Reducing Uncertainty, Increasing Confidence

Edward Chow,  Managing Director TSI Inc.

TSI Inc. serves a global market by investigating, identifying and solving issues that require quantitative measurement precisions.

As an industry leader in the design and production of precision measurement instruments, TSI partners with research institutions and customers around the world to set the standard for measurements relating to aerosol science, air flow, indoor air quality, fluid dynamics and biohazard detections.

With headquarters based in the US and field offices throughout Europe and Asia, TSI has established a worldwide presence in the markets we serve.

Every day, our dedicated employees turn research into reality.

Q. Can you describe about your responsibility for TSI in Asia Pacific?

I’m the Managing Director in charge of the business operations in Asia Pacific. My mandate is to drive all TSI product lines so that our products effectively serve the needs of our markets. Our Asia headquarter is located in Singapore and for the time being, we have local offices in Beijing, Shanghai, and Bangalore. Our products reach all the countries within the region, which includes major economies such as China, India, Australia, Japan and Korea, etc. to name a few.

At the moment, my key focuses are to strengthen and to build our core businesses rapidly in existing marketplace, and at the same time we are aggressively cultivating both new markets and innovative applications of our products within the region. The Asia Pacific market has great potentials for the precision instrument industry because of the region’s unique characteristics that may be different from the other regions.

Another area of my focus is to build high performance teams in Asia so that we not only outpace the growth rate of the market, but also substantially increase our market share for the region.

Q. What are the plans & activities of TSI in Asia?

Since my joining the company a little over three years ago, our businesses in Asia has grown over 60 percent and in some of our segments we are seeing triple digit growth, for example, our products in Contamination Control.

Last year we launched a new Contamination Control product , BioTrak. The product uses our patented Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) technology that provides the most accurate viable measurement for real-time Rapid Microbial Method (RMM).

 At the moment, we focus on developing the pharmaceutical manufacturing market with the Contamination Control products. The goals of these products are to help our customers to increase productivity and to safe guard the manufacturing process. We are installing BioTrak in our customers’ manufacturing premises so that we are able to demonstrate to the customers how their production efficiency can be improved from this product of advanced technology. The benefit of BioTrak is when contamination excursions occurs, the customers may respond right away by segregating potentially contaminated products and at the same time immediately locating the source of contamination. As such, loss on production wastage may be minimised and product safety may be enhanced.

Besides BioTrak, we are going to introduce a completely new product line this year with our Laser Induce Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS). LIBS offers rapid chemical analysis for virtually every element in the periodic table.

In addition to bringing new products to Asia, we are going to increase our physical presence in Asia Pacific through channel development as well as setting up new offices with both technical and service support structures for different countries With this infrastructure in place, we will have wider market reach and therefore we are able to expand our application offerings to different vertical markets.

Q. What is your view on the current market?

According to The Economist, if I may quote from the report -Asia’s pharmaceutical market has been growing rapidly, in line with the regions strong

Economic growth, demographic changes like aging & population growth.

Several broad trends, including rising household incomes, increased government expenditure on healthcare, higher life expectancies, consumer health awareness, and the growing incidence of chronic developed-world diseases associated with changing lifestyles have all boosted demand for pharmaceutical products in the region.

Global pharmaceutical firms have been moving into Asia to tap its flourishing market, and to lower their production costs by shifting capacity from higher-cost countries to the region.

Additionally, while Asia was once considered as an attractive destination only for simple outsourced production, the region is increasingly seen as a key R&D hub. (Source: Asia Competition Barometer – Pharmaceuticals by The Economist)

In the discussions with our customers and partners, we are seeing the same trend as outlined by The Economist’s report. We do expect to see a few bumps along the way but the overall trend is still upwardly positive in the long run.

Q. What are the solutions that TSI specialises in?

Since 1966, TSI has developed and manufactured state-of-the-art instrumentation for a variety of aerosol research applications ranging from atmospheric and climate studies to engine emissions to inhalation toxicology. Today, over 50 years later, TSI is the trusted leader in particle research measurement solutions, offering a catalog of particle measurement instruments for a broad range of aerosol science applications that are truly second to none.

We have branched out into several solutions like Air Quality Monitoring for Indoors & Outdoors; Occupational Health & Safety Monitoring for Workers; Pressure Monitoring for Isolation & Operating Rooms ; Viable Particle Detection for Cleanrooms & Hospitals; Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear (CBRN) detection for Defense; HVAC Testing Instruments for Commercial Buildings, and Particle sizing for nanotechnology research applications.

At this current moment, we have over 250 products granted with over 50 patents and we have a proven record of developing instruments that are the first, the only, and the best of their kind.

We continue to identify and to provide performance measurement solutions by taking on difficult measuring challenges and providing the tools needed to overcome such challenges. As long as there is need for quantitative measurements in any industry, TSI will strive to accelerate the actualization of the technologies in accommodation for our customers’ needs.              

Q. How do you stay ahead in product development?

We invest heavily in product developments. We are committed to be innovative with products that are superior in quality; we try to get our products faster to market; and we make sure our products have high flexibility in design so that their functionalities can be modified in accommodating both our customers’ immediate business needs and the subsequent evolvement of such needs. We are able to achieve this by carefully listening to our customers and that gives us the ability to assess both what is required of our products and the applications such products will provide. Understanding our customers’ needs is by far the most important aspect for both our R&D efforts and the roadmaps that we take in shaping our product planning. Knowing what the market needs and providing the right products and solutions on a timely manner to meet such market needs is critical to our company’s success.

For example, we have made significant investments in developing the new BioTrak™ Real-Time Viable Particle Counter for monitoring pharmaceutical cleanroom facilities. This unique product detects airborne viable particles by utilising TSI’s patented fluorescence detection technology. Such technology is derived from TSI’s 20 years’ experiences of biological threat detection instrumentations. By minimizing false positives, the BioTrak Particle Counter delivers with more confidence and assurance to Quality Assurance Professionals in instant detection and identification of viable particles. The BioTrak Particle Counter provides end users with meaningful data when detecting unwanted events and as a result, it supports root cause investigations.

To ensure TSI is always at the front line of cutting edge technologies, TSI collaborates with worldwide leading institutions to develop and to manufacture the highest quality of instruments that are used for aerosol sciences, air flow measurement, indoor air quality, health and safety, contamination control, fluid dynamics and biohazard detection. For example, we have close partnerships with Dr. David Pui from University of Minnesota. Dr. David Pui is a Distinguished McKnight Professor at the University of Minnesota. Dr. David Pui holds the LM Fingerson/TSI Inc. chair in mechanical engineering and currently serves as director of the Particle Technology Laboratory. Dr. David Pui is widely recognised throughout the world for his significant contributions to aerosol and nanoparticle researches, he is credited with over 220 publications, twenty patents, and nine commercialised aerosol instruments.

By working closely with Dr. David Pui and other highly skilled professors in University of Minnesota, we are able to provide leading edge technology to the real world of precision measurements. By the same token, we work with research institutions around the world in turning brilliant ideas into realities.

Q. How does TSI seek to position & differentiate?

With over 50 years of experiences in this highly specialized field, we have earned a reputation as an industry performance leader. Our experts work hand-in-hand with the scientific and industrial community to develop technically sophisticated instruments that meets evolving precision measurement requirements.

On the manufacturing side, we continue to make investments so that our products are ensured to be of optimal quality during production processes. These investments also allow us to design our production processes in such a way that requires shorter lead time for delivery to our customers. We are currently in the process of adding a two-story facilities at TSI’s headquarter in Minneapolis USA. One of the new floors will house TSI’s engineering labs, and the other floor will provide additional manufacturing space. The addition building of 58,000-sq.-ft. is expected to be completed in June 2013, and with this addition, it will bring the building’s total square footage to more than 200,000 sq. ft. The new manufacturing facilityis also expected to be readiedby June 2013.

We never turn away from difficult measuring challenges; we tackle them head on so that we will provide our customers with the most suitable solutions. TSI has always been regarded as one of the leading global authorities on performance measurement and precision instruments because our instruments always deliver consistent and reliable quantitative measurement that allows our customers to save both precious time and cost of operations.

We strive to accelerate the actualization of our customer’s goals by extending unprecedented level of understanding of their requirements and needs. This is why we do not just observe and react to measurement trends. We set the trend by collaborating with leading specialized pioneers around the world. For more than half a century, we have investigated, identified and provided performance measurement solutions by taking on the difficult measuring challenges and by providing the necessary tools to overcome such challenges.

-- Issue 18 --

Author Bio

Edward Chow

Edward joined TSI Inc. in 2009 as Managing Director, and has been instrumental in transforming the Asia business to preceded level of market coverage and penetration. UnderEdward’s leadership, TSI Inc. has achieved over 80% profitability growth in Asia and has built ahigh performance team covering all territories. Edward holds a MBA from University of Toronto, he is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) andalso a Professional Engineer.

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