Smiths Group has acquired Summitek Instruments Inc. a leading U.S. supplier of interference test equipment used by the wireless telecoms industry. Smiths has paid $10 million in cash for the privately owned business, and has agreed performance related incentives linked to profit targets in each of the next three years. In the year to 30 June 2001, Summitek had sales of $8.2 million with over 50 per cent generated outside the USA.
The acquisition of Summitek expands the activities of Smiths Industrial in specialised products for electronic and microwave applications in the aerospace, space, defence and communications sectors.
Summitek has developed a technology that tests for interference caused by passive intermodulation, in components such as cables, connectors and filters within radio transceivers. Summitek currently offers the only commercially available analyser of its type for this purpose, supplied to wireless component and equipment manufacturers for use during their production process.
The company has recently launched a second product line, a portable analyser for cellular communications service providers and tower operators, enabling them to identify sources of interference in and around base stations. The device can also be used to aid site planning and selection. Interference is a problem that is escalating as a consequence of the growth of digital cellular networks and the trend to co-location of different operators' equipment on existing masts. Interference impacts the quality of service for users and decreases the number of revenue-earning calls that can be carried at each base station.