Inside look: How MTL Instruments fits with Cooper Industries

With wired, wireless products; enclosed, intrinsically safe equipment; and industrial and secure devices, MTL Instruments offerings are becoming more than the sum of their parts after acquisition by Cooper Industries.

05/02/2008


Houston, TX – With wired, wireless products; enclosed, intrinsically safe equipment; and industrial and secure devices,

MTL Instruments

offerings are becoming more than the sum of their parts.
When companies merge, duplicative product lines or similar brands are sold or fall away. That hasn’t been the case with Cooper Industries’ acquisition of MTL Instruments. Graeme S Philp, former CEO of the UK-listed public company, The MTL Instruments Group plc, is now chief executive of MTL Instruments, a division of Cooper Crouse-Hinds. Philp told Control Engineering recently, “Three months into the acquisition, it’s really going well. This purchase has not limited our independence.” Philp characterizes the transition as highly complementary and beneficial for customers. “There’s not a single product overlap,” he says, with almost surprised tone.
Since the acquisition, five areas of integration are being addressed, each with attention toward customer needs: financial, sales, marketing, human resources, and product design. During a break at a

Fieldbus Foundation seminar

(MTL Instruments was among the sponsors), Philp said there had been two design forums resulting in the quick results for customers. “We’ve never had metal-bashing capabilities before,” Philp grins. “Now we can supply all that stuff.” He’s talking about putting MTL Foundation fieldbus and other networks offerings into enclosures with factory acceptance testing , ready to connect and go, which simplifies installations. For explosive environment applications, Cooper has been strong with its enclosure-based solutions and MTL Instruments with intrinsic safety. “There’s real value in one company offering all technologies,” Philp said; combined sales into hazardous areas for the two companies exceed $1 billion.
In addition, two wireless technologies are now offered: Cooper has Omnex and MTL Elpro each supplying different sectors of industry. For MTL, wireless forms an important part of its industrial networks business, aimed at process control applications, Philp said. Other recent industrial networking advancements include a deal with Byres Security that creates a product for device-level

Ethernet security, Tofino

, which “offers defense in depth against top-down, bottom-up and middle-out cyber attacks, significantly increasing a process plant’s resilience against casual hackers or worse,” he explained.
At the

Fieldbus Foundation

seminar, MTL showed its F809F Fieldbus diagnostics module ,

FOUNDATION fieldbus diagnostics

.) He made the comments April 10 in Houston.
Mark T. Hoske , editor in chief
Control Engineering News Desk
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