Interviews // 22.04.2023 // DECTRIS

BEERLATUS behind the scenes

From the AP042 - P2M Cervisia to BEERLATUS.  

A 3-minute read

Seems that they were right. This could be the favourite DECTRIS product of all times. A creative specific solution. A detector and beer. In this short interview, Andy Mösch tells a story behind the BEERLATUS.

DECTRIS: Andy, so the story starts something like four men walked into a bar…

Andy: Ha, ha, that is about right. It was 2017, and my colleagues Stephan, David, Matthias and I were enjoying an after-work drink in a local beer garden. In a good mood, this cross-functional team came to discuss connections between DECTRIS and beer. We were building on each other’s ideas, and so we came to the conclusion that it would be great to build a DECTRIS beer tap detector. Stephan, who works in our production planning, pushed us from talking into action by mentioning that we have a PILATUS 2M housing in the storage room. It was a “leftover” of some prototypes we were making… All four of us of grinned and decided that we whould give it a go. We were going to try to make a beer tap out of it.

DECTRIS: But you probably had to do some negotiations at DECTRIS to make it work?

Andy: True, we had to speak to a couple of people. Though, we tried to keep it a secret until the reveal. In early 2018, we started with a project plan “AP042 – P2M Cervisia”, documented everything on our collaborative platform, but well hidden from the views of others: product sketches, components needed, time plan, commissioning process and the final use of the product. The people we involved warmly accepted the project, and we managed to get a permission to use the housing and secure the budget for buying the necessary components.

DECTRIS: And the name “AP042 - P2M Cervisia”. P2M Cervisia is somewhat clear, but what about AP042?

Andy (smiles): It is the answer to life, universe and everything else.

DECTRIS: How did your project plan work out?

Andy: Like many creative projects, this one had its challenges. Some of them were doing the project in secret and finding time to do it. We did most of the work in evenings and nights. In the end, it took us almost two years to build the machine. And then we had to learn to pour a perfect beer, which took a few foamy tries, as well.

DECTRIS: The commissioning and the first tests of the machine were made at DECTRIS in summer 2019…

Andy: Yes, and they were very very positive and creative! The "commissioning" was the moment we coined the name BEERLATUS. It is a pity that we had to wait until 2022 to “launch” the product to external audience, at the ECM conference in Versailles. I was not there, but we got feedback that the community received it as one of the favourite DECTRIS products.

DECTRIS: Andy, you are a project manager at DECTRIS, but this project was quite different from what you usually do…

Andy: I joined DECTRIS in 2012 as a field system engineer, where I had an opportunity to work with various detectors and help customers and users around the world. After this, as a product engineer and later as a product owner I got to know even more aspects of our products. Currently I am working as a project manager in IT. Even though I have seen many things, this project was definitely one of the most extraordinary things I have been a part of during my time at DECTRIS. 

DECTRIS: Over the years, you were a part of many creative ideas and projects and DECTRIS. What are your thoughts on creativity?

Andy: Almost all projects at DECTRIS are team efforts. I believe that elegant and creative solutions emerge when diverse teams work together toward a common goal. To me, creativity is about listening, talking, being inspired and building on each other's ideas, and, of course, bringing the concept into reality. I love contributing to such endevavours and I appreaciate that I have been a part of projects like BEERLATUS

Another creative side of Andy Mösch.

A snapshot froom the “launch” of BEERLATUS at the European Crystallography Meeting (ECM) in 2022, in Versailles. Marcus Müller hosting the event with our parners from STOE.

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