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This articles were prepared for the
2001 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
The Proof is in the Particles
The size of a spray drop or powder particle can mean
the success or failure of a product. "Your acceptance of a bar
of chocolate depends in part on the sizes of the fat, sugar and
powders used," says Peter Faraday, vice president of Sympatec
Inc., the North American subsidiary of a German firm. It expanded
with a move from Princeton Service Center to Princess Road in late
Sympatec is short for "systems for particle technology."
GmbH produces particle measurement equipment for the food,
and chemical industries as well as for private, university and
research labs. The instruments, which cost from $55,000 to $180,000,
use a laser to measure the particle and confirm the particle size
and distribution or allow the researchers to modify their procedure.
They can be adapted to measure either dry powder for dry aerosol,
particles dispersed in liquid, droplet size of aerosols and sprays,
or emulsion droplet size.
Pharmaaceutical firms, Faraday says, are under pressure to get drugs
into the body as rapidly as possible, and they constitute 50 percent
of his business. "The success of a tablet pressing depends on
the size and distribution of the powders used," says Faraday.
"In asthma inhalers, if the particles in the spray are too small,
they will be exhaled again out of the lungs. If they are too large,
they will be caught in the back of the throat and swallowed. Either
way, the patient gets less relief and an expensive medication is
Other industries that need precise particle measurement are the food
industry and cement makers, while less precise information can be
used by those producing minerals, metals, and ceramics.
Alone among its competitors, Faraday’s firm is privately owned and
is known as the Mercedes of the particle measurement business.
independence from top heavy corporations allows us to attend to
like product reliability and quality instrumentation. if it is not
right on the last day of the month we don’t have to ship it,"
he says. Clients include Glaxo Smith-Kline, Aventis, Schering Plough,
Boehringer-Ingleheim, and Pfizer.
The firm was founded by four postdoctoral students at Clausthal
near Hanover, where the Hartz Mountain mining industry supported
A distant nephew of Michael Faraday (the famous 19th century English
scientist who established fundamental electromagnetic field theory
and built the first dynamo), Peter Faraday is an engineer by training
who has moved into management. He started this North American
eight years ago.
"Each instrument is custom assembled in Germany, and we do the
system integration here, adding certain components," says Faraday.
"When people have experienced our tehcnology, even though it is
often the most expensive, they come back for years."
08648. Peter Faraday, vice president. 609-844-1020; fax, 609-844-1225.
Home page: www.sympatec.com.
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