Our ambitions for the divisions
Plasma Control Technologies
The Plasma Control Technologies division is leveraging the market drivers behind the ongoing digitalization to expand its market position substantially: with a more advanced product range, stronger presence in Asia and intensified key account management. Its existing broad customer base as the leader in the market for vacuum capacitors and impedance matching networks provides an excellent foundation for this.
“We are entering the generator market, intensifying our collaboration with customers, and becoming more flexible and faster.”
Michel Kammerer, President, Plasma Control Technologies division
The technology-driven lifestyle demands frequent upshifting to the next generation of microchips. These require ever more sophisticated fabrication processes. Chip manufacturers must thus continually upgrade their plants with the latest instruments. Especially the Comet-supplied RF power technology for plasma control is critical to the successful production of high-performance chips. By strengthening our product portfolio, in particular through the further forward integration in RF generators, we are offering OEMs and chip makers state- of-the-art technology that helps to continually improve and accelerate the development and fabrication of microchips through high-speed digital interfaces, data-driven process analysis and other benefits.
With the planned launch of our innovative, modular RF generator, we intend to gain a lasting foothold in the generator market from 2021. As well, vacuum capacitors with a higher power density will further strengthen our technology and market leadership. Innovation and speed are essential in order to deliver ever greater value-added for customers. We are therefore constantly investing in the advancement of our key components, in our processes and our organization.
A major pillar of our strategy is the expansion of our presence in the highly promising Asian market. Here we aim to grow even closer to our customers: By strengthening customer support in key regions, expanding our design center in Korea and adding our new manufacturing facility in Penang, Malaysia, we want to make the coordination and interaction with our customers even smoother, respond more quickly to their needs and bring newly developed products to market faster. With the flexible and efficient production in Penang, we will be able to expand capacity as required and generate new business.
With its high-end x-ray solutions, the Industrial X-Ray Modules division is the market leader in non-destructive testing and security inspection applications. Further growth in the existing markets, the planned entry into the semiconductor and electronics market and the broadening of our innovative product portfolio will allow us to expand the addressable market from CHF 300 million to CHF 500 million by 2025 and increase our market share.
“We are opening up new growth opportunities by entering the inspection market for electronics and semiconductors and gradually taking full advantage of our potential in the focus markets.”
Stephan Haferl, President, X-Ray Modules division
Our high-quality product portfolio is based on high-end metal ceramic x-ray tubes, x-ray generators, portable solutions and complete x-ray modules. We are further strengthening our technological and market leadership by expanding and optimizing our product portfolio for non-destructive testing of extremely small parts, for in-line inspection, and for security screening. We are also moving into the market for the inspection of electronics and semiconductors. For this purpose, we are both developing closed x-ray sources based on metal ceramic, and taking over the manufacturing and sale of open microfocus tubes – the components business – from the X-Ray Systems division and making this product line available to the entire market. In addition, we are continuing our systematic efforts to become more cost-efficient and effective and to further reduce time to market for our products. In doing so, we are focusing on standardization, modularization, automation and the outsourcing of non-critical process steps.
The X-Ray Systems division is refocusing and repositioning itself as a manufacturing partner in three existing volume markets. As the current number three in the market for in-line and 3D inspection, and with a total addressable market of about CHF 800 million, we see good opportunities to grow profitably and expand our market position.
“Our realignment is placing us in an ideal position to become the preferred production partner in our growth and volume markets and grow profitably.”
Thomas Wenzel, President, X-Ray Systems division
Offering modular standardized systems, we are focusing on the high-volume markets of semiconductor & electronics, automotive and aerospace. The division’s remaining x-ray module business is being transferred to the X-Ray Modules division and distribution channels are being simplified. We are no longer developing systems as one-off solutions for single customers. Products will be standardized on a modular basis and converged onto a single platform. Throughput times will be further reduced and profitability thus greatly increased. The very lucrative service business, which we plan to expand strongly, will play a major role in the profit growth. For the service expansion, we are in the process of creating “digital twins” (exact digital representations) of the systems installed at customers and are developing digital services. Using these services, our customers will be able to improve their manufacturing processes around the clock, in and at the production line. This will enable them to minimize scrap, increase uptime and boost their competitiveness. An important element of these new capabilities is predictive maintenance. It in turn makes offerings such as software-as-a-service and pay-per-use possible. All this is based on data that we already generate at customers’ sites today and that we will combine with AI algorithms for process control, process optimization and defect prevention. X-raying thus not only creates images, it also becomes a sensor. With our in-line inspection experience in the castings and tire market and our new, high-resolution FF65/70 product line, we are opening up the semiconductor and electronics market (which we already serve today in an at-line, process-supporting environment) and enabling fully automated analysis of minute features.