March 28, 2022 EXECUTIVE VIEWPOINT
HBK’s president, Ben Bryson, currently based in his native home of England with his wife and teenage daughter, provides insight on his working life and future goals:
Before joining HBK in January 2020, I have been lucky enough to travel all around the world working in different cultures and companies. The initial twenty-odd years of my career have been focused on making things fly, as I worked for three very large aerospace OEMs - GKN, Honeywell and Eaton - performing a variety of roles within customer services, commercial management, legal, operations and product management.
I’ve grown up in an environment where precision matters, as the lives of the end user rely on you getting it right, every time. Safety and quality must always come first.
Having retained these values all my working life, I believe it’s imperative we continually care for our colleagues with a “safety first” culture, whilst also protecting our customers with top-class systems. At HBK we have a fantastic opportunity to produce distinguished technology that provides customer solutions which are more efficient and accurate, and offer higher user experience and greater depth of application.
We are renowned for being physics domain experts, with world-class solutions across the test and measurement spectrum - in the real and virtual world. Our customers are trying to solve some of the most exciting challenges in their fields of expertise, whether that is to better understand the marine world through sound research in our oceans or to optimize management in an electric vehicle power train, thus accelerating the decarbonization of the automotive industry.
In HBK we aspire to empower the innovators, working with customers to identify their needs, and then providing tailor-made solutions so they can create safer, more efficient and innovative products or services for their markets, in a faster manner.
We want to build on our proud heritage and position HBK to deliver customer needs. We have grown our portfolio to provide simulators, simulation, and physical testing with real-time analytics and software platforms, plus test solutions for bespoke projects. With this capability and deep domain knowledge, we aim to serve our customers, enabling them to innovate for a more sustainable and digitally enabled world.
Our test systems and services can support major product developers, researchers or end users in so many areas: automotive, aerospace and defense, manufacturing equipment, telecom and audio, agriculture, medical and marine, universities and educational facilities. We don’t prioritise one area over another, all are key to enabling our force, weight, torque, sound and vibration capabilities.
It’s exciting to see where we can make a difference with a force sensor in agriculture to enable accurate seed planting depth, increasing crop yields and supporting food production. Whilst, at the same time, working with research fellows to improve the quality of life with our sound equipment, supporting those with disabilities in developing countries.
Our application engineering teams work closely with customers to support their needs. They are at the front line of business and it’s their attention to customer needs that are helping HBK to get to the heart of test and measurement.
The next phase of HBK’s journey will be underpinned by some really exciting technology. The acquisition of Concurrent RT is highly synergistic with our growth plans for simulation - the real-time computing enables Hardware In the Loop (HIL) testing for our automotive customers. Accelerating the development and reducing the cost of prototyping, with real-time ride and handling in the simulator.
HBK is well placed to support our customer needs with smarter sensing capability. By moving sensing analysis closer to the point of measurement, with smarter sensors, we will enable customers to shorten the time spent on testing, as the set-up is radically reduced and the signal to DAQ is digitalised. Smart sensing with micro capability - the same or higher precision - will be supported by multichannel data acquisition, with an open-source software test platform enabling a customer-centric test and measurement ecosystem.
Going forward, there are multiple external challenges facing our customers and ultimately HBK. There is growing geopolitical pressure to restrict the movement of goods. The departure from globalization to localization means that customers’ buying behaviors continue to evolve. Developing technology for our markets that are supported locally is central to our strategy. Similarly, the C-19 pandemic has driven a massive demand growth for electronics, putting significant strain on the traditional supply chains. The scarcity of microchips has also meant that costs are rapidly escalating.
The war in Ukraine will also trigger future market uncertainties. HBK stands in solidarity with Ukraine and has removed all sales to Russia, whilst we reflect on the impact on the global markets.
HBK’s teams are working hard to support our customers through these uncertain times, securing material whilst maintaining quality. We are well placed to support our customers and find a way to succeed.