HUDSON, Ohio—The maker of X-ray and CT systems is based in Hamburg, Germany, but in the U.S., it calls Hudson home.
Locally, the company recently has worked to offer more systems on site and to formalize its inspection and training services. Its customers have been calling for more CT and X-ray services, according to Director of Sales Joandre Galarza, and Yxlon wants to be able to meet those needs.
Essentially, Yxlon works to make "the invisible visible," Galarza said.
The company offers digital radiography and computed tomography systems that allow customers to conduct nondestructive testing, such as looking for defects, measuring wall thickness and checking porosity, Galarza said.
Customers can buy the systems for themselves or use Yxlon's inspection services. This is a service the company has always offered, but Galarza said it was a more informal process in the past. As requests from customers have increased, the company has added a formal inspection services process.
Nondestructive testing is used across industrial sectors, from the amusement industry—such as fair rides—to aerospace to infrastructure, said Dana Sims, public relations and brand manager for the American Society for Nondestructive Testing in Columbus, of which Yxlon is a corporate partner.
Nondestructive testing is critical to ensure the safety of the structure, as well as the people around it, she said.
"It's counterintuitive to cut something open just to find out, 'Hey, is this put together right?'" Sims said.
There are a variety of methods that can be used in nondestructive testing, from a basic visual test to magnetic particle testing to radiographic testing.
Sims said she believes nondestructive testing will always be in demand, no matter how advanced manufacturing processes get.
"Technology will not displace the necessity of NDT," Sims said.
Yxlon's systems are made in Hamburg. The company has about 430 employees worldwide, about eight of whom work in Hudson, according to Galarza.
Yxlon got its start in the United States about 20 years ago in Atlanta, Galarza said. It soon moved to the Akron area after acquiring an X-ray inspection company focused on serving the tire industry, its main area of focus at that time.
In 2014, the company moved to Hudson.
"So we stayed here because we strategically think that the Rust Belt and the automotive industry is one of our main drivers in this area," Galarza said.
Today, Galarza said the company focuses on serving six markets: electronics; sciences and new materials, which includes medical products; foundries; aerospace; wheels; and tires. Basically, Yxlon's products can be used in any type of industrial setting; they're just not fit for living things.
The market has changed over time, Galarza said. While customers used to check parts before they were machined, now they are also inspecting them when they're completed.
The growth of additive manufacturing is a good example. Additive manufacturing can offer industry a cheaper and faster prototype, Galarza said, but that also brings risks. Nondestructive testing lets those customers make sure 3D-printed parts are bonded correctly without having to cut them open.
Yxlon recently has been expanding the capabilities at its Hudson location, growing from two systems on site to four.
One of the systems, which can handle larger samples, was recently shipped from the company's San Jose, Calif., site, as it better serves customers in the Hudson market.
Yxlon's parent company, the Comet Group in Switzerland, also has been working to increase market awareness by opening a lab in San Jose that brings all four of its business units under one roof.
In general, having more systems available on-site helps Yxlon better demonstrate what its products can do for customers.