12 February 2014 By Northern Lights
With the new “whiplash culture” of hearing loss claims costing employers millions each year, Filey-based manufacturer Pulsar Instruments is helping to turn the tide for businesses by providing innovative noise measurement products that protect staff.
Such is the demand for Pulsar’s products that the business is celebrating its 45th anniversary with another record year of 40 per cent growth. And, despite being hidden away in a remote corner of North Yorkshire, the business is looking to the future with an ambitious target to become the world leader in its field within the next 10 years.
From humble beginnings in California’s Silicon Valley in 1969, Pulsar Instruments has been on a global voyage that has seen the business relocate to the East Coast while winning new customers around the world. A recession-busting strategy has seen turnover double since 2009 and the business now sells to 45 countries, with exports accounting for 70 per cent of turnover.
Sarah Brack, who is the only female manufacturing chief in the noise measurement industry, says rising claims for excess noise at work make this the new “whiplash industry”. A recent Freedom of Information request revealed police in Northern Ireland have had to pay £135m in hearing loss compensation and have hundreds more claims pending.
Providing noise measurement devices for everything from factory floors and mineshafts to nightclubs and classrooms, their products enable employers to check and record noise levels themselves, rather than relying on expensive consultants to make occasional visits to test noise exposure levels.
Key customers in the UK include the First Direct Arena in Leeds – which was one of the first to buy the latest Nova meter – logistics giant DHL and manufacturer ATB Lawrence-Scott.
The business designs and markets all its products – the latest range of Nova meters was launched last year – and has them manufactured locally in Pickering. Sarah Brack says a small team of seven is one of their greatest strengths and allows them to flexible, dynamic and able to rapidly respond to customer needs.
Sarah says: “Our success is down to understanding our customers and innovating to solve their problems. Our products are excellent value for money – one customer in the States recently contacted us about a product from the 1970s which is still going strong. It’s a reminder of how a small investment can give years of protection – and could save them from the law courts.”
“Our success is down to a lot of hard work. Everyone is clear on what they need to do to get where we want to be. We chase every opportunity, explore every avenue and we won’t let go until we get the order. It’s a real team effort.”
Sarah is predicting 40 per cent growth for 2014. Looking ahead and she is just as confident about the next 45 years, saying the goal is to become the world leader in the sector.
She adds: “The dream is to become the industry leader across the world. We are experts in noise at work and we want to be the first name in our sector. We are hugely proud to be made in Yorkshire. We want to be the best in the world and we won’t stop until we’ve achieved that”.
For more information about Pulsar Instruments and its products, visit www.pulsarinstruments.com