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专访Element:全球顶级TIC机构!光荣过去,无限未来!

发布日期:2019-09-16 08:53:41 来源:艾涂邦公众号
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TIC,英文全称testing, inspection & certification,也就是检测·检验·认证。也许很多人对这个行业感到陌生,但事实上,小到手机、化妆品、食物,大到建筑、船舶、飞机等等,都需要TIC机构的检测和认证,它能帮助厂商提高产品质量,确保制造商遵循当地和国际标准及法规,以确保最终用户的环保、健康和安全。可以说,TIC与我们的日常生活息息相关。


独家专访

Element消防及建筑产品亚太区业务总监

和全球CTO袁吉峰博士



TIC介绍

英文全称testing, inspection & certification,也就是检测·检验·认证。也许很多人对这个行业感到陌生,但事实上,小到手机、化妆品、食物,大到建筑、船舶、飞机等等,都需要TIC机构的检测和认证,它能帮助厂商提高产品质量,确保制造商遵循当地和国际标准及法规,以确保最终用户的环保、健康和安全。可以说,TIC与我们的日常生活息息相关。


8月13日,在由NACE国际携手中国海洋石油集团有限公司(中国石油学会海洋石油分会)主办;应急管理部四川消防研究所联合主办的“BOTH China 2019技术研讨会上,艾涂邦作为支持媒体,有幸对前来参会的全球领先TIC机构Element Materials Technology(以下简称Element)消防及建筑产品亚太区业务总监和全球CTO袁吉峰博士进行了深度专访,对Element及其今后的发展规划有了进一步了解。(文末附英文版)



百年传承,全球顶尖TIC机构


Element的历史,可以追溯到190多年前,换句话说,这是一家不折不扣的“百年老店”——


1827年,荷兰Stork工程集团的内部实验室就是Element的雏形。


在2001年之前Stork的员工只有大约200人,在2010年通过管理层收购(MBO)成立Element。


这种相对慢热型的成长可能与TIC的行业特性有关。



TIC机构的客户行业分布广泛,而且服务覆盖整个产业链,呈现碎片化特点,市场集中度较低,许多检测检验企业无法在细分需求上满足客户要求,因而便催生出了大量的中小型企业。


但近年来,许多TIC机构为了提高核心竞争力,抢占市场份额,积极进行兼收并购,使得市场集中度不断提高。


据统计,目前在TIC领域,平均每个季度都会产生20-30笔并购交易。而从2010年至今,前12大检测集团已有超过400笔并购交易。


顺应市场发展和行业发展的必然趋势,Element一路领跑,从2000年起,进行了多宗收购,其中,2017年对EXOVA的收购,使得Element一跃成为世界顶尖TIC机构。



如今的Element在全球30多个国家针对目标行业设有189个实验室和咨询办公室,超过6700名专业员工。其主要战略重点集中于工业四大板块——消防和建筑产品、航空航天、交通运输以及石油天然气。


其中,航天航空和石油天然气业务全球领军,交通运输业务独占美国市场龙头,消防和建筑产品业务则在欧洲和澳洲市场居首。


在消防及建筑产品方面,我们的业务主要有产品消防性能的检测认证,产品质量管理体系认证,消防工程设计咨询和培训,以及家具行业的相关业务。”袁吉峰博士介绍道。


作为他的专业领域,也恰好契合此次BOTH China 2019技术研讨会的主题——防火涂料在工业领域当中的运用与前景,袁博士的话匣子一下子就打开了,就Element成功的秘诀以及今后的战略部署与艾涂邦进行了分享。




市场通行证,Element的成功秘诀


作为历史悠久,专业度高,在全球范围内都广受认可的检测、认证服务提供商,Element的成功并非偶然。


提及成功的秘诀,袁博士的答案很简单:领先的专业技术能力,和一贯可信的检测结果。



从客户的角度出发,他们认可并尊重我们的检测结果给他们的产品带来的附加价值。从市场角度出发,我们的检测报告和认证可以作为市场的通行证。做到以上两点,就是成功。”


说起来容易做起来难,践行这一理念并不容易。以消防和建筑产品业务为例:


Warringtonfire(Element子公司)从1960年代开始在英国涉足消防产品检测检验和认证,经过50多年的经营和发展,才逐渐赢得了安全、协作、知行合一和追求卓却的口碑和声望,确立了市场地位。


Element在专业度方面的实力来自于服务的广度和专业能力的深度。同样以消防为例,从广度来说,Element的消防业务不仅适用于建筑产品,还涵盖了石油天然气、航天航空、船舶运输等多种工业领域。在业务深度上,从消防设计、产品质量检测、到施工、现场检验,甚至最后的产品使用,Element都能够全部覆盖,以保证产品质量的一致性和持续性。



除了服务质量和专业度,Element也积极参与相关检测标准的制定。


在欧洲,国家标准的制定主要依靠第三方检测企业、生产商以及设计单位共同推动,Element多年来一直积极参与到国家标准国际标准和行业标准的制定中,作为行业内标准发展的主要贡献力量得到了广泛认可。




布局中国市场,机遇和挑战并存


不可否认Element获得巨大成功,但是Element仍在继续发展,让世界更广阔的市场认可Element的检测专业服务带来的贡献。作为全球顶级的TIC机构,Element显然无法忽视中国作为世界发展最快的经济体这一巨大的市场。拥有业务的广度和深度加上本土化的服务,Element已完成一切准备,为中国企业提供支持。



“中国和整个亚太地区,在集团下一步发展战略中分量日益上升!”刚接受任命兼任亚太区业务拓展总监,袁博士此次归来,显然身负重任。


目前Element在全球布局中有两个支撑点——北美和欧洲,如今Element打算再增添一个支撑点,形成三足鼎立,令集团业务更加稳定和成熟。中国和亚太地区作为拥有巨大体量的市场,自然成为Element的不二之选。


袁吉峰博士表示,中国市场将会作为Element全球战略布局当中不可或缺的一部分,并在2025年之前成为Element“抵御可能的全球经济不确定性带来的冲击”的抵抗核心支撑之一。


提及具体在中国市场的布局和筹划,袁吉峰博士已成竹在胸。Element现在定位主要是为国内企业,以及国外企业在华生产做出口检测认证,下一步则有可能与国内消防检测单位一起合作,专攻检测认证以及培训业务。


“中国市场庞大,机遇和挑战并存。”


袁博士对于中国市场的理性思考不无道理,如今适逢国内消防改革,国内市场飞速发展,随着工业化、城镇化的加快,市场需要会越来越大,另外伴随建筑设计,以及设备设计现代化、复杂化,对于消防的要求也越来越高。从这个角度看,对于Element这样TIC检测机构和Warringtonfire子公司国际知名的针对消防的检测单位来说是难得的机遇。


但也正因为市场巨大,产业领域分布广泛,客户需求千差万别,目前中国的检测机构已经超过三万家。


不过,这只是中国经济发展迅速,行业监管尚未配套完善的阶段性特征,随着中国政府监管机构及企业需求的成熟,生产商和TIC机构的优胜劣汰是必然趋势。有特色、服务范围全面、技术能力强、诚信可靠的检测机构面临巨大的机遇和挑战,如何通过自身发展和必要的并购收购来整合市场。


结语


Element国际上的成功不可否认,可在中国市场却刚刚起步。不过袁吉峰博士信心满满,他相信,依托百年品质和全球领先的专业水平,Element在中国会有强力表现,为服务的中国企业和产品在中国和全球市场增值。



英文版


Interview with Element: 

the world's leading TIC organization

 with a strong past 

and a prosperous future


The term TIC, which stands for testing, inspection and certification, might be unfamiliar to the general public but it represents an industry that touches the lives of everyone. Products as small as mobile phones, cosmetics and food, to those as large as buildings, ships and airplanes, all need to be tested and certified by TIC organizations. It is critical that manufacturers follow regional and global standards and regulations to ensure product quality, and ultimately to ensure environmental protection and the health and safety of end users. All of the products we use in our daily lives have passed through the TIC industry.


The Bring on the Heat (BOTH) 2019 international technical conference was held between 13-14 August in Suzhou, China. This event was organized by the National Association of Corrosion Engineers of USA (NACE International) and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), and co-sponsored by the National Fire Test Centre (Sichuan Fire Research Institute) of the Ministry of Emergency Management. As the supporting media partner, Ai-Tubang had the opportunity to meet with Element Materials Technology (Element), a leading global TIC provider. It was great to have an in-depth interview with Dr Jifeng Yuan, Asia Pacific Business Development Director and Global CTO of Fire & Building Products and, to gain a deeper understanding of Element and its future development plans.


A century of heritage for the world's top TIC provider


The history of Element can be traced back more than 190 years when in 1827, the in-house testing laboratory of the Dutch engineering group Stork served as the original prototype of Element. Over the next century, Stork only had about 200 employees before 2001 and developed into Element through Management Buyout (MBO) in 2010.


This relatively slow start in life is largely related to the nature of the TIC industry. Service providers work with customers in widely distributed industries across the entire supply chain, but the market can be fragmented. Many TIC companies cannot meet customer requirements in some market segmentations, which results in a large number of small and medium-size enterprises.


In order to develop competitive advantages and grasp market share, in recent years many TIC organizations have been proactive in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to create market consolidation. According to statistics, there is an average of 20-30 M&A transactions per quarter within the TIC industry. Since 2010, the top 12 testing groups have completed more than 400 M&A transactions.


When it comes to exploring industry trends and evolving with market developments, Element is currently leading the way. Since 2000, it has carried out a number of acquisitions including that of Exova in 2017 which elevated Element to one of the top tier global TIC  providers.


Today, Element has 189 laboratories and consulting offices in more than 30 countries around the world and  employs more than 6,700 engaged experts. It has four strategically focused industry sectors: Aerospace, Fire & Building Products, Oil & Gas and Infrastructure and Transportation & Industrials. Element is considered the leading testing services provider for Aerospace globally, as well as regionally for the Oil & Gas and Infrastructure sectors. In addition, Element’s Transportation service offering holds a leading position in the US market, whilst the Fire & Building Products sector occupies market leading positions in Europe and Australia.


“In terms of Fire & Building Products, our business mainly includes: fire safety testing and the certification of products; management system certification; fire engineering design consulting; training; and business related to the furniture industry.” said Dr Yuan.


The main theme of the BOTH 2019 conference was ‘the application and prospect of fire protective coatings in industrial applications.’ As this aligns well with his own technical expertise, Dr Yuan discussed Element’s service offering and its future strategic plan with Ai-Tubang.


The story of Element's success


As a long-established, highly professional and globally recognized testing, inspection and certification service provider, Element's success is well-earned. Why does Element continue to be so successful? Dr Yuan's answer is simple: industry leading technical expertise and a track record of consistently delivering trusted testing results.


“From the customer's point of view, they recognise and appreciate that we add value to their business through the quality of the services we deliver. From a market perspective, reports and certificates from Element and its subsidiaries such as Warringtonfire, help gain market access. Achieving these two points is critical to our success.”


However, it is easier said than done, and it is not necessarily easy to put this principle into practice. Taking the Fire & Building Products sector as an example, Warringtonfire, which is part of the Element Group, has been involved in fire safety product testing, inspection and certification in the UK since the 1960s. After more than 50 years of operation and development, it has justifiably earned an outstanding reputation for safety, partnership, integrity and excellence, helping it to establish its position as a top tier global TIC business.


Element’s strength can be attributed to both the breadth of services it provides and the depth of its technical expertise. In the case of Fire & Building Products, the breadth of Element’s fire safety business covers not only the construction industry, but extends to the Oil & Gas, Aerospace, and sea and land transportation industry sectors as well. When it comes to the depth of technical expertise, from fire safety engineering design, and product testing and certification, to construction, on-site inspection, and final product use and maintenance, Element covers the entire supply chain ensuring quality and continuity.


Element is also proactively involved in the development of relevant test standards. In Europe, the development of national standards mostly relies on the collaboration of third-party testing companies, manufacturers and design institutes. Element has been actively participating in the formulation and development of national and international standards, as well as industry standards, for many years and today is recognised for making a major contribution in this area.


Opportunities and challenges in the Chinese market


Although undeniably already a hugely successful global business, Element continues to grow as businesses around the world recognise the contribution its technical experts can make to their success. With its breadth of services and its depth of technical expertise, as well as a local presence, Element is well placed to support businesses in China, which remains one of the fastest growing economies in the world.


"China and the wider Asia-Pacific region will play an increasingly important role in Element’s future," said Dr Yuan, who was recently appointed to the role of Asia Pacific Business Development Director.


Although historically, North America and Europe have been key strongholds for Element it is clear that there is an opportunity to establish a strong presence in the APAC region.


Dr Yuan said that the Chinese market will form an integral part of Element's future global business helping it to counter any impact from possible global economic uncertainties by 2025.


Referring to the Chinese market, Dr Yuan has confident plans. Element's existing approach has been to supply export testing and certification services to domestic enterprises as well as foreign companies in China. The next step is likely to involve cooperation with domestic fire testing authorities, specializing in testing, certification and training. He said that: “The Chinese market is huge, and opportunities and challenges coexist.”


Dr Yuan’s approach to the Chinese market is well timed as it coincides with reforms to domestic fire safety regulations. The domestic fire safety market is developing rapidly and with accelerated industrialization and urbanization, the market is set to expand quickly. Along with modernized architectural design and complex equipment design, the requirements for fire protection are becoming more strict. From this perspective, it provides the perfect opportunity for TIC providers such as Element, who through its subsidiary Warringtonfire has built a global reputation as experts in fire protection, to play a key role.


However, as a result of the sheer size of the market and the broad scope of industrial sectors, customers’ needs vary greatly and there are more than 30,000 testing providers in China at present, operating not only in the area of fire. With this rapid development of industry, regulatory supervision has not yet caught up. With the maturity of Chinese governmental regulations, it is clear that the more trusted TIC providers will start to gain market access. TIC businesses who can offer the right mix of technical capabilities and scope of services will be able to take advantage of the huge opportunity for market consolidation, particularly through greenfield development and any necessary mergers and acquisitions.


Conclusion


While Element’s global success is undeniable, the Chinese market is a new frontier. Dr Yuan is confident that with track record of trusted service and leading technical expertise, Element is ideally placed to establish a strong presence in China, adding value to businesses and their products within China and globally.


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