Review of 2021 – X-Ray Systems

X-Ray Systems

The realignment of the IXS division gained momentum in 2021. Although this journey is not yet fully completed, the division reached important milestones, achieving full-year profitability on an EBITDA basis. The division continued to shift toward the semiconductor device arena, reducing the complexity existing in part of its product portfolio and focusing on value-driven offerings. Work continued on the cost base, which remained stable despite a gradual recovery in the end markets and made a significant contribution to the improved operating result.


“We reached important milestones and see big opportunities for the division.”

Kevin Crofton

CEO of the Comet Group and Interim President, X-Ray Systems

In 2021, IXS continued to develop a standardized product portfolio designed to fit market needs. In addition to the launch of new x-ray systems releases (Cougar & Cheetah EVO, FF20/35/85 CT, MTIS, UX20), this was reflected in a focus of R&D investment on the high-growth, high-margin semiconductor and electronics sector. This market offers great opportunities for the division. Executing on the focus strategy, IXS was able to reduce the number of customer-specific systems from thirteen to two, the number of software platforms from seven to three, and the number of distribution partners from over 300 to 50.

Despite the demands placed on the team by the restructuring measures, the division was able to ensure customer satisfaction and kept pace with the increasing market demand. A highlight of the year was the first win of an order with the new FF 35 Semi system for testing advanced packages. The division successfully won business with one of the largest device foundries in Taiwan, a top-five OSAT company (a provider of outsourced semiconductor assembly and testing). In order to be successful in this market, it is also necessary to use the latest 3D visualization and analysis software for extremely demanding 2D/3D imaging tasks. In close collaboration with ORS, a specialist in AI-based image processing that became part of the Comet Group at the end of 2020, IXS has developed a solution that enables customers to detect defects in such advanced packages faster and with greater reliability.

IXS recorded 30.1% higher sales of CHF 138.9 million in 2021 (prior year: CHF 106.8 million), signaling a return to the pre-pandemic level. With EBITDA of CHF 8.9 million, the division has achieved an impressive turnaround (2020: loss of CHF 1.0 million). The EBITDA margin rose from –0.9% in the prior year to 6.4%.

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