With more than 60 years of experience as well as premium high-tech components and systems, the Comet Group enables customers in numerous industries to both enhance the quality of their products and make their manufacturing more efficient and eco-friendly. We recent met with Paul Smith, Senior Vice President of Global Product Marketing, to learn more about Comet Group and the upcoming grand opening of its innovative Lab ONE in San Jose, CA.
Can you tell our readers more about Comet Group, your companies, and your business in the U.S.?
Comet Group is a Swiss company with a global presence. Within the past 10 years, the company has vertically integrated into upstream systems, and there now are three industry-leading technologies and solutions under Comet: YXLON, Comet Plasma and ebeam. The brands are in demand for applications such as non-destructive testing and security inspection, the coating and treatment of surfaces, and non-contact sterilization. YXLON develops and markets X-ray systems as well as tubes, while Comet Plasma Control Technologies vertically integrates vacuum capacitors into custom RF impedance matching units for advanced chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and etch processes for semiconductor device manufacturers and OEMs. ebeam technologies are used in the areas of sterilization, curing and thin film, and are integrated into end-user processing systems. Comet Group currently has approximately 1,200 employees, more than 200 of which are focused on R&D activity. The San Jose office was opened to support its growing roster of Silicon Valley-based customers. Lab ONE will be located within this facility.
What is Lab ONE?
Comet Groups’ Lab ONE is more than just a technology showcase. For our customers, Lab ONE is a working lab and testing environment that will act as an extension of their business — providing testing services and access to a Think Tank of leading industry experts that are available for consultation, brainstorming and problem solving. The heart of Comet Group’s success with our customers in the Silicon Valley is the trusted and collaborative relationships we have developed. The Lab ONE center allows us to work closely with our customers earlier in the product development process and that creates tremendous learning opportunities and value for all parties. The Lab ONE center, opening in October, is the first testing lab of its kind to offer a service-model approach (“pay as you go”). This allows customers to test under real-world conditions and gather the data they need to improve quality, increase yields and achieve repeatability. Lab ONE is a hands-on, applications center that encourages engineers to work on tomorrow’s problems today. The open, collaborative environment creates thought tangents that result in new ideas and solutions, even beyond what the engineers originally came in to work on.
Many companies in the Silicon Valley have innovation centers and research facilities. What makes Lab ONE unique?
What differentiates Comet Group’s Lab ONE center from other labs is the variety bundled technological competence that customers encounter at Lab ONE based on the depth and breadth of technologies and real-world testing environments we can create. This enables us to provide customers with solutions that best fit their specific needs. No other company can offer both the deep technical expertise that comes from 50 years of experience and our ability to collaborate with our customers very early in their product development processes. Lab ONE brings together three technologies to allow multiple customers to explore multiple technologies.
What types of technology solutions are available at Lab ONE?
There are three key Comet Group technologies that will be represented at Lab ONE:
• Comet Plasma Control Technologies (PCT): Designs and manufactures high-tech plasma control products used to make semiconductors, commonly referred to as computer chips. Comet PCTs Radio Frequency (RF) power products improve the performance of the equipment used by our customers to manufactures chips or integrated circuits (IC) used in cell phones, computers, and tablets. As a result, their customers including companies like Apple, Intel and Samsung and many others can deliver products that run faster, last longer and store more information.
• YXLON X-ray and Computed Tomography (CT) technology provides the best imaging and analysis data, using industry-leading hardware and software for quality testing and assurance. The YXLON X-ray systems can diagnose real yield issues on next-generation designs for global customers in aerospace, automotive, electronics, medical, as well as museums and universities to view potential defects during the industrial inspection process that are 200 times smaller than a human hair. These non-destructive testing capabilities help customers optimize yield and produce safe and resource-optimized products.
• ebeam: ebeam Technologies designs, manufactures and integrates electron beam technology solutions for global customers in the semiconductor, medical and industrial industries. By mastering the small electron, ebeam is helping customers refine existing materials and create new ones, develop cleaner processes and achieve greater resource efficiency for the good of the planet. ebeam is helping customers in the following ways:
• Reducing energy consumption in some industrial processes by 50-80 percent
• Eliminating the need for toxic chemicals in certain industrial processes
How are your customers utilizing Lab ONE?
We will be celebrating the grand opening of Comet Group’s Lab ONE on October 4. However, we’ve been collaborating with key local customers for many months to ensure the services we are providing are helping to solve their biggest business challenges. By doing so, we are enabling companies to build better components that enable their customers to bring high-quality and reliable products to market faster.