Cambridge Vacuum Engineering and Wentgate Dynaweld
In October 2001 Aquasium Technology Limited (ATL) acquired Cambridge Vacuum Engineering (CVE) and Wentgate Dynaweld Inc (WDI) from the Smiths Group. CVE (www.camvaceng.com), although profitable, was performing below its potential. It had been a non-core business within Smiths (and before that in the TI Group). 2007 has seen strengthening of the CVE brand with WDI in the States now being known as CVE Inc.
The ATL team immediately recognised CVE’s potential and that it fitted our acquisition criteria. It had mature products and a sound management team, but neither had been fully utilised. This was especially true of the electron beam welder (EBW) which had been invented in the late 1940’s, primarily for the nuclear industry.
The previous owners had discouraged the CVE management from taking risks either in developing the technology or marketing the products. One of ATL’s first appointments was an engineer in China, without whom it was virtually impossible to develop one of the most important markets for CVE’s products. Much greater emphasis was given to the larger 150kv EBW’s which now form an important part of the revenue stream.
The ATL team also encouraged the search for new applications for EBWs. The Welding Institute, which is internationally renowned, is nearby at Great Abingdon and we have now built up a very close working relationship with them, providing leads for new EB applications.