About Comet X-ray’s new high-resolution modules
December 16, 2021
If you attended the FXE webinar hosted by Comet X-ray earlier this month, you probably got to know all you need about this product. But we have 6 backstage insights you probably didn’t know…
We investigated its origins and the secret of its long-lasting market success with Thorsten Rother (Yxlon) and Dirk Schneider (Comet X-ray):
FXE offers one of the highest resolutions in the market
By recently adding the FXE modules to their portfolio, Comet X-Ray strengthens its position as the one-stop-shop for in industrial X-ray tubes, offering now the full range from 1500 to 0.5 μm resolution. The demand for inspection of ever smaller parts, makes this new portfolio add-on the perfect fit for electronics, batteries, or labs applications.
It just ideally supports customers whenever high-resolution and performance is needed.
FXE is an incredible technological breakthrough
FXE stands for “FeinFocus X-ray Emitter”. FeinFocus being the name of the company that created the original version of this X-ray tube back in 1982.
What is special about the FXE is that it was the first transmissive open-source X-ray tube to enable laminography. Developed in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany, no other X-ray source allowed such precision at nano scale. Since then, the FXE remained a reference in the world of inspection requiring the greatest rigor, more precisely in the field of electronics.
So, no surprise that FeinFocus raised the interest of Comet, known as a leader for industrial metal-ceramic x-ray tubes. In 2004, FeinFocus was integrated into Comet Group. Over time the FXE technology has grown in importance with the ever smaller parts that customers wanted to inspect.
Thorsten Rother, former product specialist at FeinFocus and current senior product manager at Yxlon, tells us the hype:
"When we decided to launch the first nanofocus FXE at a trade show in 2002, it wasn't finished. We used a fake tube. Anyway, the technology we were proposing was so disruptive that even with a dummy, it was an instant hit."
FXE was part of Yxlon product offering for many years
After the acquisition of FeinFocus in 2004, the Comet Group continued its expansion in the X-ray systems business with the acquisition of Yxlon International in 2007. It’s at that time that both divisions merged and allowed Yxlon to offer a more complete range of precision X-ray and CT inspection systems, including systems for electronics inspection such as Cheetah and Cougar, formerly FeinFocus products… and it’s under the name "Yxlon" that the FXE modules were promoted.
FXE production has been transferred from Hamburg to Flamatt
In 2019, the Comet Group decided to become a one-stop-shop for industrial X-ray modules and, thus, to bring all tubes under the roof of the module business.
The logical step was to hand-over the production and development of all X-ray tubes to the Comet X-ray division. After the successful transfer from Yxlon to Comet X-ray, it is the latter division that is in charge of the production and sales of the FXE tube and modules. The teams, more focused on tubes and modules development, are more motivated than ever to bring the product to the next level.
Thorsten: “We are working very closely with Dirk Schneider, the new product manager, to understand and address the market needs. The collaboration happens to be very fruitful.”
FXE benefits of an unrivalled global customer support
While being excited by the future of the FXE and the endless opportunities ahead, Dirk Schneider, the product manager, also emphasizes on what is genuinely already available: The customer service.
For him it's clear that in addition to new functionalities or innovation, customers need a quality after-sales service that is accessible everywhere. Especially OEM's, need a partner they can rely on and do business in an easy way. This is already provided today through Comet X-ray's worldwide network.
"When we sell an X-ray module to our OEM's, we also sell the advanced service that goes with it. That's what we are best at."
The potential of the FXE is about to be unleashed
Miniaturization is the name of the game due to the digitalization that is taking place in all areas of our society. Therefore no wonder customers are pushing the offering towards high-resolution tubes that allow for ever-more precise inspection of small parts.
Thanks to its extensive know-how in the semiconductor and electronics industry Comet is well positioned and can offer its customers a unique expertise in very complex and innovation-hungry markets.
The R&D teams are ready to tackle their customers’ challenges and are looking already for the next technological breakthrough with FXE.
The FXE open microfocus technology has a bright future ahead. Not only is it relevant to the increasingly miniaturized world seeking for precision and safety, but it is also in good hands. The focused teams are already thinking about what the FXE Microfocus X-ray Modules of the future could be.
About the contributors
Dirk Schneider is Product Manager at Comet X-ray, focusing on micro and nano focus offerings. At the Comet Group since 2016, Dirk has an extensive knowledge of the markets served and is best in translating needs of highly innovative customers into new product features.
Thorsten Rother is the expert at the system business when it comes to semi/electronics and related X-ray inspection applications. He joined FeinFocus before becoming part of the Yxlon International team. He is the person to talk to for innovative applications.
Want to know more about FXE?
Our experts Anthony and Dirk provide you with a catch-up of the latest webinar in this recording.
They also summarized for you the attendees' questions.
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