Safe Care is the Ultimate Asset

Interview with Dr. Martin Schlüter
VP of Research & Development/Innovation
Dr. Margin Schlüter

Focused product development

When it comes to product development, safe patient care is always the primary objective. Dr. Martin Schlüter (VP of Research & Development/Innovation) explains why collaboration with customers is so important for that very reason.

What role do COLTENE’s customers play in R&D activities?

Close communication with dentists during the product development phase is tremendously important. They provide us with the inspiration to innovate, and so they play an active role in steering our development activities. By nurturing close contact with trusted dentists, we can improve our understanding of our customers’ needs, systematically incorporate them into projects and validate innovations. This is true of technology-driven innovations too, where we cooperate with universities and start-ups in particular – always with a view to meeting customers’ needs and involving them in technology and product development at an early stage.

How is that customer focus reflected, say, in new products launched in 2022?

In 2022, one of the new products we launched was the STATIM 6000B. It is a further development of the globally successful STATIM product range. During the development process, we focused on three key points: firstly, a modern, compact design with an intuitive user interface; secondly, the integration of the new G4+ technology for secure data exchange between dental surgeries, service technicians and COLTENE and for expanding the range of services we offer; and thirdly, enhanced efficiency by integrating an improved drying function while maintaining the same cycle times. The STATIM 6000B is an example of how consistently focusing on customer needs and regularly seeking customer feedback during product development contribute to the positive end result.

Where are COLTENE’s R&D activities heading?

Digitalization and standardization are the future direction of R&D. For COLTENE, this means that its development activities will be even more closely aligned with dentistry workflows. The goal is for all the products in the Infection Control, Restoration and Endodontics workflows to be even more closely coordinated with one other and to be suitable for use in both small dental clinics and large dentistry groups. This benefits the customer in terms of treating patients and meeting regulatory requirements. In Infection Control, for example, digitalization allows complete transparency in the traceability of individual cleaning steps, reducing the need for manual documentation, which frees up precious time for treating patients.