But that wasn’t always the case. Orthodyne’s roots were as a family business manufacturing wireless radio sets in the 1920s, a product line that lasted almost 30 years.
However, with the increasing importation of transistor radios from the US in the early 1950s, the wireless business began to dwindle and Orthodyne demonstrated its ability to react to market forces by promptly diversifying its activities.
The company began producing chromatograph appliances in the 1970s to measure impurities in argon used for welding, primarily in its native Belgian market, and soon found its customer base widening to both Germany and France.
Orthodyne’s structure and product range grew to include new high-purity detectors for industrial and laboratory applications and the company played a pioneering role in this field as it developed in-house analytical software and its own engineering department.
Fast forward to 2019 and Orthodyne has now been manufacturing solutions in gas chromatography from its headquarters in Alleur for more than half a century.
The company was taken over by Beijing SDL Technology in 2016. According to Managing Director Eric Streel (left), this came at a “perfect time” and enabled Orthodyne to focus and invest in the development of new products and applications.
To further strengthen its position as an expert in the field of gas chromatography, Orthodyne has grown substantially in past three years and has recently opened sales offices in India and Brazil.
“The strategy is to strengthen our local direct presence for our customers and have more local contact for our distributors as well,” Streel told gasworld in an exclusive interview.
“South America and India are regions with great potential where our presence was not so strong. This is why Orthodyne decided to invest in new offices in these places, because we believe that Orthodyne is an answer to the customers’ demands in these regions.”
Orthodyne has also recently appointed analyser manufacturer MEECO as its new distributor for North America.
“It is absolutely essential for a European company to have a partner in the US to deal with the American and North American market, including Canada,” explained Streel.
“It is crucial in our market and for our main customers to have partners close to the field who can react very quickly, so we needed a local partner.”
“MEECO is the ideal partner since we have a lot of common points: we share the same customers, we are both manufacturers of our own technology and MEECO’s product is complementary to our gas chromatography.”
“They are really not a competitor and we have everything to create a strong partnership on the analytical market.”
“MEECO will provide both sales and service support to customers in the US and Canada.”
With the appointment of MEECO, the company now has more than 20 distributors in five continents, a subsidiary in Shanghai (in the free trade zone), offices in Germany, Brazil and India and its headquarters in Belgium.
“From 2016 to 2018 we doubled our turnover from €5m to €10m thanks to our global presence and expertise in gas chromatography,” Streel highlighted.
“We feel our growth and the opening of new offices proves to the actors of our market and our customers that Orthodyne is a guarantee of stability.”
“We want to keep the label of gas chromatography expert and don’t want to turn into a ‘supermarket’ of the analysis.”
“So, we will keep focusing on the gas chromatography market, improving our range of analysers and the different configurations possible to meet our customer’s requirements.”