Discussing the Development of VIDA with Martel Instruments


Tradeshow Talk with
Martel Instruments
at Lab Innovations

Could You Tell Us About Your Company, and Why You're at Lab Innovations Today?

We're Martel Instruments, and we're a manufacturer based in County Durham in the northeast of England. We've been operating for about 35 years, and we first started as manufacturers of thermal printers. We've sold these to the lab world for many years for applications such as sterilization equipment or blood gas analysis equipment.

Two years ago we started the process of supplementing our printer range with more advanced technology. Whilst the printer range is great the world is moving further away from using paper, and we want to be a part of that move. We decided to build a box, and we call it VIDA, which is your Virtual Information Data Assistant.

With our printers we provided customization in any quantity that was needed. So what we've done is we've applied that same niche to VIDA, so the idea is that it's a communication hub with all kinds of software and communication devices on there. This includes wifi, Bluetooth, infrared, the ability to send messages via email and text.

In the lab world there's tons of lab equipment out there that costs thousands of pounds but is also quite old, whilst still working reliably. Large labs have spent lots of money on equipment in the last ten, fifteen years that they can use for another ten or fifteen years. But they want to be able to now connect all those pieces of equipment together and record their data onto one central system, rather than having to write everything down. Writing data down opens yourself to data losses and human error.

Our VIDA system allows older pieces of equipment to link to newer pieces of software. At Lab Innovations you'll see loads of LIM systems, Lab Information Management system companies. We can be the bridge between the older pieces of equipment and the Lab Information Management systems, and we can also sell to large-scale lab manufacturers as well. But for us it's all about serving as many different markets as possible.

We're really driving out the lifetime of older legacy systems in our customers’ labs that they want to keep for another ten years or so. We’re basically allowing them to upgrade their old device at a fraction of the cost of buying a brand new piece of lab equipment. Whilst also hopefully selling some printers along the way, because people still need printers too.

We are here to promote our printers, but also to grow our new business. VIDA will future-proof our business, which means when no-one is using printers in twenty years time, we'll still be selling IOT and VIDA products.

Which Industries Do You Serve?

We work with any type of lab, regardless of the industry. We also work a lot with the automotive industry, and with lots of smaller businesses too. We supply custom printers for small and specific applications, which means that our customer base is really wide. Whilst there are many printer manufacturers we are quite unique in that we supply small volumes to lots of different companies.

As a result we work with some very niche applications. For example we provide the printers that law enforcement use to print out the results of alcohol blood testers. It really is a diverse range, and we want to bring VIDA into this diverse mix of business opportunities.

What Makes You Unique in the Industry?

We are happy to take on both small and big orders, meaning we can produce any custom printer or VIDA system in any quantity needed. This means we can work with you if you only needed one system, or ten systems, or even a few thousand. Our competitors in the printer world cannot compete with that.

Our competitors, whilst they’re good at what they do, their products are not customizable and produced for the point of sale. Whilst this is good for basic applications like printing receipts it is not as good for the science and medical industries, who want smaller orders and for the printer to be made in their branding, as it will be included in their system. We can do this for them, and we can also do it cost-effectively.

We’re developing our new product in-house with designs and ideas coming from within the business, and we’re very proud of that. We ran internal innovation sessions meaning our team has all inputted on the project and feel proud of it. Together we’ve worked on all of the marketing and development and it’s been really immersive for all of us.

We're looking forward to selling the system and seeing the fruits of our collective labor.

It’s been really exciting to work on a new system, and produce all of the new marketing for it. We’ve just finished our new website and now it is full steam ahead.

VIDA how to guides ... Video 1 Unboxing your VIDA Dev Kit

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Martel Instruments.

For more information on this source, please visit Martel Instruments.

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