The 55,555 system - a SOMATOM Force.
In 1974, Siemens was the first medical technology manufacturer to exhibit a tomographic image of a human head at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago. A year later, we introduced SIRETOM, our first computed tomography (CT) scanner for the brain. A typical examination took less than six minutes these days. The X-ray tube and a detector unit scanned the skull from various directions, and generated an image of absorption distribution in the brain.
Today, Siemens Healthineers produces more than one thousand systems a year at several sites spread around the globe, and ships them all over the world. Our plant in Forchheim is home to the largest and most advanced computed tomography production facility worldwide.
SIRETOM, the first CT from Siemens Healthineers
Since 1974, 55,554 CT systems have been delivered to healthcare providers across the globe. On November 25th, the 55,555th CT scanner left our Forchheim factory towards Stavanger in Norway. The University Hospital Stavanger has ordered a SOMATOM Force, which is still the most powerful system in the market. As a Dual Source scanner, it comprises two X-ray tubes and two detectors and can scan a human heart in less than half of a heartbeat – which is an advantage for the cardiology department of the hospital, where the SOMATOM Force is going to be installed. Today, the portfolio shows unique arguments with regard to artificial intelligence, low dose, workflow optimization, and image quality.
Another extremely important aspect, besides the powerful technology, is the joy of accomplishment that is experienced by our CT team. It has a direct influence on the success of the systems that leave our production halls in Forchheim, Bavaria, and travel to customers around the world. In a 5-part series, we’d like to tell the stories of the people who are also responsible for seeing that no. 55,555 reaches the Norwegian hospital safe and sound.
From left to right: Edmund Friedrich (Head of CT SCM), Martina ten Cate (CT Business Manager NRB), Benjamin Heubach (Head of CT Sales) and Philipp Fischer (Head of Business Line CT)
Let's visit the CT factory in Forchheim and listen to three colleagues who helped build the 55,555th scanner.
Lukas Kratz is an installer and tester in Forchheim and has the following to say about his job:
“We build devices that help people become or stay healthy. Today in particular, I think this task is extremely important and I enjoy my work. As testers, we have to quickly identify problems as well as making sure that they’re solved. I can honestly say that I’m working side by side with friends. This enables us to overcome every challenge.”
Michael Stark completed his training as a device and system electronics technician in 2013 and continues in this same career today.
“I was always interested in electronics. Working for Siemens Healthineers has been a dream come true.” Many of the settings require absolute precision. According to Michael, “It’s extremely important that everything functions perfectly. Our device is a means to an end. By serving medicine, we’re serving humanity as a whole.”
Oliver Göthert has been at CT since 2009, ensuring perfect quality through the final inspection of Dual Source scanners. “The job is meaningful because it allows us to help others and do something good.”
CT no. 55,555, a SOMATOM Force, is being used for examining cardiac patients in Norway. When asked what the system might say about the team in Forchheim, they all agreed: “It would say that we’re a fun team and have taken excellent care of the system. Bon voyage, no. 55,555!”