Where's Waldo or One of These is Not Like the Other

CoolHandLuke

CoolHandLuke

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is it the last one? all of them seem to be showcasing a beautifully machined titanium bar, but that last one has been hand trimmed, or more like butchered. hole placement seems to indicate they are not the same part. who wrecked a wrist grinding all that off ?
 
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AGV

AGV

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Not the same. Last pic. has slipperd. Look mesial 23.
 
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brayks

brayks

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CHL and AGV are correct. The last one is different and it is what I would consider a hack-job.

There is a story around this and hopefully a lesson to be learned. Likely many of you know I have an issue with fairly lengthy posts. Hopefully not considered to be babbling but I can be prone to that as well....or so I'm told.

So if y'all could indulge me, grab a coffee and I'll relate the story... or not.

Some of you may know that our Versamill machining centers start life out as an Arum mill from what is now Arum Dentistry. What you may or may not know is that we do actually make some modifications to the machine to improve performance, increase reliability and enhance operation. These proprietary enhancements (some detail on our website) include both machine hardware, fixturing, control, spindle and axes drive configuration.

Having said that, it is hopefully clear that the is a difference (and a significant one) between a "standard" Arum machine and a Versamill. Anyone indicating otherwise is either ill-informed or not being truthful—or as politicians like to say: "less than candid"... but we all know what it means.

Now don't get me wrong the Arum machine is truly a very, very good machine. Hands down what I consider to be among the best which helps our Versamill then even better and easily ranked among the best, if not the best out there in terms of performance and reliability and life-cycle.

What some may or may not know we are two companies one, Axsys Inc. formed in 1994 dedicated to the industrial "digital manufacturing" industry (with 6 Application Engineers) and Axsys Dental Solutions (with 5 Application Engineers) formed in 2009 dedicated to the dental industry. You also may or may not know that I and most every sales & technical support rep in these companies have hundred man years experience in manufacturing and machining. Axsys Inc. has distributed: Mastercam, Delcam, Unigraphics and Pro/ENGINEER CAD/CAM software. Through the years we made the decision years ago to concentrate on the Mastercam solution for what is now the only CAD/CAM software we distribute in our industrial business.

As such, having dealt for years making just about any part you can imagine from countless material types for just about any industry and machine tool you can think of, we know a thing or two about effective machining practices and processes such that we can optimize the machining of a given part to suit a customers criteria in terms of fit, finish, cycle time and tool wear.

So it goes without saying we do not utilize stock templates from the manufacturer. We go to work to leverage our experience to develop templates that produce some pretty astonishing results.

Coupling the machine enhancements with our templates further separates our Versamill from a "stock" Arum machine and separates Axsys from most other distributors of digital dental solutions. Think about it, 11 highly experienced, uber-talented support engineers to develop and support our solutions... gives me goosebumps to think about...especially come payday :). (not really they are worth every penny!)

Problem is, there are other distributors marketing Arum machines, some under the Arum name and some under a private label name. Either way they are stock Arum machines with standard deliverable templates.

Of course these distributors will tell unsuspecting customers that what they are offering is the same as a Versamill, even while knowing that is not the case. Some even indicate that they work with us and are given certain authorities from us in an effort to leverage the good name we have worked so hard to establish. Certainly reinforces the general unfavorable reputation of a dental CAD/CAM or machine sales rep.

OK, there's the background. Now to the story.

It happens at Labday Chicago where we introduced our automated, robot supported clear aligner trimming solution. I was talking to the owner of a lab ( prospective customer) who was working with a company that had just purchased our aligner trimming solution. This customer mentioned he had an interest in adding another mill to was looking at the Versamill 5X400 (our most popular machine).

I started to speak about those things I mentioned previously and when I got to the point regarding finishes on our restorations he stopped me. He pointed to the Vesamill 5X200 we had on the floor demonstrating the robot loading and unloading the production of trimmed aligners and said something to effect that "I have one of these and I am not happy with the finishes I get" not only we he not happy with the finishes he also said that his distributor (when he finally got any meaningful response) of this private labeled Arum machine could not get the machine to produce anything he found acceptable.

So we chatted a bit about our company differentiators (machine modifications, fixturing modified templates, staff available and their capabilities, etc.) in contrast to his suppliers capabilities and the stock machine as the likely reason he was not happy with his machine or supplier.

At this point he showed me the picture which is the last one above on the blue base. The one you guys correctly identified. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was an absolute embarrassment. I explained how it was likely templates and fixturing and then showed him some pictures of our metal restorations (bars, abutments etc.)

The customer could not believe it or me. He asked multiple times, if they came off the machine as shown in the picture (which they did). and kept asking "you can do this?

In the end we too frequently lose business to these other distributors as they falsely tell customers the machines are the same or indicate, falsely some sort of affiliation with us and drop their price to undercut us. Purchasers for dental labs hear the machines are the same, but the price is $2,000 to $5,000 cheaper than ours. They don't think to ask (or seem to care) that the distributor is going to try to support them with their staff of 0 to 1 support personnel that know little about CAM software and virtually nothing about machining.

The good news for us and frankly all dental labs, this particular distributor is no longer affiliated with Arum machines (private label is not attached to a different mill) and not in a position to use unscrupulous methods to secure deals and leave a customer with a solution that does not perform anywhere near its potential.

Anyway, I thought this to be a good way to show how things matter. machine build, fixturing, software, templates matter and I think most importantly, how much your distributor, your partner matters and that the $2,000 to $5,000 or maybe even $10,000 price premium is well worth the investment.
 
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CoolHandLuke

CoolHandLuke

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what a story.

perfect example of what i've maintained the role of the mill operator for a dental lab should be - to machine not simply using the stocked templates but to adjust the approach taken for machining each item to optimize the results. be that result speed of finish or quality of finish.

for a guy to show up with that last part coming off a machine, i have to hang my head. thats a place begging for CAM knowledge and experience.
 
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grantoz

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i dont like the anatomy on any of them.
 
zero_zero

zero_zero

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i dont like the anatomy on any of them.
There's no anatomy on a prep design Bird ... although the interfaces looks nice it could've had another finishing pass... it looks a tad rough to my taste
 
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brayks

brayks

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There's no anatomy on a prep design Bird ... although the interfaces looks nice it could've had another finishing pass... it looks a tad rough to my taste
Yeah, we don't design them, just make them as directed—but of course as I'm sure you know, there could easily be..;):cool:
 
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