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Smiths Group plc
Type Public (LSE: SMIN)
Founded 1851
Headquarters London, England, UK
Key people Donald Brydon (Chairman)
Philip Bowman (CEO)
Industry Engineering
Products Detection
Speciality engineering
Revenue £2,664.6 million (2009)[1]
Operating income £428.5 million (2009)[1]
Net income £270.0 million (2009)[1]
Employees 22,000 (2010)[2]

Smiths Group (LSE: SMIN) is a leading British engineering company involved in wide-ranging speciality engineering activities. It is based in London. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.



The company was founded by Samuel Smith in London in 1851 as a clock and watch business.[3] At the start of the 20th century, the age of the early automobiles, the Company produced the first British odometer ("mileometer") and speedometer.[3] In the 1930s Smiths agreed a trading deal with Lucas whereby the two would not compete in certain areas and Lucas took on part of Smiths non-instrumentation assets. Smiths became the dominant supplier of instruments to British motorcar and motorcycle firms. From 1915 Smiths had a factory at Cricklewood, north London and later moved their Headquarters there.[4]

Separate Smiths Aviation and Smiths Marine divisions were setup in 1958.[3] In 1960, an Industrial division was formed whose main operations were industrial instrumentation.[3] With increasing diversification and international operations the name Smiths Industries Ltd. was adopted in 1965. Clocks, watches, and automotive instruments eventually ceased to be significant markets for Smiths,[3] and by the 1980s, the automotive instrument division had been sold,[3] first to Lucas, and eventually to the factory employees. The new company, Caerbont Automotive Instruments, continues to produce classic Smiths-branded instruments with the blessing of Smiths Group plc.[5]

On 4 December 2000 Smiths completed a merger with TI Group. TI had major interests in aerospace, industrial seals and automotive parts. [6] The company's name was changed to Smiths Group plc on 30 November 2000.[7]

In 2007 GE-Aviation, part of General Electric, acquired Smith's aerospace subsidiary for US$4.8 billion.[8]


The Company is organised into the following businesses:



Smiths Detection is a leading company in the fast growing sector of detection systems. Products of the company include:

  • Trace detectors (aka Puffer Machines) - For the detection of chemical and biological agents, chemicals or explosives.
  • X-Ray security systems
  • Biometrics - Authentication, i.e. establishing the identity of an individual by measurement of physiological or behavioral features
  • Metal detectors
  • Product inspection systems - Systems for quality control of products (e.g. food).
  • Chemical detectors/identifiers
  • Radiological detectors/identifiers
  • Millimeter wave scanners


  • Airway management
  • Needle protection
  • Ambulatory infusion
  • Medication delivery
  • Patient monitoring
  • Temperature Management

The research and development of medical airways division is the primary route of the company's future strategic development plan.

Speciality Engineering

  • Flexible Technologies
  • Interconnect
    • Smiths Interconnect Microwave Components - RF Components and Cable Assemblies
  • John Crane - mechanical seals
  • Tubular Systems
    • Titeflex - flexible fluid hoses
    • Lewis and Saunders - tubular assemblies
    • Gastite - fuel piping products


External links


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