Oxford Instruments

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Oxford Instruments plc
Type Public limited company
Industry Top level markets include research and academia, industry, energy, environment, security, health
Founded 1959
Headquarters Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Key people Nigel Keen (Chairman)
Jonathan Flint (CEO)
Products tools for quality control, elemental analysis, metals identification, coating thickness measurement, rock core analysis; cryogenic systems for fundamental physics research; detectors for use on electron microscopes for chemical and structural analysis; manipulators and gas injection systems for SEM and FIB microscopes; plasma etch and deposition tools; superconducting wire and cable; x-ray tubes;cryopumps and helium compressors
Revenue £350.8 million (2013)[1]
Operating income £49.7 million (2013)[1]
Net income £22.0 million (2013)[1]
Website www.oxford-instruments.com
The Osney Mead building of Oxford Instruments in west Oxford.

Oxford Instruments plc is a United Kingdom manufacturing and research company that designs and manufactures tools and systems for industry and research. The company is headquartered in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England, with sites in the United Kingdom, United States, Europe, and Asia. It is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

History[edit]

The company was founded by Sir Martin Wood in 1959 with help from his wife Audrey, to manufacture superconducting magnets for use in scientific research, starting in his garden shed in Northmoor Road, Oxford, England.[2] It was the first substantial commercial spin-out company from the University of Oxford[3] and was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1983.[2]

It had a pioneering role in the development of magnetic resonance imaging, providing the first superconducting magnets for this application. The first commercial MRI whole body scanner was manufactured at its Osney Mead factory in Oxford in 1980 for installation at Hammersmith Hospital, London.[4] Further innovations included the development of active shielding, whereby fringe fields hazardous to pacemaker wearers, causing difficulty and expense in siting, were virtually eliminated.[5]

Oxford Instruments was not able to capitalise on these inventions itself, granting royalty-free license to Philips and General Electric whilst developing a joint venture with Siemens in 1989: this was dissolved in 2004.[6]

Activities[edit]

  • NanoAnalysis - X-ray microanalysis systems, manipulators and gas injection systems for electron and ion beam microscopes for the preparation and characterisation of materials and matter to the smallest scale. Techniques include Energy Dispersive and Wave Length Dispersive X-ray technology, Electron Backscatter Diffraction, and in situ lift-out. It supplies a high performance, large area silicon drift detector, X-Max. As of June 2011, it also supplies Omniprobe Products.
  • Industrial Analysis - elemental analysis using X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) and Optical Emission Spectroscopy (OES), XRF coating thickness measurement. Its hand-held XRF analyser, X-MET is used for metals identification, RoHS compliance testing, PMI, lead in paint and drywall testing. Its OES range of products are used in the metal and steel industries for sorting and identification. Benchtop NMR for industrial quality control and bioscience applications. Industrial applications include rock core analysis, fluorine in toothpaste, oil in sunflower seeds, fat in chocolate
  • X-ray Technology - X-ray tube manufacture and Space Technology.
  • Plasma Technology - tools and leading-edge processes for the engineering of micro- and nano-structures. Technologies include plasma etch and deposition, fabrication and HVPE. Its products are used in the research and manufacture of semi-conductors, High Brightness LEDs and photovoltaic cells.
  • Omicron NanoScience - creating sample environments for measurement at low temperature and high Magnetic field, for physical science applications down to the atomic scale. Its key application is in fundamental physics research for research into quantum computing, for example.
  • Austin Scientific Instruments - supplies, repairs and refurbishes cryopumps and helium compressors for the semiconductor industry -for cryo compressors, consumables and refurbishment
  • OiService - service and support network, with offices and representatives world-wide. Includes a specialist MRI service division.
  • Andor Technology - developer and manufacturer of high performance light measuring solutions (scientific digital cameras).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Preliminary Results 2013". Oxford Instruments. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Sir Martin Wood and Oxford Instruments". Oxford University. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  3. ^ "High-tech UK industry; Oxford Instruments". CASE. 2011-07-04. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  4. ^ "MRI Scanner (1980)". Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Scheme. Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board. 2011-06-02. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  5. ^ "Superconducting magnets: The heart of NMR". Ingenia. February 2004. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  6. ^ "Siemens Acquires Oxford Instruments' Stake In Oxford Magnet Technology". PR Newswire. 2004. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]