Business News MicroConnex, a provider of high-density interconnect solutions to the medical and industrial test markets, acquired and commissioned a Fischerscope X-Ray XDV-μ Metrology Station from Fischer Technology. This X-ray fluorescence (XRF) instrument expands the MicroConnex metrology capability set to include best-in-class thickness and composition measurements of very thin metal coatings, conductive traces, and small components and structures. Steve Leith, VP of engineering and technology at Microconnex, said, “Our customers often use circuit and interconnect designs that challenge conventional metrology capabilities for minimum feature size as well as thickness and compositional measurement accuracy. The new Fischerscope XRF expands our metrology capabilities to enable higher resolution measurements of very small functional features and other critical-toquality structures of importance to our customers.” Leith said, “With the poly-capillary optics and silicon drift detector, this XRF instrument is at the front of the line in X-ray measurement technology. Our recent commissioning of the system further solidifies our market position in both fabricating and ensuring quality in difficult-to-build HDI designs.” Carestream’s nondestructive testing organization named a new partnership with Baugh & Weedon Ltd. “BW provides technical sales, project management, local manufacturing, product and after-sales support that will enhance our customers’ experience in this region,” Carestream stated in a news release. Founded in 1967, Baugh & Weedon has a background in manufacturing MPI benches and FPI lines, eddy current instruments (ECT), ultrasonic (UT) thickness gages, flaw detectors, and pipeline inspection systems. They have demonstrated the ability to work with highly engineered digital systems and provide their customers with the highest level technical solution for every application. “We are pleased to have joined forces with Baugh & WeedonLtd,” said Martin Graen, Carestream’s worldwide general manager for nondestructive testing solutions. “The UK markets have historically been a strong area for Carestream, both with conventional film as well as digital systems. Baugh & Weedon’s investment in highly trained customer-focused technical personnel & equipment to support NDT radiography (RT) proves their commitment to excellence in this critical industry. Combine that with Carestream’s long list of award winning products and it’s a powerful combination for delivering customers the solutions they need.” Oxford Instruments’ industrial analysis division became part of Hitachi High-Technologies Group. A new company, Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science, brings together Hitachi High-Technologies’ scientific instrumentation portfolio with Oxford Instruments’ 40-year history of analytical instruments and services developed in close partnership with industry customers. The collaboration will offer the companies a wider ranging product portfolio, more contact points with customers and more chances to meet customer needs. Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science will continue to specialize in delivering high-tech analysis solutions, developed in close collaboration with industry customers and designed to meet the tough challenges of a rapidly evolving industrial sector. The company’s range of laboratory-based and in-field testing instruments deliver materials and coatings analysis that adds value throughout the production lifecycle, from raw material exploration to incoming inspection, production and quality control to recycling. A team of in-house experts have developed customized testing methodologies for hundreds of industrial applications, delivering simplicity of operation for even the most demanding applications. Dawn Brooks, managing director of Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science, said, “Today, we already help thousands of businesses streamline their costs, minimize risk and increase production efficiency. The combined strengths of Hitachi and Oxford Instruments Industrial Analysis greatly increase our capability to offer an ever wider range of leading-edge analytical solutions to our customers around the world.” Element Materials Technology completed its acquisition of Exova PLC. This transaction joins the two companies to create a single global testing organization. The combined company, which is majority owned by Bridgepoint, an international private equity firm, now has more than 6,200 employees and will operate in the future as Element Materials Technology. The new Element Group will consist of 200 laboratories located in more than 30 countries. This latest acquisition by Element follows a period of significant growth for the business, helping it to become the fastest growing independent materials testing and product qualification company in the world. It is expected that the combined group will deliver in excess of $700 million in annual revenues and serve more than 40,000 customers worldwide. Element will continue under the leadership of CEO and President Charles Noall, alongside an executive team formed from senior management from both companies. Commenting on the acquisition, Charles Noall said, “We have a clear strategy for growth and this acquisition is a major milestone for Element. Our ambition is to enhance our ability to support customers across their worldwide programs. With more laboratories and even greater technical strength, our combined company has the scale, capacity and expertise to service the increasingly diverse needs of our clients. “The combined group is the leading testing provider in the global aerospace and oil and gas sectors, a market leader in European fire and building safety and the U.S. transportation and automotive testing market. Our focus will be to maintain these positions as well as explore the many new market opportunities now open to us.” Noall added, “Having already acquired a total of 17 businesses in recent years, we are very experienced in implementing procedures and processes in bringing businesses and people together. A program of integration and strategic brand alignment is already underway with the aim of continuing to deliver best practice while introducing our new colleagues into the Element community. “Our guiding principle is to continue to be the best and most trusted testing partner in all of the sectors we serve.” To support the acquisition, Element has fully refinanced its existing banking facilities and raised $1.4 billion of first and second lien term debt, alongside $150 million of committed ancillary facilities. Jo Wetz, Element Group’s CFO, commented, “This has been a highly successful financing which was 4x oversubscribed with offers of over $4 billion from our investment base demonstrating the confidence that our banking group has in Element.” YXLON released a new “Computed Tomography (CT) for Industrial Applications” handbook that explains the process of CT scanning and to use it for industrial applications. Busy engineers who are either experienced or novices at imaging will find simple methods and approaches for applying CT scanning technology their industrial parts and sub-components, according to a post on YXLON’s website. CT starts by scanning an object and generating a series of 1D and 2D images at different angles, YXLON described. The separate images are assembled into one 3D representation of the scanned object using powerful imaging software. These images, called “tomograms,” are taken using X-ray scanning, usually through a full 360-degree rotation and represent “slices” of the full 3D representation of the scanned object. The brighter the gray areas are in an image, the denser they are. Black is negative space. From these slices, the final 3D image is rendered, providing actual insight without destroying the item being imaged. Known as “volume rendering,” these pictures can have realistic shadows, opacity, camera angles, and more. Many times, even the 2D images are enough for engineers to get the information they need. CT dates back to the early 1970s, with research by Godfrey Hounsfield and Allan Cormack, who eventually won the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1979 for their work in using CT on the human brain. Its applications have since then extended beyond the human brain into various industrial and research applications.
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