Well prepared for the future

W&H was founded in 1890 and was the first European manufacturer to set innovative accents with their mechanically driven straight and angled handpieces. Today, the Austrian manufacturer – based in Bürmoos near Salzburg (Austria) – can boast an extensive product portfolio with numerous patented systems in the areas of oral prophylaxis, restorative dentistry, endodontics, oral surgery, periodontics and implantology, as well as the important area of hygiene.

Interview on the occasion of the
company’s 125th anniversary

Marianne Steinbeck (EDI Journal) spoke with entrepreneur and managing director Dipl.-Ing. Peter Malata, whose family name W&H has been inseparable from since 1958.

Peter Malata
W&H Managing Director
Dipl.-Ing. Peter Malata

How do you get the impetus for your innovations?

Malata: The most important impetus is of course the end user. Close collaboration with key opinion leaders therefore comes first. Identifying user needs in a timely manner and combining them with our decades of experience and the most recent research results allows us to offer innovative solutions. A prime example is our new Piezomed unit. Piezo technology is something we have been working with for a long time. Through close cooperation with internationally renowned users, we have succeeded in refining the existing technology to the point where our device clearly outperforms previous models in the market in terms of precision. Working not least with the ideas gleaned from our end users, it is our ambition to facilitate the daily work in dental clinics and offices and support the teams even in difficult treatment situations.

Over and above your straight and angled handpieces and your hygiene-related services, your Implantmed, Elcomed and Piezomed surgical units are likely to be of particular interest to our readers. Where do you see the benefits of what you are offering?

Malata: What counts is the high reliability of our products. Surgical processes demand high precision – in man and in machine. We convert customer requests into specifications together with the users, and these specifications can then be implemented directly thanks to the close integration of our development and production units in Bürmoos. In this way we can bring customer-oriented products to the market swiftly.

Companies merge, nationally and globally, getting larger all the time – what chances do you think you have as a family-owned company?

Malata:Acting globally and at the same time remaining a family-run business is not a contradiction for us. At present W&H has over 1,000 employees worldwide, and in addition, we have developed a partner network over many years that spans the globe. As a family-owned entity it is easier for us to maintain sustainable and mutually supportive relationships. These values are much in demand today – precisely because there has been increasing anonymity and globalization.

Dentists, especially those active in semi-critical and critical environments, have been despairing over the proliferation of hygienic health rules. You of course do not mind a bit ... or do you?

Malata: Again, our goal is to simplify the daily lives of dentists. We see ourselves as a reliable partner who can offer optimal solutions. Our hygiene products such as the Lisa sterilizers or our Assistina cleaning and maintenance device aim at supporting the user in implementing the most up-to-date hygienic concepts and to meet all requirements. Whatever the challenges – with us dentists will be well prepared.

Thank you, Mr Malata, for your time and for this interview.

Source: EDI Journal 03/2015