X-ray tubes for industrial applications gain in importance
The seventies were marked by an overheated economy, rapid growth and the founding of new subsidiaries. Through continual investment in research and development, the portfolio of x-ray tubes for industrial applications swiftly expanded. Oil production efforts were stepped up around the world and pipeline construction was booming (Trans Alaska Pipeline, Nord Stream Pipeline). COMET delivered the first mobile x-ray tubes for use in continual safety inspections of pipeline weld seams.
1971 marked the first time a person – a patient with a cyst in her brain – was examined using computed tomography technology (CT). COMET developed the special x-ray tube used in the world’s first computed tomography scanner (CAT scanner) developed by a team led by Professor Hounsfield, winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1979. Finally, new high-performance tubes with an especially small focus and image intensifiers were presented at the International X-ray Congress in Madrid.
These successes took COMET AG beyond the landmark threshold of CHF 10 million in 1973, when it generated CHF 11 million in sales. Upon the death of Beat Steck in 1977, Martin Frey took over the reins of the company for the next 25 years.
Technical expertise, perseverance and a good feel for customers’ needs characterized this decade. Customer proximity emerged as a competitive advantage and development times between prototype production and commercialization became progressively shorter.