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After graduating from UCLA in 1954 with a degree in Chemistry, R.E.(Dick) Henriks went on to work in the Materials Department at Hughes Aircraft. There he supervised the department and was in charge of their fledgling crystal growth facility. At the time he left Hughes in 1961, he supervised all aspects of their silicon and germanium production. His responsibilities included crystal growth, orientation, cutting and polishing. After leaving Hughes, Dick subsequently managed silicon production facilities at Monosilicon and set up a crystal growth facility at Futurecraft before starting his own company.
In 1963 R.E Henriks and Associates was formed to serve as an independent representative for companies producing materials and equipment for the semiconductor industry. As the business grew, Dick looked for ways to expand and subsequently purchased South Bay Technology Group for $15,000.00. South Bay Technology Group had been headquartered in a garage in Torrance and its neighboring cities are collectively known as the 'South Bay' - hence the company name. The company had been a part-time venture by Paul Helndselman who worked alone to build, ship market and service a wire saw. This saw, the Model 716 Wire Saw was designed for cutting semiconductor crystals.
After acquiring the company, Dick completely redesigned the wire saw and, in 1965, the Model 850 Wire Saw was announced. It featured a contoured cast aluminum base and an abrasive recirculating system. Next was the Model 250 2-Axis Goniometer which allowed x-ray orientation and the subsequent cutting of the oriented crystals on the wire saw.
As the Model 850 Wire Saw grew in popularity, customers looked to South Bay Technology Group, and Dick's expertise, to produce the additional equipment necessary for polishing these fragile crystals. In the late 1960's, South Bay Technology Group introduced the Model 450 Crystal Facing Instrument for damage free electrolytic polishing of crystals. More products followed including the Model 750 Acid Saw and the Model 650 Low Speed Diamond Wheel Saw. The company incorporated in 1969 as South Bay Technology, Inc. and continued to expand.
Over time, new applications for the wire saw were developed which carried its popularity into areas far different from its intended application as a semiconductor slicing instrument. One very popular application was for initial slicing of thin sections to be used for TEM. In 1970, South Bay Technology introduced the Model 550 Single Vertical-Jet ElectroPolisher which offered tremendous advantages over the more traditional twin-jet systems. Other TEM related products followed and today South Bay Technology boasts the TEM-Prep System for the complete preparation of TEM samples. The TEM-Prep System includes equipment for initial thinning, dimpling, disc cutting, electrolytic thinning, chemical thinning and ion beam thinning including the new SoniCut 380 UltraSonic Cutter and the Tripod Polisher.
In 1990, South Bay Technology completed the first phase of a planned expansion and moved into a new 16,000 square foot, $1.5 million facility. This new facility has been designed to optimize production of the current product line while providing room for anticipated expansion into new product lines. An enlarged applications laboratory provides an opportunity for customers to personally evaluate equipment and for the technical staff to continue research into new and better sample preparation techniques.
From producing a single product in a garage shop in 1963, South Bay Technology had developed into a company with over 50 major products and customers in over 70 countries. When you call you will definitely be speaking to a dedicated and valued employee. Dick Henriks is still actively involved with the business and works hard to ensure that each product that goes out the door meets his high quality standards.
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