CLEVELAND—The TA Instruments subsidiary of Waters Corp. is getting good response from customers wanting to know more about the products and services available from the Bose Corp. ElectroForce Group that TA purchased earlier this year.
“Feedback has been extremely positive,” said Russell Ulbrich, TA Instruments senior manager of product management. “A lot of our customers are excited and asking for information about the products.”
TA Instruments in May bought certain assets related to the ElectroForce Group, which makes dynamic mechanical testing systems used to characterize medical devices, biologic and engineered materials. The ElectroForce test instruments are based on unique motor designs that are quiet, energy efficient, scalable and deliver high performance over a wide range of force and frequency, according to TA Instruments.
The technology stems from a patented servo electromagnetic linear force motor that was developed in the mid- to late-1990s, according to Ed Moriarty, director of worldwide marketing for TA, who came to the company from Bose.
“It's a very dynamic motor,” said Moriarty. “You can control it very precisely both in load and displacement control. It does fatigue, durability and accelerated life testing.”
Ulbrich and Moriarty discussed the deal during the ACS Rubber Division's Rubber Expo, held in October in Cleveland.
ElectroForce was part of a small company that Bose acquired in 2004. In recent years, Bose was looking to focus on its core products, and ElectroForce clearly didn't fit that profile. “These are completely different products, markets, designs and sales approaches than traditional Bose products,” Moriarty said.
The benefit of being part of TA Instruments is the synergies between the operations. “TA is a worldwide capital equipment company that's focusing on the types of business that ElectroForce is in,” he said. “From the relationship side, it's a great fit between what ElectroForce is doing from the market and product development side and what TA does. So it really gives us a boost into a much larger corporation that's really focused on the areas that ElectroForce is trying to focus.”
Ulbrich said manufacturing for ElectroForce will remain in Eden Prairie, Minn. The business employs 36 in Eden Prairie and about eight around the world in sales and service, with those personnel continuing to focus on ElectroForce.
“It's about a $17 million boost to the product portfolio that we fully intend on growing much bigger,” he said of ElectroForce. “We look at acquisitions like many people do, where one and one have to equal three. So it's a complementary technique that gets us into markets that we really couldn't get into with the products that we had.”
Moriarty said the real addition is the higher force, larger displacement and relatively high frequency compared with the type of testing that the current TA products can perform. “We see the addition of both companies' capabilities adding to the markets that we're both in, as well as maybe some others down the road.”
From here, TA will do what typically happens with an acquisition. “We let the dust settle,” Ulbrich said. “We refocus on where the strengths are and find out where the opportunities are to grow the business. We throw resources at product development, listen to the customers and bring out products that are going to grow the business.”