Quality Medical Equipment for Quality Patient Care

FI Sales, LLC is pleased to offer Quality Medical Equipment for Quality Patient Care. Visit us at

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Protec, Provotec, Prognost, Akku ... Oh my!

With the introduction into North America of the PROGNOST mobile, elevating x-ray tables from Protec in Germany, there are some questions about what some of the names mean that are associated with these tables.  This is a good forum to explain ...

Provotec is listed on some of the documents concerning these tables.  Provotec of Germany was the original manufacturer of these x-ray tables.  Provotec was acquired by Protec Medical of Germany in 2010.  The similarity between the names Provotec and Protec is merely a coincidence as they were previously 2 separate companies, but now 1.

Protec Medical of Germany is the largest privately-held manufacturer of x-ray film processors in the world today. With the acquisition of Provotec in 2010, Protec was able to expand its product offering to include x-ray tables, x-ray systems, C-arms, and DR buckys.  All Provotec manufacturing has now been successfully transferred and assimilated into Protec's manufacturing center in Oberstenfeld, Germany.

PROGNOST is the brand name coined by Provotec for the line of mobile, elevating x-ray tables that Protec now manufactures.  There is a loyal following for the PROGNOST brand, so no name change is planned.  One can speculate that the name PROGNOST was coined as a shortened version of the word "prognostic," meaning predictive of something in the future.  That is certainly one of the results of x-ray, helping to deliver a prognosis for the future.

The highest end PROGNOST mobile, elevating table is the model XPE-Akku.  What does the "-Akku" mean?  Akku in German means battery, and the XPE-Akku is the battery-powered version.  Makes sense!

Hopefully, this explains the origin and meaning of some of the names associated with this premier line of mobile, elevating x-ray tables.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Western Blot X-Ray Film Processors

Although it is fast becoming a digital world, there is still a place for x-ray film processors in the world of blot analysis, specifically Western, Northern and Southern Blot techniques. The term "blotting" refers to the transfer of biological samples from a gel to a membrane, and their subsequent detection on the surface of the membrane. RNA, DNA, and Proteins are the three major macromolecules that are essential for all known forms of life, and blot techniques are used to identify their presence. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and Western blotting to detect proteins and glycoproteins is one of the most widely used and broadly useful techniques in cancer research.

The Northern Blot is an analytical technique used in molecular biology research to study gene expression through detection of RNA in a tissue sample. Northern blotting allows one to observe a particular gene's expression pattern betweens tissues, organs, developmental stages, environmental stress levels, pathogen infection, and over the course of a treatment protocol. The hybrid signals are detected by x-ray film and can be quantified by densitometry.

The Southern Blot is a technique routinely used in molecular biology for detection of a specific DNA sequence in DNA samples. After hybridization, excess probe is washed from the membrane and the pattern of hybridization is visualized on x-ray film by autoradiography in the case of a radioactive or fluorescent probe.

The Western Blot (also called the Protein Immunoblot) is a more widely used analytical technique used to detect specific proteins in the given sample of tissue homogenate or extract. The specific proteins are separated through electrophoresis by the use of labeled antibodies. This enables the identification of a target protein in a complex protein mixture. Western blotting can also produce qualitative and semi-quantitative data about the protein.

The most sensistive detection methods in Western Blot use a chemiluminescent substrate that will produce light when combined with the enzyme. The light is a transient product of the enzyme-substrate reaction and is measureable only as long as the reaction occurs. In well-optimized assays using proper antibody dilutions and sufficient substrate, the reaction may produce stable light output for 1 to 24 hours, allowing consistent and sensitive detection with x-ray film or digital imaging equipment. The light output can be captured using x-ray film or a CCD digital imaging system. X-ray film is the most sensitive method and can provide the most detail because x-ray film is more densely coated with photo-reactive molecules than a CCD digital imaging detector has photo sensors. In addition, the x-ray film is placed nearly in direct contact with the blot, separated only by a thin transparent plastic sheet, allowing more light photons to collide and interact with the film emulsion than with a CCD digital detector that may be located behind one or more focusing lenses. For these reasons, x-ray film exposure times are shorter than those required when using digital imaging equipment.

So despite a world that is becoming more digitized, x-ray film still has a place thanks to blot analysis which means x-ray film processors still have a place. FI Sales offers 2 models perfect for developing of blots.

The ECOMAX is a high quality, fully automatic x-ray film processor made by Protec in Germany. For low to medium volume x-ray film developing, the ECOMAX is a good fit. It is FDA approved and suitable for human use. The ECOMAX typically sells for about $4000. It is available with an optional No Plumbing Kit and a Stand.

The OPTIMAX is also made by Protec in Germany, and has a few more features than the ECOMAX. For higher volume x-ray film processing, the OPTIMAX is recommended. It is FDA approved and suitable for human use. The ECOMAX typically sells for about $5300. It is available with an optional No Plumbing Kit and a Stand.

Compare that price with the cost of a CCD digital imaging system that can run upwards of $20,000.  For about 20% of the cost of digital, you can have a reliable x-ray film processor.
Visit our processor webpage for more details on the ECOMAX and OPTIMAX x-ray film processors.

Friday, April 29, 2011

FI Sales is Fully Stocked with Protec Processors

We had a great day to receive yet another container full of Protec x-ray film processors from Germany.

Rear of container during unloading

The sunshine and warm weather made unloading the container a more pleasant experience as stack after stack of processors were rolled off the container into the staging area.

Processors unloaded into staging area

Then the processors are moved into the FI Sales warehouse so we can continue to provide same-day shipment on processor orders.

Processors stocked in the FI Sales warehouse

We are fully stocked with the ECOMAX, OPTIMAX & OPTIMAX 2010-NDT. Our EcoTank is made from the ECOMAX, so we do ask for a couple days leadtime on shipping EcoTank orders.

Why do we stock so many processors when digital imaging rules human and veterinary medicine these days? There are still many low film volume practices for which it makes more sense to use a film processor than to "go digital." When a practice is taking 1 or 2 images a week, it is hard to justify the digital investment.

So if you are looking for the world's simplest automatic x-ray film processor, give us a call for the Protec ECOMAX that is guaranteed to be IN STOCK. For the world's simplest veterinary x-ray film processor, check out the EcoTank, Economical and Ecological for the very low film volume veterinary practice.

And for busier practices, the Protec OPTIMAX is a proven performer for well over a decade processing a higher volume of film for practices. The OPTIMAX 2010-NDT provides an economical processor alternative for the industrial NDT market.

All our processor information can be accessed at

Monday, April 18, 2011

FI Sales Launches ebay Store

FI Sales, LLC is pleased to announce that we have officially launched our ebay store. The FI Sales ebay store can be accessed at Available for sale now are:

  • EcoTank, the world's simplest x-ray film processor

  • Chemicals for x-ray film processing

  • Sonoplus 3000-DS Mobile ECG Digital Cardioscope

  • G5 Lumen Essence LED Light Therapy Wand for skin rejuvenation & light stim
Coming soon will be additional G5 massage therapy products, additional darkroom accessories, CO2 veterinary surgical laser, and some miscellaneous products. We hope you will browse the store and start shopping soon!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

LED vs. Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is a hot (no pun intended) topic these days. Laser proponents tout more powerful, coherent (focused) light that penetrates deeply into the body. But does it really make it better than LED light therapy, a treatment protocol that has been used for decades now? The short answer is "No." Laser therapy is not necessarily better than LED therapy, but it is certainly different.

A great article detailing the differences in LED and laser therapy can be accessed here ...

Lasers certainly are more powerful and can penetrate deeper into the body's tissue. For deep muscle therapy or chronic arthritic conditions in large joints, laser therapy may be a better choice than LED therapy. To treat conditions on the skin surface, LED therapy is very effective, and at a fraction of the cost of laser therapy. So for skin rejuvenation, LED therapy is a cost effective treatment protocol.

The new G5 Lumen Essence LED Therapy Wand is now available for purchase by those interested in skin stim & rejuvenation. Visit for more information or to buy online for only $206 plus $10 shipping and handling.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Digital Imaging Cautionary Tale

Be very careful with whom you choose to do business when buying a digital x-ray system. That's the moral to this story of a digital sale gone bad.

Towards the end of 2010, we were bidding a Sedecal digital x-ray system to a local veterinarian. We had exhibited at the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association meeting in November of 2010, met there with the local vet, and provided him a quotation for a 9 mega-pixel Vet-Ray CCD DR system from Sedecal at a great year-end price. We didn't get the order in 2010, but we held out hope that he would buy from us in 2011. Our hopes were buoyed by further requests from the local vet in 2011 to update our quotation.

We worked with the vet in 2011. We invited him to Sedecal's North American headquarters for a tour and a demonstration of the system. We arranged to have a dog available for some test shots. Anyone visiting Sedecal's North American headquarters can see that they always have digital imaging systems on the shelf, ready for installations across the continent. We refined our quote to meet the needs of the local vet's practice. He was ready to buy. That's when this story turns sad.

It seems as if this local vet had signed an order form and placed a deposit with a competitor at the end of 2010. While Sedecal was filling orders and installing systems right up to the end of 2010, all this competitor could offer was a long lead time. So when our local vet tried to cancel his order with the competitor, he was told that his order was non-cancellable. The reason given was that materials were already allocated to his order, and to cancel his order, he would have to forfeit his whole 50% deposit. That is utter nonsense as our local vet was not ordering anything but a standard system. So if he cancelled his order, the system should be ready to deliver to the next buyer of a standard system. And by the way, the competitor's "standard" system was only a 6 mega-pixel resolution system with a 2-way float top table for MUCH MORE MONEY than Sedecal's 9 mega-pixel resolution system with a 4-way float top table and MANY more features. I felt bad for our local vet, but unless he could cancel his order and get his deposit back, there wasn't much we could do.

Unfortunately, there was no way he was getting his deposit back. With a small manufacturer like our competitor is, once the deposit money comes in, it is spent on salaries, materials, etc. If our local vet had done his homework, he would have discovered that our competitor had sprung from the ashes of a bankrupt company just a few years ago. That's how some folks like to do business in the USA these days. Set up a corporation, pull a big salary, run the company into the ground, go bankrupt, and do it all over again ... all under the protection of US bankruptcy laws.

So here is where our cautionary tale ends. Our local vet is stuck with a lesser product at a higher price from a company that may or may not be in business during the length of the warranty. But there are lessons to be learned:
1) Know the history and size of the digital supplier with whom you are dealing. Make sure you won't be looking for warranty support in 2 years from a company that needs your order to last 2 more weeks in business.
2) Make sure your quotation clearly shows the specifications for what you intend to purchase. Don't get fooled by big talk about minimal specs. Have your proposed supplier put it in writing.
3) Ask for references and more than just 1 or 2. Everyone has 1 or 2 buddies that they can count on to say nice things about them.
4) Ask how your proposed supplier will support any warranty issues, especially if they are not working with a local x-ray dealer on the install.
5) Know the core competancy of your proposed supplier. Are they really a "manufacturer" of digital x-ray systems, or do they simply purchase pieces and assemble them at your location.
6) Ask about hidden costs like annual maintenance fees, seat licenses, extended warranties, etc.

One reason we represent Sedecal is because they score very high when evaluating them as a supplier. They are a global company that is the #1 choice of veterinarians for x-ray in the USA. They've been offering digital x-ray systems for about 8 years now. Sedecal quotes are very competitive and clear, with specifications spelled out in detail. Lots of references are available on the Sedecal web-site at Just click the Find a User tab. Sedecal has a network of x-ray dealers across North America that can do any warranty service work, and they are headquartered in the Chicago area. Sedecal is a true x-ray manufacturer, even making their own x-ray generators. Some competitors use Sedecal generators! With Sedecal, there are never any hidden costs and unlimited seat licenses for viewing software. Sedecal will even help with your network. A recent customer of ours who purchased a Sedecal digital x-ray system commented that their network has never worked better or faster.

Stick with solid x-ray manufacturers like Sedecal when shopping for digital x-ray and you won't find yourself stuck with a lesser product costing more money from a very small company like our local vet did.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

G5 Massage Equipment Available from FI Sales

The best therapeutic massage equipment in the world is made in the USA by General Physiotherapy, and FI Sales is now fortunate enough to offer the G5 product line from General Physiotherapy. Please visit to link to our web-site. Literature is available by clicking on the product images, and price lists for equipment and accessories are available for download.