Micro-X

How a local technology company is gearing up to revolutionise the world market in medical devices by launching a new mobile X-ray machine.

Local tech company launches revolutionary mobile X-ray machine

Local Business Stories-Micro-X

A local technology company is gearing up to revolutionise the world market in medical devices by launching a new mobile X-ray machine.

Tonsley-based Micro-X is building smaller and lighter machines using state-of-the-art carbon nanotubes invented in the United States.

The business is also developing equipment for military and security applications that will X-ray suspected explosive devices in the field.

Micro-X managing director Peter Rowland said the company’s first product – an 80kg portable X-ray machine called the DRX Revolution Nano – was a fraction of the weight of 600kg machines traditionally used in hospitals.

“The Nano is much lighter than traditional mobile X-ray machines, making it easier to move around a hospital and far less disruptive to medical procedures,” Mr Rowland said.

“We’re using world-leading technology developed at the University of North Carolina that reduces the weight of X-ray tubes from about 26kg to 1kg, which in turn means the cart that transports it can be smaller, more manouverable, and fit into tighter spaces.

“We know there is demand for this product, and after three years of modelling and refining designs we’re ready to hit the sweet spot in the market.”

Micro-X was founded in Melbourne in 2011 and listed on the stock exchange in December 2015 before moving its headquarters and manufacturing operations to the Tonsley innovation precinct in March this year.

Mr Rowland said he was drawn to Tonsley as it provided an ideal platform for a new business.

“If there’s a place to give birth to new businesses and make them successful, it is Tonsley,’ he said.

“Tonsley encourages collaboration and openness with like-minded companies and is set up to help them grow. We currently assemble and test devices in a 300 sq m premises, and can easily add pods and bays as the business expands.

“Our people are our greatest asset, and more than half our workforce are former Holden employees who have brought exceptional skills and a culture of best-practice and commitment to reliability.

“We employ 15 staff and source components, including injection moulding and carbon fibre products locally.”

Micro-X is aiming to build 1000 Nano X-Ray machines a year at Tonsley and is set to unveil other new products.

It recently demonstrated the Rover, a Ruggedised version of the Nano, which has military and disaster relief applications, to the Australian Defence Force and is considering possible application in the veterinary market.

Mr Rowland said another of its products will relay X-rays of suspected improvised explosive devices to military or security personnel located about one-kilometre away. This contrasts to X-ray machines that require bomb disposal teams to be as close as one-metre from a potential bomb.

Micro-X has a partnership with Carestream Health of Rochester, New York, which will sell and distribute the DRX Revolution Nano worldwide.

The State Government provided Micro-X with a one year, $3 million loan to help launch production in South Australia.