ADC Inc. Wins China Contract
12/20/2011 - 11/30/-0001
ADC Inc. Wins China ContractBy Glynis HartIthaca Times
ADC USA, Inc., located on Ridge Road in Lansing, announced recently that the company had won a large contract to develop beamline components for Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in China.
The company, founded in 1995 by Alexander Deyhim, designs very high precision equipment for the synchotron community, as well as "a lot of stuff that needs precise robotics, microsystem controlling, optical subsystems," according to Eric Van Every, an engineer working on the Shanghai project.
Synchotrons are extremely large circular rings that use electricity and magnets to make subatomic particles go very, very fast. The one at Cornell, known as CHESS (Cornell High Energy Synchotron Source), is a high-intensity X-ray source supported by the National Science Foundation. Synchotrons were originally developed to make particles collide, a process which led to new areas of scientific exploration. Not only were new types of particles discovered, but scientists found that the intense light generated by the collisions could be used to see very, very small things. A beamline is an offshoot of the circular ring, leading to an endstation where the particle beams can be used for research. In large synchotron facilities there will be many beamlines, each used for a separate line of inquiry.
The contract for ADC with Shanghai is to develop beamline components for four different beamlines at the Shanghai Synchotron. The Shanghai Synchotron Radiation Facility produces a high intensity source of infrared, visible, ultraviolet and x-ray radiation.
"The SLTs (products in the contract) control the x-ray beams," says Van Every. What the SLT-600-CU does is use horizontal and vertical "shades," like window shades, that can be calibrated to focus the beams.
"There's a lot of growth in our industry," says Mary Hotchkins, who handles PR for ADC. There are about 40 synchotrons all over the world, all of which do scientific research for pharmaceutical companies. "Most of these synchotrons need to update periodically because technology changes and equipment wears out. It's constantly changing."
The Shanghai contract is not one of ADC's largest, says Hotchkins, but it is notable because the bidding was so competitive, with companies from Japan and Europe in the running.
The company also does research and development of other equipment, less easily categorized. Among the research projects listed on their website is work to develop synthetic rope for the US Navy. "Natural fibers, such as cotton, wears out and rots over time," explains VanEvery. Synthetic rope holds up better, especially in water, but nylon can stretch under tensile pressure, and then the rope frays. As VanEvery explains it, the engineers found a way to coat the carbon molecules to prevent this fraying.
Other research projects include ocean temperature monitoring systems, an IED detection system, and a covert radiation monitor. The website includes not only information on the products developed at ADC, but a number of short primers for the layman seeking to understand of synchotrons, particle physics, and vacuums.
As part of the international scientific community, ADC's work is collaborative as well as competitive. "We use Cornell quite a bit," says Van Every. "We do numerous projects with them. CHESS is not only a customer but a peer at helping us build designs. There's also a large synchotron facility going up on Long Island; they're a large customer for us."
In the last six years, the company has expanded its facility and the number of people working there. They currently have 27 employees; they also have a few job openings (physicist and an entry-level engineer).
"Everybody is complaining that manufacturing is shipping to China," says Van Every. "But we are actually getting large scientific contracts from them, which states that the US is at the top of its game."