by Gus Iversen
, Editor in Chief | November 01, 2023
Dunlee, the CT and X-ray components company acquired by Philips in 2001, has told HealthCare Business News it is departing the replacement tube business to concentrate on its OEM product portfolio.
The decision comes roughly six years after the company left
its Aurora, Illinois, replacement tube manufacturing facility, citing at the time a “significant decline” in the replacement parts market. That factory was sold to Chronos Imaging LLC, which continued to produce third-party replacement CT tubes for Philips through the Dunlee brand on a contract manufacturing basis.
Now, with Dunlee exiting the replacement market, Chronos president, Pat Fitzgerald, senses an opportunity for growth, and the need to get the word out about what these changes entail for customers. He also has advice for CT stakeholders regarding lower costs, and what it takes to sustain them long term.
HealthCare Business News asked him a few questions over email.
HCB News: For context, how have Chronos and Dunlee partnered on replacement CT tubes since Chronos took over the Aurora manufacturing facility?
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First, I’d like to say my team and I are immensely grateful to Philips for their support over the last two decades. Beginning in the early 2000’s, when we were a part of Philips and started to develop the line of replacement tubes for GE CT systems that made Dunlee famous, and then again after we formed Chronos Imaging and bought the former Dunlee tube factory in 2018.
As part of that asset purchase agreement, we also agreed to continue producing the Dunlee brand replacement CT tubes for Philips on a contract manufacturing basis. Since 2018, Chronos has developed and introduced new products both in partnership with Philips and on our own.
One of the products we are most proud of is the Dunlee DA200 P40+LMB, which was the industry’s first third-party replacement CT tube to feature a liquid metal bearing. That tube was introduced in 2020, and all the early installations are still running nearly three years later. Fantastic product.
Unfortunately, CT replacement tubes require life cycle investments to keep them relevant, and due to competing priorities within Philips, they have chosen to focus on their line of Dunlee brand OEM products going forward. This is why several years ago Chronos began to develop its own line of Chronos brand CT replacement tubes for GE CT systems. Building on our expertise in this space, we have been able to take the reliability and performance of the Chronos AU series tubes to the next level.