Review of 2020 – X-Ray Systems

X-Ray Systems

At the beginning of the year, the X-Ray Systems division (IXS) seamlessly continued its improved performance of 2019. However, the structural downturn in the automotive market had already created headwinds when the pandemic at the end of the first quarter of 2020 exacerbated the situation in the automotive and aviation industries. The division rapidly introduced a series of aggressive countermeasures, including cost reductions, short-time working, virtual installation of systems, and discontinuation of customized products. In the second half of the year, business stabilized at a low absolute level, and the stringent measures have sized the business to be successful on a go-forward basis.

Overall, the challenging market environment led to a decline in sales of 23.5% to CHF 106.8 million (prior year: CHF 139.6 million). Profitability at EBITDA level decreased to a deficit of CHF 1.0 million, compared to a CHF 12.0 million profit in the prior year. The EBITDA margin amounted to –0.9% (prior year: 8.6%). 

In order to improve profitability IXS redirected its focus and most of its R&D efforts to accelerate its position in the semiconductor and electronics sectors. The product portfolio was streamlined toward these growth markets and geared to high-volume end markets. The standardization effort included a reduction in the number of software platforms. UX20, a new system for the inspection of medium to large castings, was introduced on the market. The division also brought out more advanced versions of systems for the inspection of larger and heavier electronic components.

Key financials of X-Ray Systems at a glance







Net sales






EBITDA margin

– 0.9%


Number of employees worldwide



Sales of X-Ray Systems division by market

An important milestone was the acquisition of the Canadian software developer Object Research Systems (ORS), which supports the strategic realignment strategy to implement advanced image analytics for the semiconductor/electronics and automotive space. ORS’s outstanding expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning/deep learning (ML/DL) will allow the division to offer its customers new capabilities in assessing their production processes and ultimately improving yield.