Andy Royal looks back at the 3 years since the acquisition of Aero Sense Technologies
Q1 - The acquisition of Aero Sense Technologies has just reached its third anniversary. Would you consider it a success?
Yes, it has been a success, primarily because both parties lived up to expectations and worked hard to keep everything moving along. Successful acquisitions don’t just happen by themselves – they are the product of very hard work by both teams over a long period of time. The concept of quick wins and instant synergy is mythical; the successes are borne from hard work.
Q2 - What has been the impact on technical capability and innovation?
There is no doubt that our technical capability has been elevated by making the complementary skillsets of both companies available to each other. This has boosted problem solving and has opened up the minds of engineers so that they can now see additional possibilities.
Q3 - What about manufacturing capability?
This has also increased because of higher investment in facilities and equipment, a prime example being the creation of an in-house Environmental Stress Screening facility – something that we dreamt about having for years. With the benefit of investment capital, several critical process assets such as laser welding stations have been duplicated, reducing risk for On-Time Delivery (OTD). The combined company has actually increased both its production capacity and its technical capability at the same time.
Q4 - How have customers reacted?
After overcoming contractual hurdles, our customer base has welcomed our enhanced capability and we quickly returned to business as usual basis. We have been busy working on new opportunities, including our first spacecraft project, for which a special production area has been constructed within our main production area.
Q5 - What about Quality?
Quality is not optional in any industry, but in ours, it is what makes air travel the safest form of transport. There was never going to be a compromise on quality, and I have remained personally involved to ensure that our industry-leading approach continues and develops further. This is a company culture aspect and the new owners have made sure that this culture continues to be built-in to the company and the products.
Q6 - Are there new products in the pipeline?
The massive boost in investment capital combined with the wider range of technologies that are mastered by other companies within the Humanetics Group has opened the doors for new products. The emphasis, at the moment, is aimed at achieving higher levels of environmental protection while reducing the physical size of products – these two objectives combine into a formidable challenge, but as our spacecraft project has shown, we have the capability and the financial resources to allow us to succeed.
Q7 - What are the main issues that require solving in the aerospace industry today?
Some of the areas that we are focussing on include:
- Sensors for All-electric aircraft
- HUMS – Health & Usage Monitoring Systems
- Sensors for flight controls
Q8 - Can you comment on your experience with the acquisition process?
The initial offer that resulted in the signed Letter of Intent (LOI) turned into a formal contract while the due diligence process was running in parallel. Almost five months later, on the day of completion, the deal had not changed and two years later, escrow had been released without any holdbacks. This is exactly how it was explained to us by Humanetics Group and they delivered on it. We of course delivered our part exactly as we said we would, and that is obviously the basis for a successful acquisition process.