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A high tech repair cafe. Not for home, garden and kitchen appliances, but for chip machines. The specialist in this field, the American company Odyssey, is introducing a European network based in the Dutch city of Nijmegen.

Odyssey is a world leader in radio frequency (RF) repair and servicing and knows how to breathe new life into machines in the semiconductor industry. Founded twenty years ago, the company has specialized in this niche market ever since. The company has its main office in Texas and a branch office in Singapore. Back in March 2020, Odyssey decided to establish itself in Europe. The choice fell on Nijmegen.

Huge demand

The timing seemed somewhat inconvenient, because the corona pandemic erupted at that very moment. For the high tech repair centre, however, that turned out not to be a problem: the demand for chips has actually only increased. The chip shortages are acute and so is the demand for the company’s services. Chip manufacturers are running at peak capacity and it is still not enough.

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Emergency repairs

Running one single day less of production costs the semiconductor industry dearly. “So when there’s an urgent problem, our customers prefer that we fix it today,” says Angelo Andres, Odyssey Europe’s general manager. “We do emergency repairs. But also regular maintenance to prevent machines from coming to a standstill. We have the knowledge to get practically any device and machine in the semiconductor industry up and running again.” The guiding principle here is that repair is more sustainable than buying a new machine.

© Odyssey

Maintenance is custom work

Chip manufacturer NXP is one of the major customers of Odyssey. This was also an important reason for the company to base itself in Nijmegen. The city of Nijmegen has a lot of knowledge and expertise in house when it comes to the semiconductor industry and RF technology. The company is located at the Novio Tech Campus, near the NXP factory. Andres: “Nijmegen is also close to Schiphol Airport and is not far from Düsseldorf, and consequently has very good accessibility. We can also find well-trained personnel here. What we repair and do maintenance work for is always custom work. That’s why we look for technicians who are very good with their hands, but who also have a lot of personal insight. For that, we work together with the ROC Nijmegen and Fontys University of Applied Sciences, among others.” The whole of Europe is served from Nijmegen this way. The fact that the European Union is going to invest heavily in the semiconductor industry in Europe is good news for Odyssey. 

Extra space and people

Andres personally has a background at NXP semiconductors. Odyssey Europe was launched under his leadership and the number of employees has more than doubled in the meantime. If it is up to Andres, that number will expand considerably as the company grows. The company also wants to invest in more work and laboratory space and is being supported in this by the municipality of Nijmegen, the Novio Tech Campus and the OostNL development company. OostNL gives innovative companies that strengthen the East Netherlands economic structure an extra boost. Odyssey will also focus on the repair and maintenance of medical devices that use RF technology, such as MRI scanners.

Also interesting: Manufacture chips in advance? ‘Impossible,’ says NXP


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