Lab Bench Australia case study
This challenge was accepted within an end-to-end business review designed to set Lab Bench up to scale.
Prior to the review, Lab Bench designed and fabricated all bench components in-house. Incorporation of expert vendor components enabled Lab Bench to focus on its core competitive advantage building robust benches. The approach resulted in increased efficiency and delivery velocity, and enhanced customer satisfaction.
Lab Bench chose the modular AWM family of products. Atdec’s flagship workspace mount, AWM enables virtually any configuration of all display and device types. AWM mounts are ergonomic in sit-to-stand and mobile laboratory conditions, highly stable, easy to set up, and chemically resistant. Lab Bench specified a collection of AWM products for the core modular programme, including mounting posts, device tray, and arms for different device weights – with confidence that the wider AWM family was available for custom Lab Bench builds.
Lab Bench customers include Fonterra, CSIRO, Sydney Water, and NSW Health.
Headquartered in Moruya on the south coast of New South Wales (NSW), Lab Bench was severely impacted by the 2019-2020 Australian bushfires. This led Whiting to commence a review of strategy, product, and delivery, targeting efficiencies and positioning the business for scale. Experienced analysts and consultants were engaged for the process, via government initiatives in support of bushfire affected communities.
Recommendations arising from the review included:
- Expanded codification of the modular Lab Bench programme and proportional reduction in custom builds
- Narrowed manufacturing focus to core Lab Bench features in which the business has a quantifiable competitive advantage
- Engagement of specialist manufacturers for other product features, such as monitor and device mounts
These recommendations were planned to resolve the high cost associated with custom component and bench delivery, and to streamline operations. They recognised expert OEM vendors such as Atdec would enhance customer experience and radically simplify Lab Bench modularisation. Holistically these steps were intended to increase efficiency and set a foundation for the company to grow at scale.
In adopting the recommendations Lab Bench expanded available modular options approximately 30%, with almost all subsequent sales accommodated within the standard modular package rather than as custom designs. Efficiency targets were achieved within months, including 20% faster delivery velocity.
AWM is primarily used in workspaces, and was designed for high-performance, elegance, and ergonomics. Many of these features benefit Lab Bench customers, such as AWM adjustability supporting mobility and multi-user comfort and built-in cable management channels to alleviate clutter. However, challenging environmental conditions typical of laboratories were also handled by AWM. Lab Bench routinely accommodates loud vibrating equipment such as vacuum pumps operating at 110dBA, which could have caused unstable mount performance. This was avoided by the combined effect of AWM’s stability, including internal cushioning and multi-point tensioning, and specialist Lab Bench noise-reducing cabinetry. AWM also provides chemical resistance; aluminium is the primary material in the mount’s manufacture, joined by stainless steel, polyurethane coating, and nylon and acetal thermoplastics. These materials are relatively strong and resistant to solvents, to balance resistivity and robust service (10-year warranty). AWM aluminium is recyclable at its end-of-life. Lab Bench standardised on black AWM products for the modular programme, to blend with the most common device enclosures. AWM is available in black, silver, and white, and Lab Bench has used the other colours for custom laboratory projects.
Lab Bench’s modular programme provides customers a high degree of flexibility in their configuration, including number of display or device mounts and location on the bench. It was found that most customers opted for a dual display setup per workstation area, usually mounted at left or right. After completing cabinetry, Lab Bench usually mounts an Atdec AWM-P75G post with two monitor arms, either AWM-A46 or AWM-A71 depending on device size and capacity requirements. The AWM-A46 arm is most popular in Lab Bench projects, to carry displays and devices up to 12kg, or 8kg where the device is deeply curved or offset.
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