Founded in: 2003
Sector: medical technology (dental products)
Products: Zirkograph, CAD/CAM system, ICE zirconium, ICE ceramics
The South Tyrol-based company Zirkonzahn is the brainchild of dental technician Enrico Steger; he founded it in 2003, when he headed his own laboratory and a new material – very strong but expensive – was first introduced as ideal for prosthetic implants: zirconium. At that time, to process the material there was only one computerized milling machine, which was extremely expensive.
Steger came up with the idea of a manual milling machine for the new material, using only the force of the hands. The new equipment needed to be easier to handle and much cheaper than the existing machine. Based on this invention – called the Zirkograph – Steger started an innovative activity in Gais (the Aurina Valley), with the intention of providing dental technicians with a complete system, comprising the milling machine, zirconium and kilns to fire prostheses harder than steel and lasting over 50 years. His search for perfection can also be traced in the company headquarters.
Actually, Steger wanted the architecture of the building to reflect the values of order, cleanliness and discipline, coupled with innovation, creativity and development. The offices were given a linear design, combining elements in glass and spaciousness to produce a sense of order yet a relaxing atmosphere for two-way conversation. Another important part of Steger’s philosophy can be seen in his young, multi-ethnic team: a group animated by a spirit of co-operation, carrying out their duties with the utmost flexibility. However, it is important that precision and concentration at work don’t prevent new ideas from developing and for these, a degree of light-heartedness, irony and spontaneity are required. This approach has enabled Zirkonzahn to continuously develop and optimize its range of products - which includes the manual milling machine, zirconium, sintering kilns and the CAD/CAM system - and to work with Universities and research institutes throughout the world. The Zirkograph and other dental products are currently exported to over 100 countries and colleagues from these countries manage sales, admin, marketing and production activities at the corporate headquarters. The company now has 15 branches worldwide and provides refresher courses on zirconium milling techniques, not only in the teaching lab but the world over.
Excellent quality, precision and simplicity of use are, with reliability, the key values of the South Tyrol company and are reflected in punctual deliveries, effective technical support and client relations based on close dialogue.