X-ray inspection systems
from Heiligenhaus, Germany
IMS was founded in 1980, and the firm develops and produces isotope, X-ray and optical measuring systems for a wide variety of application areas. The company is headquartered in Heiligenhaus, Germany. Today the company has approximately 500 employees on five continents.
About the company
X-ray systems require optimisation for every application. The multiple requirements in special technical niche areas demand flexibility. For some applications high stability and long-term reliability play the major roles, in other applications price-optimised solutions are desired. The requirements of our customers are at the forefront of our business activities.
Only companies who can consistently deliver faultless products can compete long-term in the global market. This capability is ensured with safe, high-performance, robust inspection systems that can be used in a production process while it runs, and that enable non-destructive material testing.
In recent years IMS Röntgensysteme GmbH has grown by meeting these quality requirements consistently. Since 2000 we have developed and manufactured X-ray generators, control systems, and complete systems as per the clear requirement specifications of our customers.
Our products include X-ray systems for measuring the thickness of cold-rolled and hot-rolled strip in steel production, and for microstructure examination of fully assembled PCBs, or of the smallest castings. Application areas include medical technology (computer tomography) or the food industry (foreign object detection).
More than 5,000 IMS systems are in operation around the world – each designed for a very particular task. With our own development department and a clear production structure we can respond quickly and flexibly to special customer requirements.
As an IMS customer, you benefit from continuously high product quality, short downtimes of your production lines, and the resulting, sustainable cost savings. Use our experience and know-how.
The founders of the company Paul Flormann, Bernhard Mengelkamp, and Hans Schneider started development and manufacturing of non-contact measurement systems for rolled material. Computer-supported signal processing was an essential component from the very beginning. The first registered office was an old building of the decommissioned Scheidt clothing mill on the north side of the Kettwig Reservoir.
Engaging in developments off the beaten path has always been part of the IMS DNA. In addition to isotope thickness measuring systems, IMS also developed and introduced optical measurement procedures for non-contact measurement in real time.
Year by year IMS needed more space. The manufactured measuring brackets became ever larger, and lifting the heavy loads was increasingly problematic. In addition, loading was becoming ever more of a challenge. Further expansion of the listed historical building was not possible.
X-ray technology offers various advantages. In contrast to continuous radiation sources such as isotopes, X-ray radiation can be controlled and completely switched off at any time. Today X-ray technology dominates in the area of thickness and coating measurement.
By definition, measuring systems demand the utmost accuracy and continuity. This was the impetus for IMS to develop and manufacture its own precise solutions tailored to the respective requirements, as it does for all of its core components.
The use of ever more varied measurement technologies necessitated a new name. IMS Isotope Messsysteme GmbH became IMS Messsysteme GmbH.
Increasing requirements and the specialisation in X-ray technology resulted in the founding of IMS Röntgensysteme GmbH as an autonomous company. X-ray technology products quickly also became of interest to customers outside of IMS. With its strong development department, ever since its foundation the company has consistently been able to implement special customer requests.
IMS combines the control module and high voltage module to create an X-ray generator, and the XRG series becomes the standard. This modular concept provides sufficient creative space for continuous enhancements, improvements, and the realisation of customer requirements.
Like previous developments, the microfocus X-ray generators are also extremely compact and are modularly structured devices. In addition to the customary high voltage supply and filament supply, these generators also provide the grid supply required to generate a narrow, confined X-ray beam (in X-ray microscopes, for example).
Always closely affiliated with IMS Messsysteme GmbH, IMS Röntgensysteme GmbH again becomes a 100% subsidiary. IMS Röntgensysteme GmbH brings its special capabilities, such as extensive know-how and fast response times, back into the IMS Group.
Up to this point, all developments focussed on radiation generation, but from now on, development of the first image-generating components also started. Together with high-performance processing software, nothing now stood in the way of the development of inspection systems.
Through its experience with production in highly complex series and in small-series, the logical next step for IMS Röntgensysteme GmbH was to concentrate on manufacturing all core components within the Group. In return, IMS Messsysteme GmbH can align its capacities to system development and project planning. This decision is a real win-win situation for our customers and for the IMS Group.
Case study: In close collaboration with a customer, a custom-tailored inspection system was developed, completed, and installed.
This unique atline system inspects complex multi-layer composite metal panels that are required for generation and storage of renewable energy. The project was completed very quickly, in spite of various problems, such as insufficiently connected areas.
New developments have been and remain a fundamental part of IMS. The latest findings and state-of-the-art production methods are incorporated into all IMS products.
In this regard IMS always thinks and acts sustainably. One aspect is ensuring that further developments can be integrated into existing products and systems. Our customers can be sure that all IMS products will also meet this standard in the future.