AMETEK Scientific Instruments / Solartron Analytical

AMETEK Scientific Instruments / Solartron Analytical

AMETEK Scientific Instruments is the global leader in the design, manufacture, and support of instrumentation for both the electrochemical and materials communities. Comprised of Princeton Applied Research, Solartron Analyitcal, and Signal Recovery, AMETEK Scientific Instruments delivers solutions to meet performance and price requirements. Princeton Applied Research and Solartron Analytical continue to innovate in both DC and AC measurements to the benefit of users studying energy devices, physical electrochemistry, corrosion, and solid-state materials. Fueled by 110 years of instrumentation development, our product portfolio proudly generates the most-cited research in the world.

Company details

Unit B1 Armstrong Mall,Southwood Business Park , Farnborough , Hants GU14 0NR United Kingdom
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Business Type:
Industry Type:
Laboratory Equipment
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)
Year Founded:


The origins of the business go back to 1947, when two engineers, E. R. Ponsford and L. B. Copestick, based in Kingston on Thames, United Kingdom, started to do subcontract work for the GPO (General Post Office) and the Admiralty Research Laboratory, which was based at Teddington. In 1948 they registered the company name, Solartron, and started the manufacture of pulse generators, power supplies and oscillators. They also designed and introduced an oscilloscope to the product range. During the 1950's the company expanded significantly under the leadership of Mr. John Bolton, developing a wide range of scientific instruments including radar simulator devices, X-ray spectrometers, cybernetic teaching machines and a range of analog computers. In 1958 the growing company moved to a purpose-built facility on a 15 acre site at Farnborough, Hampshire, UK.

In 1962 Solartron Electronic Group was acquired by the Schlumberger Group of Companies as a wholly owned subsidiary. The business structure used earlier, in which subsidiary companies had been created to develop and market individual product lines, was consolidated into a single business with common marketing and R&D functions. Under Schlumberger's ownership, Solartron was able to access technology platforms owned by other Schlumberger companies, as well as benefit from the established sales and distribution channels that it offered.

In 1977 Schlumberger Measurement Control (UK) was created as a new holding company, one of its subsidiaries being Solartron Electronic Group. The Solartron products were then reorganized into four separate product divisions.

Measurement Group:
Producing digital instruments, data loggers, digital voltmeters and dynamic analysis systems, which were the forerunners of today's Frequency Response Analyzers.

Weapons Simulation Group:
Producing the Simfire devices for weapons training exercises.

Radar Simulation Group:
Producing radar systems for training air traffic controllers etc.

Transducer Group:
Producing aerospace gas pressure and fuel density sensors for use in air data computers and engine management systems, industrial gas and liquid density sensors used in process and fiscal measurement of fossil fuels, protective systems used for energy control in the electricity power production industry.

In October 1993, the Solarton businesses were sold by Schlumberger to a management buyout, which in May 1994 was then acquired by The Roxboro Group PLC. Roxboro was a holding company and over the following ten years acquired and divested a number of other businesses. The former measurement group became Solartron Analytical, and concentrated on developing a range of frequency response analyzers, supporting electrochemical interfaces, and digital voltmeters.

In July 2000 Solartron Analytical's head office function, including product development and marketing, was relocated to our current facility in Farnborough, while production moved to other Roxboro locations. In September 2005 four of the Solartron group companies (Solartron Analytical, Solartron Metrology, Solartron ISA and Arun Technology) were acquired by AMETEK, a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electric motors with annual sales of more than $1.6 billion. At the same time production and service of Solartron Analytical products was transferred to the current facility in Farnborough, so that once again all key business functions are located on the same site.

Since 2005, Solartron Analytical has been part of AMETEK Advanced Measurement Technology, which also sells products under the ORTEC, SIGNAL RECOVERY and PRINCETON APPLIED RESEARCH brand names. Solartron Metrology and Solartron ISA are parts of other companies within the AMETEK Electronic Instruments Group, while Arun Technology has been divested.

We are proud of our history under the Solartron name and look forward with confidence to continuing to meet the needs of our customers.

The European Parliament passed the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive in 2002 (2002/95/EC) to 'protect human health and the environment by restricting the use of certain hazardous substances in new equipment' and to complement the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Producer Responsibility) Regulations ('the WEEE regulations' 2002/96/EC). The directive took effect from 1st July 2006, and covers the same scope of equipment as the WEEE regulations, except that Category 8, Medical Devices, and Category 9, Monitoring and Control Instruments, are excluded from the RoHS directive.

Products from Solartron Analytical fall under Category 9 of the RoHS directive and so are outside its scope. We recognize, however, that designing products that do not use hazardous substances is of benefit not only to the environment but also to our customers and employees. We are therefore working towards producing products which are fully RoHS compliant. Initially work is focused on new products in development, but we are also taking the opportunity when updating existing instruments to use RoHS compliant components and techniques wherever possible.

Solartron Analytical instruments are used in various applications that may affect customer requirements for RoHS compliance. Normally, our customers do not require RoHS compliant products, including customers using our products for development or production of their end products, as well as customers who embed one of our instruments in an end product that is itself classified as either Category 8 or Category 9. A Solartron Analytical product will require RoHS compliance only if a customer sells an end product that falls within the RoHS directive's scope. If you are one of these customers then please contact us for further advice.

Under the European Union WEEE Directive, applicable goods shipped after 13th August 2005 (marked with the crossed out wheelie bin symbol shown on the right) must be disposed of in a manner which minimizes the impact of electrical and electronic goods on the environment, by increasing re-use and recycling and reducing the amount of WEEE going to landfill. Implementation of the Directive into law is the responsibility of each individual Member State but in all cases, it is the responsibility of 'the producer' of the goods to ensure the goods are disposed of in accordance with these regulations at the end of their life. The producer is defined as being either the manufacturer of the goods (if sold in the country of manufacture) or the importer of the goods into the Member State in which they are sold.

In the case of Solartron Analytical the position is as follows:

Sales to end-users in the UK and Republic of Ireland
As we are the manufacturer or importer of the goods, we are also responsible for their disposal. We have registered with the UK Environment Agency and have been given a unique Producer Registration Number (Lloyd Instruments Limited WEE/KJ0050TZ). When the time comes, disposal of appropriate equipment will be via an approved not-for-profit organization called B2B Compliance (our membership number under this scheme is 7120313 and is in the name of Lloyd Instruments Ltd). The customer should contact them directly to arrange for disposal at no cost to the customer. B2B Compliance can be contacted directly by telephone on +44 (0) 1691 676 124.

Please note that our obligation is only for goods sold after August 13th 2005. We are only responsible for disposal of goods prior to that date if we are replacing the goods like-for-like.

Sales direct to end-users in other European Union Member States
Since the responsibility lies with the importer of the goods into each Member State, in this case it becomes the end-user's responsibility to dispose of the goods according to the regulations of that Member State. This applies irrespective of whether or not we have an Agent/Representative operating on our behalf in the territory (but Distributors are different - see below). Note that Solartron Analytical has no obligation to dispose of these goods.

Sales made via our distributors in other European Union Member States
Since the Distributor is the importer of the goods, the disposal of the goods becomes their responsibility according to the regulations of their own Member State. Note that Solartron Analytical has no obligation to dispose of these goods.