Ideas Medical Solutions is a dental milling center with additive manufacturing technology that works exclusively for dental laboratories in Spain, France, and Portugal. Since the company began operations in 2014, innovation has been a constant in its work and the key that has enabled it to expand.
Ideas Medical Solutions (IMS) and Delta Abutments have a core team with a background in the industrial engineering sector. The team is accustomed to manufacturing and developing new products and builds perfectionism into its constant search for efficiency and improved processes.
This is why innovation and the discovery of new technologies and suppliers are key factors in explaining its rapid growth, which has led the company to its current capacity: Two 1,500 m2 production centers in Barcelona (Spain), a staff of 25 employees, and an annual turnover of around €3 million.
"We started working with Oqton at the end of 2021," explains Emilio Cabaleiro, Co-Founding Partner of the company and Head of Production and R&D. "It was a lucky coincidence, as we were obliged to identify new additive manufacturing software, because the software we had been using was no longer being supported or maintained and that generated many doubts. Now, the only thing I regret is not having met Oqton sooner."
The dental laboratory sector has undergone a major transformation over the past 15 years, which has led to an enormous qualitative leap. Until very recently, many laboratories were working via artisanal production "with lost wax casting techniques," says Emilio, "suddenly they had to completely reinvent themselves through complex production systems with 3D printing, 5-axis milling machines. Most large industrial production companies in other sectors don’t even have this level of machinery. Only companies with innovative vision dared to participate in this transformation, which has revolutionized the production processes of dental prosthetics".
The dental laboratory sector is no stranger to fads, as new production materials constantly appear, and both the functional nature and aesthetics of dental prostheses as well as order delivery times must be taken into account.
"Image is a key factor for the end customers in our sector. That forces us to work with new production materials that require new machinery and software, but they go out of fashion very quickly. The problem is that they are high-cost machines, around €250K each, so you have to know how to choose very well", says Emilio.
The machinery required for dental milling is expensive, as it consists of the purchase price of the machines, plus the data preparation software and the time investment in searching for suppliers and training the personnel who operate them.
"At IMS, we have invested around €1,000,000 in machinery over the past 3 years," says Emilio, "which is why we need software that allows us to maximize production capacity, prevent errors and reduce costs."
It was in this context that they started working with Oqton at the end of 2021, and stopped working with other suppliers in the sector.
"We tried out Oqton through a machine salesperson and we immediately saw that the customer service was excellent, they were always attentive to all our queries and doubts. The demonstration they gave us was very convincing and from the beginning, we were impressed, because Oqton is a solution designed for many technologies beyond the dental sector, so it allows us to develop many more ideas and products, it is something that fits perfectly with our team, who are engineers and programmers with great experience in industrial production".
We have reduced manufacturing time by 25%, increased production by 10% and also saved on material waste
Emilio Cabaleiro, Co-Founding Partner and Head of Production at Ideas Medical Solutions
Optimizing time, processes, and costs
Oqton 's impact at IMS has been huge "as we have reduced manufacturing time by 25%, we can increase production by 10%, and we save on material wastage," Emilio explains.
Oqton’s manufacturing operating system has allowed IMS to reduce human errors by its operators and has lowered the average production time from between 4.5 - 5 hours to 3.5 - 4 hours per machine, in addition to denser nesting, which has led to an increase in denture production.
"At first we were a little reluctant to work with Cloud-based software, but then we realized that it is another of Oqton’s competitive advantages, as it does not force us to have powerful computers with high performance and cost, but we can operate directly from a mobile or from our laptop, which gives us great flexibility to access the system and check how the production is going at all times, from home or wherever we are".
Personalized service and co-creation
Oqton's licensing system is another quality that IMS appreciates "as you only pay for the use you require", Emilio points out, "but what we value most about Oqton is the way their team treats us. We can call them in the afternoon and they have even responded on Saturdays. We always get immediate attention, and above all, they listen to all our requests and work on all the suggestions we give them. You can tell that they are a young team with a great desire to work. Our relationship goes beyond the supplier-client dynamic, we actually have a process of joint co-creation of solutions, it is constant brainstorming".
Faithful to his commitment to innovation, Emilio Cabaleiro hopes to be able to test more Oqton features "such as Internet Of Things (IoT) services, which I think we can get a lot out of in IMS. In the end, Oqton is like a Swiss Army Knife, it always has the tool you need", he concludes.