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Faster than a speeding particle

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The research market is Danfysik’s largest customer, accounting for up to 70% of its business. The company’s technology is found in fundamental research involving matter and particles.

“The biggest facility in this field is CERN in Geneva,” says CEO Frank Ebskamp. “Institutions like that deal with the really big questions of nature, and it takes a lot of energy to open particles and peek inside.”

The other type of research Danfysik supports uses giant microscopes and synchrotrons. “Accelerated electrons emit a great deal of light at different frequencies, so institutes requiring a lot of bright light will use our technology,” Mr. Ebskamp says. “With the light, researchers can investigate things at the nano or atomic level.”

The healthcare sector has been booming for Danfysik since 2004 when it entered into a partnership with Siemens to explore particle therapy as cancer treatment.

“It is much more exact and effective than traditional X-ray radiation,” the CEO explains. “The particles can be sent directly into the tumour, which leaves the surrounding tissue unharmed. This is especially important in vital organs, such as the brain.”

The partners have been developing this technology over the last decade, and whole buildings have to be erected to house the equipment. “We’re designing a much smaller, more compact version of this technology,” Mr. Ebskamp adds. “Much like with an X-ray room, hospitals could provide particle therapy in just one room.”

Industrial applications have been inching their way into Danfysik’s range, as well. The semiconductor market has been growing, affording numerous opportunities for the company.

“The Internet of Things, for example, is demanding increasingly capacity in chips,” Mr. Ebskamp says. “The hunger for new developments in the sector is insatiable.”

Sizable investments in semiconductors are not unusual, and ion implantation as a production method requires the use of particle accelerators and with it Danfysik’s technology. It is a challenging market that is opening doors for the company.

Danfysik was founded in 1964 as a supplier of components for particle accelerators. By the 1990s the company was producing its own systems – a unique skill on the market. “We helped and continue to help our customers by finding technological solutions to their problems,” Mr. Ebskamp explains. Today its accelerators range in size from a meeting room to an entire building.

In addition to offering the most advanced particle accelerators possible, Danfysik aims to expand its services. As the research market is highly project driven, there is little need to support customers with maintenance and repair services.

“Industry requires service agreements after the equipment is delivered, so we can assist them there,” the CEO says. In line with this, the company wants to increase its activities in industrial applications to have a better balance between it and the research market. “We have so many advanced capabilities,” Mr. Ebskamp points out. “We are a top-level problem solver, not merely a machine shop.”

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