Growing into a new building: AZBA GmbH, the analytics centre in Berlin-Adlershof
Fourteen years ago AZBA GmbH, the analytics centre in Berlin-Adlershof, started operations with ten employees as a WISTA tenant. Today AZBA has a new building and twice as many specialists that support the Adlershof companies and institutes with their analyses.
What use is the most modern technology for producing solar cells when the solvents they need are not pure enough? What help is top level research when the institute’s waste water fails to comply with the regulations? It is one of those advantages of high tech clusters like Adlershof that even apparently routine jobs of top level research and production can immediately find their experts on site. Dr Andrés Jirón learned his analytical skills at the then GDR Academy of Sciences and experienced at first hand the transformation of the former Central Analytics Department. Today he is the Managing Director of AZBA GmbH, the Berlin-Adlershof analytics centre.
Whether waste water, solvents, drinking water, materials from the building industry, heavy metals in foodstuffs or titanium dioxide slurries – the chemists at AZBA test for compliance with thresholds, directives and quality criteria.
Within three years, the laboratory certificated by the DAP German Accreditation System for Testing has grown from ten to 23 staff and has now been operating in its own specially equipped building since the end of July. In this building covering about 1,800 square metres on the Adlershof premises even the round towers look like beakers. “We had to have our own building that could meet our analytical laboratory needs.” This included, for instance, a certain minimum ventilation capacity that the old building could not provide for larger analysis and production jobs. Now there is more space too for the diverse cooperation projects with the companies and institutes on the WISTA premises.
Jirón intends to develop more research projects at AZBA now. These include for instance the analysis of slurries of titanium dioxide, a semiconductor with a wide range of uses. For this purpose, effective procedures are to be developed or improved for determining the precise composition of these slurries. “Titanium is expensive,” stressed Jirón: “Even a departure of 1% can cost a lot of money.” In another project, AZBA is addressing the composition and quality of natural and artificial asphalts. “The aim of our research is to find the optimal ratio of natural to synthetic asphalt that yields a high quality.”
by Sascha Karberg
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