Instruments of success
With nearly 40 years of experience Michell Instruments is nothing short of a global leader in the field of moisture and humidity measurement solutions.
This is apparent in its wide range of transmitters, instruments and system solutions designed and manufactured in-house. Capable of measuring dew-point, humidity, and oxygen these products are utilised in a vast array of applications and industries including compressed air, power generation, petrochemical, and oil and gas.
These activities are housed within two main divisions: Industrial Hygrometry and ProcessInstrumentation. Both have continued to grow quickly over the last five years, however thesuccess of the process division has recentlyoutpaced Michell Instruments’ traditionally strong position in instrumentation for general industry.
“Our growth and success in Process Instrumentation is a result of individual actions, one of which is our high responsiveness to sometimes invisible market swings and changes,” notes CEO Mike Bannister. “One such indicator is the rapidly growing demand for IECEx certified products, to which we responded much faster than other competitors.”
He continues: “Another example of our innovative potential in response to customer demand is our Field Hydrocarbon Dew-pointAnalyser, the Condumax II Transportable. What was previously always considered as a purely online analyser is now highly mobile. This innovative product saves money and offers our customers in natural gas transmission the opportunity to maintain and validate their pipelines wherever and whenever they want. Knowing how much is sometimes at stake when the quality of the transmitted gas is in question the Condumax II Transportable is just a must have for anyone who wants peace of mind.”
Having built its success on leading the market with technologies for the measurementof humidity and oxygen, Michell Instruments is therefore always able to respond to its customers with the right technology to fit the specific needs of the application. “We arealways searching for newer and better options,and our co-operation with universities andvarious research institutions in the UK and France provides us with many opportunities. Our market research people are scanning the industries and applications and evaluating the synergies and benefits, and as of now we can say that there are indeed areas at which we are taking a closer look,” describes Mike.
“Our business model is around creating own markets and demand. For the past five years our strategy has been to outpace the general marketdevelopment by anticipation of the potentialchanges. One of the areas that caught our attentionis the growth of renewable energies. Biomass is an extremely interesting market for our products asit involves humidity and oxygen measurement. We believe that this development will continue and offer us more opportunities in Europe and especially in some of the BRIC countries,” he adds.
This is apparent from Michell Instruments’ recent formation of a subsidiary in Brazil. Already a global organisation with subsidiaries and offices in ten countries, this new entity enables the company to fill a gap by directly supporting and servicing products in the entire region with its own moisture and gas instrumentation experts. This also serves as a strategic move for the business in anticipation of the further development of the process industry in South America.
Alongside measurement instrumentation, calibration equipment is also of great importance in the process instrumentation sector and beyond. “Being the pioneer in humidity measurement equipment means that we have developed an impressive range of calibration instruments that we use in our own manufacturing and laboratories to ensure the highest quality in the products we make. In the past years this aspect of our business was not enjoying the attention that it deserves though,” notes Mike.
“It is a fact that when it comes to calibration equipment for humidity we are the market leader and the hidden champion. No one else in the industry offers a similar variety of products, ranging from a portable validation dew-point meter to high precision VDS calibration system for laboratories. It is not a great secret that some of our competitors use our equipment in their own manufacturing processes – which is something we are naturally quite proud of. One of our future moves will be to promote our capabilities and the necessity of regular recalibration to our customers. Our recent product, the chilled mirror hygrometer S8000 RS, is an ideal starting point. However there is more to come, and we will very soon be offering a calibration system for oxygen as well.”
The last year has been something of a consolidation period for Michell Instruments with the company using this time to readjust its organisation and procedures to suit the increased size of the organisation. This includes the addition of several new highly qualified staff in critical positions. “Although these are early days we already can see the positive impact of this and are convinced that this will continue in the months to follow,” highlights Mike.
“Michell Instruments will continue to strengthen its position in all current markets while looking for opportunities in related markets and industries. We certainly will not just rely on market developments but will carry on in creating our own business opportunities. This could be new products, co-operation with partners, or acquisitions. However, the focus will stay on organic growth through innovation and excellent service.
“We owe it to our customers and are absolutely certain that this approach will take us forward with double-digit growth rates.
“We have world-class, highly motivated staff and our new organisation structures enable us to make decisions more quickly – so we are not only able to spot opportunities more quickly, we are also able to take action faster than many others.
“A key target for the years to come will certainly be to further develop the skills of our people. As a growing organisation we know perfectly how much effort it takes to attract top talent and develop it to become the type of expert our customers trust and rely on,” he concludes.
Products: Moisture and oxygen analysers