Bertin Technologies, a subsidiary of the French industrial group CNIM1, finalized the takeover of the Saphymo Group, a French leader in systems for detecting and monitoring ionizing radiation. As a result, it has strengthened its scientific instrumentation and systems division and become the only French industrialist to offer a full range that
- detection and identification of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats, for defense and security
- and ionizing radiation monitoring for the nuclear industry.
With the acquisition of Saphymo, Bertin Technologies has created a new entity called Bertin Systems & Instrumentation aimed at becoming an international leader on the market of instrumentation products with high added value in terms of technology, for the sectors of nuclear energy, environment and life sciences as well as defense and security.
The new offer is dedicated to four major fields:
- Ionizing radiation detection and monitoring in the nuclear and environmental sectors. For example, Egypt has just entrusted Saphymo with setting up a network that monitors radioactivity throughout its territory. In the event of a radiological incident, water and air alert stations installed at strategic locations, will enable rapid crisis management. Also worth mentioning is the installation of radioprotection devices and access-control gates in EDF’s new power plant, the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) in Flamanville.
- CBRN threat detection: a full offer is now available thanks to the synergy between Saphymo (radiological and nuclear detection) and Bertin (chemical and biological detection). Bertin has thus become one of the only global groups offering proprietary systems for all CBRN threats. This meets a need that has significantly grown in recent years, following the lessons learned after the Fukushima disaster and persistent chemical and biological threats. Recently, Second Sight®, the chemical gas detection camera, was purchased by the Los Angeles Police Department to protect major city events from the risk of terrorist attacks.
- Lab equipment. Within just years, Bertin has also become one of the world leaders in biological sample preparation with its Precellys product range. For example, to support HIV research, the new Precellys Evolution, launched in September 2014, now equips an American BSL-4 lab, the highest level in biosafety.
- Technological developments and systems, in particular in the field of optics. Designing comprehensive units of high-level scientific instrumentation has been a longstanding Bertin activity. With its parent company CNIM, Bertin Technologies has been accompanying the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) for over 10 years on the Laser Mégajoule program. Ordered in 1996 after nuclear testing was halted in the Pacific, the 300-meter long, 50-meter high facility was inaugurated in October 2014, enabling small-scale replication of extreme phenomena that occur during the operation of a nuclear weapon. Bertin designed the equipment for the large experiment room and developed the laser beam alignment system, capable of focusing on a target with accuracy down to a micron.
The new entity Bertin Systems & Instrumentation is aiming for faster development abroad by relying on a solid export network made up of about 50 distribution partners. It also has local facilities such as its subsidiary Bertin Corp., created in 2010 to market products on American soil, and an office in Singapore to cover Asia. Saphymo rounds out its facilities with a site in Genoa, Italy and one in Frankfurt, Germany.
Saphymo’s team has been maintained under the operational responsibility of Laurent Schneider Maunoury, appointed CEO, while Bruno Vallayer, Sales and Marketing Manager of Bertin Systems & Instrumentation, has become Saphymo’s President.
According to Bruno Vallayer, “the first goal of this merger is to develop commercial and technical synergies between Bertin and Saphymo, like on the Dora project, a contract won in 2013 with the French Arms Procurement Agency (DGA), to develop the new radiometer for the French Army. Bertin teams are now providing support to the Saphymo teams on that project, in particular for the aspects dealing with ergonomics and electronic design.”
Revealing the Invisible
Saphymo has been a key player in ionizing radiation monitoring for 60 years. The company is involved in numerous aspects of radiation detection and measurement. Its product ranges are associated with personal protection as well as process and environmental monitoring: dosimetry, portable radiation protection, contamination monitoring, fixed channels, access control, etc.
Saphymo’s products and solutions, designed for highly demanding industrial environments, are used by the nuclear industry (nuclear power plants, fuel cycle, etc.) and also in many other sectors: defense, security, environmental monitoring and track & trace.
Based in Saint-Aubin in the Paris region, the Saphymo group has 160 employees and reported a turnover of just over €20 million in 2013. It also has sites in Grenoble, Thiron-Gardais and Bègles. It has two subsidiaries: one in Germany and one in Italy.