Economic aims

Introduction

The Group’s mission is to help customers to increase yield, improve quality, save time and streamline processes. This enables a wide range of manufacturers to reduce their impact on the environment whilst improving their productivity and reducing costs.

Opportunities for business growth stem from the issues our customers are seeking to address. As a result, we continue to innovate in order to provide appropriate products and services to help our customers respond to an increasingly competitive and regulated business environment. Our direct selling model and our unique understanding of our customers’ business, together with our commitment to aftermarket service and support, result in long-standing relationships with our customers and enable us to work closely with them in the development of new products.

Contributing to a sustainable world

At Spectris, sustainability is not just about how we do business, it is the business we are in. Our products help our clients become more sustainable, both economically and environmentally, because they are designed to improve productivity, reduce waste and save time, money and resources, including reducing power consumption. In our view, it is a virtuous circle: our products make a significant contribution to the achievement of a lower carbon world, and these products, in turn, drive our own economic success and future growth.

Minimising energy use

In energy-intensive industries such as cement and steel production, our materials analysis instruments help drive efficiencies by optimising the shape and size of the raw material particles.
This can generate substantial reductions in energy use and hence carbon emissions.

Another important sector for us is pulp and paper. We make durable high-precision ceramic blades which ensure that speciality papers and packaging receive exactly the right quantity and consistency of coating, which reduces waste and energy use.

Helping to minimise energy use also involves lowering the cost to our customers of operating our instruments by optimising the amount of power they require in use and on stand-by. This is a key objective of our product development process and the case study opposite shows an example of how this was achieved for a product we launched during 2015.

Cutting emissions

Governments around the world are implementing ever stricter legislation in relation to air quality, especially in cities. Our instruments can measure the size of fuel particles, which helps to produce more efficient injection systems for vehicle engines. Our gas analysis products can measure pollutants, enabling combustion processes to be optimised, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions generated by industrial processes. This helps ensure compliance with environmental legislation and often forms part of certification testing. For example, power stations can save anything between 1% and 5% of their fuel costs by improving combustion efficiency, which means less energy wasted, less use of natural resources, and lower emissions.

Supporting renewables

We have world-leading expertise in providing solutions for customers involved in renewable energy generation in the following areas:

Wind power

The rotor blades are key to wind turbine performance. They need to be able to withstand vast temperature and humidity differences, and an environment susceptible to strong winds and lightning strikes. Our instrumentation is used for the design and stress testing of new materials to enable the blades to withstand these extreme conditions. In addition, as a growing number of turbines are sited offshore, it is vital that they can operate without requiring constant maintenance. We also provide systems to monitor turbine performance remotely, ensuring that they are set up correctly for optimum performance and that preventive maintenance can be scheduled where required. This minimises wear and tear, prevents damage and optimises efficiency, saving both time and money.

Hydropower

As with offshore wind, maintaining the machinery involved in hydropower facilities can be expensive and time-consuming, and small improvements in efficiency and uptime can translate into major savings. Our instrumentation can monitor turbines and generators in real time, to predict and prevent problems before they require a costly shut down in order to be repaired.

Solar power

We also have a presence in the solar energy sector, where our equipment helps ensure that the layers of photovoltaic film in solar panels are the correct thickness for maximum efficiency. Lighter weight and more flexible panels provide for an increased range of applications.