Bruker AXS and Nonius unite

[Hovestreydt, Pennartz, van Meurs] Sales and support visiting the Karlsruhe location (left to right) Eric Hovestreydt, Paul Ulrich Pennartz, and Frank van Meurs.
After talks extending back more than two years, the Nonius crystallography business of Delft Instruments agreed to join with Bruker AXS worldwide on April 10, 2001. The combined crystallography product lines of Nonius and Bruker AXS will be marketed under the joint brand Bruker Nonius. The combined user instrument base includes more than 1,000 four-circle diffractometers and over 400 CCD instruments for single crystal diffraction.

Both instrument companies are deeply rooted in crystallography. Nonius began as a mechanical instrument business in 1948, and merged with Enraf in 1960 to form the Enraf-Nonius business many users remember well. In 1990, Oldelft acquired the combined business and subsequently formed the current business unit, which was later renamed Nonius B.V. This unit now becomes Bruker Nonius B.V. and remains located in Delft, The Netherlands.

Bruker’s X-ray roots reach back to 1896, when Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen ordered his first X-ray tubes from the predecessor company to Siemens. In 1927 Siemens introduced its first generation of analytical X-ray instruments. In 1969 the P1 four-circle diffractometer was introduced by the Syntex group headed by Dr. Robert Sparks, still with the combined company today in Madison. In 1984 Nicolet acquired this X-ray business, which was then merged with the Siemens diffraction and fluorescence products in 1989. By 1997 Bruker acquired this Siemens analytical X-ray business and created the Bruker AXS company as a complement to the Bruker NMR, mass spectrometry and optics businesses.

We are very excited about the new opportunities and challenges offered by this new alliance. However, we can imagine that this raises some questions about the present and the future! We want to assure the community that the current product lines of Nonius and Bruker AXS will continue to be fully supported. Software development plans in execution will continue as planned. Our combined obligations will be unconditionally respected.

All former Nonius and Bruker single crystal technical, manufacturing and support personnel have become part of the joint operation. The active development capacity and quality especially for crystallographic products will be strengthened at our three competence centers in Delft, Karlsruhe and Madison. Joint Bruker-Nonius teams are already integrated and have begun their work to develop even better solutions for the future, bringing us closer to the realization of a ‘dream machine’ for X-ray crystallography. Already we have a wider choice of products and accessories for crystallographic solutions in small molecules and biological macromolecules.

The joint organization includes a larger number of dedicated service and support specialists, and more service centers worldwide. The number of applications scientists available to assist with experiments has increased, and the specific application expertise becomes broader in nature. For the short term, we are moving very actively towards combining our user meetings. Nonius and Bruker users are invited to a combined user reception at the ACA meeting in Los Angeles, to the Cracow ECA meeting for a half-day user meeting, and to the Bangalore AsCA meeting. Our two web sites will provide updated information on these events, and will gradually grow towards an expanded information platform. Contact information by telephone, fax, email and web site addresses remain unchanged for the worldwide locations for both businesses. Please contact us with any questions - we look forward to exciting new developments in the near and distant future.

E. Hovestreydt (, F. van Meurs (, and P.U. Pennartz ( Bruker Nonius