Success Stories // 21.02.2022 // DECTRIS

DECTRIS Builds Its 10,000th PILATUS Module

Althea B. and her colleague, Nijaza T., discuss the quality of the wire bonding of a PILATUS module.

A 5-minute read

This February, DECTRIS Production and Logistics Team hit a milestone: they built their 10,000th PILATUS module, a cornerstone of all our PILATUS X-ray detectors.


Do you know that iconic PILATUS grid? It comes from the modular design of DECTRIS X-ray cameras. Each 100,000-pixel module is a “mini-detector” in its own right forming our single-module detectors and, when put together, our large-area detectors. 

Fun fact: The first 250 PILATUS modules were built even before DECTRIS was founded in 2006. A year later, Tariel S. joined the company as an R&D Scientist and built 1,600 PILATUS modules. All by himself! Later on, he passed on the baton to DECTRIS’ engineers, who in their turn, handed it over to the growing production team.

As the PILATUS module evolved, so did the requirements to its manufacturing process. To assure the quality of DECTRIS’ key detector component, all the modules are now assembled in cleanrooms, carefully tested, and stored waiting to become a part of a new X-ray camera – a smooth production process that the company and its employees have been perfecting for over 15 years.

One billion pixels

“Many employees have contributed to the PILATUS module’s success with their hands, heads, and hearts,” – says Markus F.,  Head of Production and Logistics: “For me, this is a DECTRIS team effort!” Also for one of DECTRIS cleanroom operators Althea B. this milestone is of big importance: “10,000 is huge! And it is even more significant knowing how much time and effort is put in creating every one of these key components of a detector.”

10,000 PILATUS modules, one billion pixels, miles and miles of wires bonded onto these modules, thousands of hours of meticulous inspection, cleaning, and testing – all culminating in DECTRIS’ latest generation of PILATUS3 X-ray detectors for synchrotron beamlines and laboratories for you to challenge the limits of detection technology. 

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