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Siemens Announces Production of 100,000th LasR'-Made Hearing Instrument, Launches E-Detailing Software

Company continues to lead industry in advanced digital manufacturing technology

Siemens Hearing Instruments announces it recently built its 100,000th LasR'-made hearing instrument. This significant milestone celebrates Siemens state-of-the-art LasR (Laser Accurate Scan Replication) manufacturing technology developed to further improve quality of life for individuals with hearing loss and deliver advanced products with world class quality and reliability.

Dale Lalone, owner of Sound Advice Audiology in Portland, Maine who fit Siemens 100,000th LasR-made hearing aid, said, "The precision, retention and durability of the Siemens LasR shells have made this technology one of the most significant advances in the hearing aid industry. I have had many unsolicited compliments from my patients with respect to the superior fit and lack of movement when compared to their previous hearing instruments."

Introduced in 2001, LasR utilizes digital mechanical assembly technology, precision laser scanning and cutting-edge computer software to respond to a patient's desire for more accurate and comfortably fitting hearing instruments. Siemens new e-detailing software, now available for processing, takes LasR to the next level by enabling an even greater degree of precision and accuracy. When the ear impression arrives at Siemens, e-detailing prepares it for the best possible scan. This technology provides Siemens technicians with the power to make minute adjustments - nearly impossible by hand - that perfect the fit even further.

"Our LasR process is much more than a new shell manufacturing technique," said William J. Lankenau, president and CEO of Siemens Hearing Instruments. "Its impact on the entire hearing instrument fitting and manufacturing process is truly groundbreaking. Now, with our e-detailing software, we believe LasR will provide even higher levels of end-user satisfaction, namely wearer comfort, a more secure fit, lack of feedback and improved sound, and retention. These factors translate into tangible benefits for our customers, end-users and Siemens alike, including the reduction of remakes and returns, while getting the instrument to the end-user faster."

About Siemens LasR Technology

Siemens currently offers LasR-made shells on all of its Micro-Completely-in-the-Canal, Mini-Canal, In-the-Canal and Half-shell hearing instruments to provide its customers with the most advanced, highest quality hearing instruments. In the near future 100% of all Siemens custom products will be LasR manufactured.

LasR technology captures the physical impression of the ear, provided by the Hearing Care Professional, using laser scans to produce a "point cloud" image of the impression in 3D space. This raw data is then used to create a surface over the virtual impression, and vent and receiver holes can be easily positioned, or repositioned, as needed. The unique software uses a highly complex algorithm performing millions of calculations to complete the process.

Guided by the 3D rendered data, a laser then precisely "builds" the shell from a bed of powdered polymer material by selectively sintering (fusing) the polymer material into a shell with unprecedented accuracy.

In the future, since the impression information is scanned and stored in a database, shells can be recreated to identical specifications as needed without new impressions. This will speed up and facilitate replacement of lost or damaged hearing aids. As this technology progresses, Siemens' Hearing Care Professionals may eventually be able to scan the patient's ear in the office and send the information electronically to Siemens production facility, thus totally eliminating the need for a physical impression.

LasR shell material meets stringent biocompatibility requirements and has also proven to be more durable than traditional acrylic shells. The shells are lightly bead-blasted and finished to a textured surface that is not only more life-like and more closely resembles natural skin, but provides a better, more secure fit in the ear.

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