Nikhef, the Dutch National Institute for Subatomic Physics in Amsterdam, approached Innovar, part of Meilink, in May last year to issue a proposal for high precision cleaning of components for the ETpathfinder. This is an R&D infrastructure that is being constructed to test and develop technology for the Einstein Telescope, the world's first of a new generation of observatories for gravitational waves. This requires absolutely particle-free components, which is why Nikhef was quick to turn to Innovar.
Nikhef had reached out to several market participants regarding this prestigious project, but a few months later Innovar was given the order for cleaning parts that were within reach of Innovar's facilities. Hans Cools, Manager of Operations, explains: "Obviously, it is great when you are invited to work on such a big project. The ETpathfinder is developing technology that makes it possible to capture the sound of a black hole or neutron star formation. To be able to play even a small part in this, we first had to do some careful testing in collaboration with Nikhef. We started clean and cleanroom packaging of the components in April 2023. Our part of the project has since been completed to full satisfaction."
"After some market research, we quickly decided on Innovar, which is one of the major names in cleaning in and around the Netherlands."
Mathijs Baars, Design Engineer at Nikhef
As far as Mathijs Baars, project leader at Nikhef, is concerned, Innovar has certainly lived up to its reputation as an expert. Mathijs: "After some exploratory market research, we quickly decided on Innovar, which is one of the major names in cleaning in and around the Netherlands. Right from the outset of the project, Innovar was able to advise us on a number of issues and also helped with the required RGA testing in a flexible and efficient manner."
"The working method which we experienced at Innovar is professional and organised. All of the components we supplied came back to us double-packed in neat boxes within a few weeks, with no further problems or disruptions in deliveries. The cleaning work was well priced and we had absolutely zero complaints about the quality delivered! "
Connection to the customer
Hans Cools: "Obviously, demonstrably good cleaning was a requirement. We have done RGA tests for this purpose, for example by checking the cleaning for vacuum applications at Nikhef. As a result of the complexity in the processes, the timeline kept shifting, which meant we had to work as flexibly as possible to match product availability. The ETpathfinder is a unique project, and I am honoured to have been able to make a small contribution. But then again, small details is exactly what we are great at!"