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Siemens Healthineers expands CT production with $85 million investment in German facility

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | May 26, 2023
Business Affairs CT Parts And Service X-Ray
Siemens Healthineers is investing 80 million Euros into expanding its production site in Forchheim, Germany.
With its Japanese production facility nearing capacity, Siemens Healthineers is keeping up with demand through an €80 million (over $85 million) investment in a new factory in Forchheim, Germany, which will produce crystals for semiconductor components used in CT scanners, including photon-counting devices, enabling higher resolution images generated at lower doses.

The investment includes 100 new positions at the 9,000-square-meter factory, which is scheduled to begin operations in 2026, and will make production less costly, enhance product quality, and enable further growth through additional capacities, says the company.

The crystals will support increased use of photon-counting solutions, including the Naeotom Alpha, the first scanner of its kind in the world. Conventional CT detectors convert X-rays into visible light and then into digital electrical signals, losing important information in the process, reducing contrast and making images blurry. Naeotom Alpha’s cadmium telluride single crystal detectors avoid this by converting X-rays directly.
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“Here we are building the world's first photon-counting CT scanner, Naeotom Alpha, whose demand has increased enormously since its market launch in 2021 due to its high-resolution imaging. In addition to a very good infrastructure, the region offers many incentives for skilled workers," said André Hartung, head of diagnostic Imaging at Siemens Healthineers, in a statement.

Naeotom Alpha captures high-resolution images with up to 45% less dose, enabling it to scan a patient’s lung at high speeds. In addition to improving resolution, the inherent spectral information eliminates the need for patients to hold their breath and identifies materials inside the body that can be removed in images if they block areas of interest.

Using the building for crystal production will prevent supply bottlenecks and shorten construction times. The investment will also expand research and development on crystal production.

Additionally, operations will be CO2-neutral, with the company seeking LEED Platinum certification, using waste heat from production to heat the building’s facilities and a 170kWp photovoltaic system to generate electricity. The outdoor facilities’ eco-friendly design, bright sealed surfaces and shady greenery prevent heat island effects, while LED technology reduces lighting in the outdoor facilities, avoiding light pollution and protecting nocturnal animals.

The company previously invested €350 million at its Forchheim site in 2019, transferring existing R&D and production facilities for X-ray machines and generators to it from its Erlangen site, which is 15 minutes away and just this month opened its new Education & Development Center.

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