Superon GmbH develops and manufactures instruments used for separation and detection of mixtures of substances, especially field flow fractionation instruments, chromatographie instruments, laboratory thermostats and accessories for these products. The focus of the activities is on research and development with Superon cooperating with numerous international institutes and scientists. The instruments are sold internationally and in the first place via Wyatt Technology.
Field-Flow-Fractionation is a unique method for separating Proteins, Particles and Polymers into individual size-fractions. Using the FFF allows researchers to study the properties of drugs, medicines or vaccines on the pure substance instead of mixtures to understand properties and minimize side effects. Another rapidly growing application of FFF is nanoparticle that can give totally new and unexpected properties of many everyday uses. In order to clarify potential risk many leading companies use the Eclipse® today for the investigation of nanoparticles as adjuvants in foods, cosmetics, sunscreen, dispersions-paints and emulsions. Other scientific groups care for the destiny of nanoparticles after their use by analyzing waste waters and soil to understand potential impacts on the food chain. Finally, FFF plays a crucial role for chemical industry, which is using the Eclipse® for many years to analyze complex mixtures of synthetic or natural polymers.
In the pharmaceutical industry, the FFF is mainly used at vaccine and drug development. A significant increase in demand for the characterization of particles can be observed in the fields of environmental and food. In focus are surface and waste water analyses mostly combined with other innovative measurement techniques such as ICP-MS. Food companies are still optimizing their (instant) products and need to the understand of every detail in nutrition science. There are two constants in the portfolio for many years, which are Universities focused on fundamental science and Chemical industry with various research interest.
Offical Funding of R&D Projects
Developments for devices at highest scientific level require know-how, a time horizon of at least two years and a willingness to take an entrepreneurial risk. Support for such innovations through regional, national or European funding is essential for small and medium-sized enterprises to realize the research projects involving cooperation partners. With the help of two funded projects in the periods 2004 - 2011 Wyatt Technology Europe has already achieved huge progress in Field Flow Fractionation and could place various products on the market in 2007 and 2008. The FFF hollow fiber cartridge received the 2012 Innovation Award "SUCCESS" of Rhineland-Palatinate County. For the years 2014 - 2016 Superon has three additional funded projects, which ensure continuous development of new products.
Since all the life circle of nanoparticles are about to be monitored by the authorities closely, the EU understood the enormous necessity for basic regulations and initiated the Nanodefine project as decision body (www.nanodefine.eu). Superon has been involved to this project as an expert of the separation of Nanoparticles.
Skills & Know-How
New technical solutions are designed completely "in house", from the development of a small sealingelement to complex devices - from software-based design (CAD) to small batch production. The control of the devices and their integration into existing software environments is made by a team of programmers. The newly developed products are assembled from the production team and combine electrical and mechanical components to a complex analyzer. All processes are accompanied by academic staff, which develop new techniques, support the users and discover new ways and application for Field Flow Fractionation.
Despite the comparatively small number of employees Superon has decided to train junior employees quite early, especially in its core competences “R&D” and “Software Programming”. In August 2012 three apprentices were employed as “Chemical Laboratory Assistant” (2) and “IT Specialist” (1) who will complete parts of their practical training in cooperating companies.