Describe your business in no more than 100 words
We manufacture and supply bespoke custom made earpieces for the NHS supply chain for use with hearing aids and also manufacture and supply custom made hearing protection to companies and individuals.
Which particular products and/or services make your business innovative?
We have just invested in a 3D printer and software package that now allows us to manufacture using 3D imaging which reduces turnaround time and allows us to keep the image on file. If for instance the patient loses their hearing aid, there is now not the need to revisit the patient to obtain a new impression of the ear. The hearing aid department can just ring an place an order for a new one therefore reducing time for the patient to obtain a replacement
What proportion of your service offer comprises new (under 3 years old) products, materials, technologies etc?
We would say that about 50% of our work is new to our market place whether it be for hearing aids or noise protection
To what extent have the innovations enhanced the sales of your other products/services or led to future opportunities?
3D technology is very new to our area of manufacturing and is greatly enhancing our services we offer. There are new production techniques in the pipeline which should increase our sales due to reduced turnaround times and shapes not possible by conventional production techniques
What new skills have been acquired by (and retained within) your company as a result of the innovations?
Since we have started to use 3D printing is a totally new way of producing earpieces thus bringing to the market place new shapes not previously possible by conventional production methods, We have developed skills in such area as 3D shaping and light curing acrylics.
How do you innovate in the way you run your business?
We are always looking out for new styles and shapes of earpieces and we always listen to our customers for ideas on new products.
What are your biggest professional achievements to date?
I was the very first person to be employed as a earmould laboratory technician with the NHS, manufacturing custom made earpieces for hearing aids.
Where do you see your company in five years time?
I would like see my company with more contracts both in the public and private sector and more members of staff.
What advice would you give to aspiring innovators?
If you have any ideas or aspirations then go for it, I wish I left the NHS several years earlier to fulfil my ambitions.
Normanby Laboratory Services will be showcasing their innovations at the Innovate Tees Valley festival in Middlesbrough on December 8. Tickets for the event are available free of charge - book your place now at http://innovatefestival.tv/
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