BGS is one of the pioneers utilising the new possibilities of radiation treatment for industrial use. BGS takes great pride in its role in developing this industry in standards, technologies and many of the applications, which have become industrial routine nowadays Radiation is a form of energy, which is sufficiently high to initiate chemical reactions. We utilise this energy, to improve products in a multitude of ways. The effects we obtain are either by destroying harmful micro-organisms to make products safe for use, to modify polymers and give them better properties or many other effects, improving gemstones, semiconductors or thermosets, just to name a few.
Radiation is dangerous to human health. In all of our plants we take the greatest care, that none of our employees can be exposed to radiation. This is achieved by highly sophisticated safety systems, preventing access to the areas where our products are treated. The treatment areas are shielded in such way, that absolutely no exposure outside of these areas is possible. We take great efforts to make sure, that all our employees are regularly trained to the latest requirements and provide the skill, to safely utilise our technology.
As the radiation we utilise is a form of energy, which cannot induce radioactivity due to physical limitations, the products we treat will of course not be radioactive.
An irradiation process consists of two main components: the rays are generated either by an electron accelerator or by use of a radioactive isotope, which emits gamma rays at its decay. The radiation is applied in the treatment unit, where the products are exposed to radiation. This area is enclosed by thick concrete walls, completely shielding the outside from radiation, so that an exposure of persons to radiation is impossible.
The other, equally important component of a radiation processing part is the handling system, transporting the products in a controlled process through the radiation processing unit. The handling system has to handle different products, ranging from coiled products on drums, pallets or single boxes. The unit has to ensure very high precision for the correct application of the dose, which is depending on transportation speed in the unit. A high degree of automation and high throughput is key for an economical feasible process. Thirdly, a complex IT-system is the key to handle a broad diversity of products and articles in a highly reproducible way, minimizing the potential of errors. This system has to ensure full traceability of products and batches for up to 10 years, which is required in the medical device, pharmaceutical and other safety critical industries.