Every CAD/CAM department needs a Brin Vogel.
Throughout the past five years, Vogel has been instrumental in implementing Knight Dental Group's CAD/CAM and advanced technology initiatives. But he's also proven to be a dynamo in computer networking, troubleshooting, material evaluation, process integration and, well, just about anything else that comes up in the department.
"Not only has he become a recognized expert in every facet of 3Shape software, he can quickly diagnose and repair issues with our milling software and equipment as well," says Laboratory President Barbara Wojdan, CDT, AAACD. "His passion for excellence, determination to succeed, and constant focus on our objectives have helped us transition from many traditional, labor-intensive techniques to more accurate, highly productive technology processes."
Vogel began his career at the lab in 2000 as a metal polisher and eventually progressed to all-ceramic press technician. It was having the opportunity to help beta test Digital Dental Lab's Dental Mill that really got him fired up. "I loved the whole concept of transferring the manual process of design to the computer," says Vogel, who had no previous background in digital technology. When Knight was one of the first laboratories to install the Dental Mill, Vogel was involved in every aspect from fine-tuning design and mill settings to implementing it into the workflow.
"I learned a lot by networking; I surveyed and visited other laboratories to see how they set up their departments and then helped tailor some of those ideas for our operation," he says. For example, after visiting Edmonds Dental Prosthetics in Springfield, MO, Vogel helped implement the Lean Manufacturing concept of Dynamic Flow (working with small batches) to increase efficiency in the department.
The CAD/CAM department now consists of five mills, three scanners and five design stations, as well as six Knight-trained technicians who Vogel says are key to the technology's success. Vogel also assumes responsibility for framework and full contour design training. "We're all artists and everyone has a different way of reaching the finish line," he says. "But my goal when I'm training someone is to show them how to use the tools to get to that finish line more effectively and efficiently."