMC this past March after working as Production Manager for Digital Age Dental Laboratory and General Manager of Reliable Arts Dental Lab. "Additionally, this position offered me the chance to work with Henry Schein, which is obviously a great company with an extensive reach."
Upon accepting the position, McCourt soon learned that CMC's resources went beyond its powerful machinery. Talented personnel were already in place to help McCourt as he set out to develop new processes to maximize efficiencies and improve the customer experience and the quality of all outgoing cases. Director of Research and Development Ryan Faufau, Technical Supervisor Paul Nelson, and CAD Supervisor Beth Lundstrom led a team that had established CMC as one of the leading production facilities in the profession.
"I was impressed at how robust the team was," McCourt says. "Many of our people are cross-trained, which helps significantly with production. Our quality management system is up-and-coming, which will be crucial as the FDA continues to increase regulation of dental laboratories."
McCourt set out to make a strong operation even better. One of the first things he did was build a new customer service team, which included bringing on Carl Smith, a trusted former coworker at Reliable Arts.
Additionally, he evaluated CMC's processes to determine areas where he could make the operation better. CMC has acquired eight new mills with disc changers that can run by themselves overnight. They also hired an expeditor who went through the laboratory, scanning all cases three times per day, so customers can know where their cases were in the workflow if a rush was needed or updates were being requested. Another update involved changing how cases were organized within the workflow.
"They had been grouping the cases together by laboratory instead of breaking them up into case pans individually," McCourt says. "I have always believed that every case should have a case pan of its own, and that has improved everything across the board. Our workflow is based on one work ticket, one crown."
An efficient workflow helps CMC serve customers of all types. Dental Services Group (DSG) and two other large laboratories make up CMC's top three customers, but the rest are small and medium-sized laboratories.
"An outsourcing center should be able to mill anything that a dental laboratory wants to manufacture," McCourt says. "That is what we provide here."
One of CMC's most innovative offerings is Zirlux Acetal LTD for Snap-On Smile. Exclusively available through CMC, the solution is a fully removable full or partial arch that covers the patient's existing dentition. It is entirely tooth-borne, engaging the patient's natural undercuts, with no preparations or adhesive required.
"The resilience of the Zirlux Acetal LTD material is unique," McCourt says. "It is flexible without the potential for fracture. Our 5-ton industrial-grade machines are best equipped to handle that type of material. A smaller mill like the ones most laboratories have could do the job, but it would not do it very efficiently."
CMC also offers Myerson VisiClear partial dentures, which are flexible and can have acrylic and teeth added to them.
"We do VisiClear partials very well," McCourt says. "You can buy the materials through Zahn Dental to mill in-house, but they are best milled on our powerful machines because the spindles and tools will not wear out."
Another product that CMC is uniquely positioned to mill is the Zirlux line of digital dentures, which includes Zirlux Elite and Zirlux Select. Zirlux Elite dentures are milled from a monolithic PMMA puck, with composite added to the labial and palatal sides. Zirlux Select dentures have a printed base and milled teeth light-cured together.
"Zirlux Elite dentures are high-quality but cost-efficient," McCourt says. "For those who remain skeptical of how well the milled teeth are cemented into printed bases, Zirlux Select offers a strong monolithic option."
For either solution, laboratories are able to offer their clients digital dentures without the challenges of implementing a complete system in-house.
"Laboratories can just do a regular denture setup," McCourt says. "They can send it to us, and we scan it and copy mill it. Alternatively, they can send models with a bite block, and we will scan, design, and mill a white try-in for them to try in and send back to us. The changes to the laboratory's workflow are minimal."
All of these products help McCourt and CMC fulfill the goal of any milling center.
"We use our resources to help your business," he says.
Executive Profile: Shaun McCourt
Currently: Senior Production Manager, Custom Milling Center
Past: Production Manager, Digital Age Dental Laboratories; General Manager, Reliable Arts Dental Lab; Clinical and Technical Director, Costa Rica Dental Team
Responsibilities: All areas of production
Custom Milling Center