Case study: Hilger Crystals
Hilger Crystals has a long established history in the supply of high quality synthetic crystals for infrared spectroscopy and X and gamma ray detection.
Hilger Crystals and the School of Physical Sciences at the University of Kent have enjoyed working together for over a decade. Their latest collaboration, a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, was developed to establish an efficient, high volume crystal growth process of single crystal scintillators with uniform standard.
The 30-month project was designed to significantly reduce the afterglow from current standard commercial materials for use in X-ray scanners, typically airport security scanners. By reducing the afterglow, results would ultimately lead to improved security, faster scanning times and sharper images in a global market where cutting edge technology is a necessity.
Within six months new samples of crystals had been developed, enabling the company to scale up and build a pilot-plant and sell the new crystals a year ahead of schedule. Additionally the new product was less expensive to produce and the crystal growth procedure was simplified leading to further cost reductions.
Jim Telfer, the Managing Director said of the project, “The work carried out via the Knowledge Transfer Partnership has allowed Hilger Crystals to regain its position in a very niche area for X ray security imaging. It was via this project that we were able to identify and control the root cause of a fundamental process variable. Not only was the project a technical and commercial success but it also culminated in the recruitment of the KTP Associate as a full time member of staff which has lead to benefits that were not foreseen.”
"Via this project we were able to identify and control the root cause of a fundamental process variable"
"The Knowledge Transfer Partnership has allowed Hilger Crystals to regain its position in a very niche area for X ray security imaging"
Jim Telfer, Managing Director