Corrections or additions?

This articles were prepared for the

February 21,

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

chocolate

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

January.

Sympatec is short for "systems for particle technology."

Sympatec

GmbH produces particle measurement equipment for the food,

pharmaceutical

and chemical industries as well as for private, university and

government

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

wasted."

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.

"Our

independence from top heavy corporations allows us to attend to

factors

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

University,

near Hanover, where the Hartz Mountain mining industry supported

particle

technology research.

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

operation

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."

Sympatec Inc., 9A Princess Road, Lawrenceville

08648. Peter Faraday, vice president. 609-844-1020; fax, 609-844-1225.

Home page: www.sympatec.com.


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