» Innovation and advanced technology solutions at the forefront for world leading UK manufacturer

05 March, 2015

Founded in the late 1960s, Malvern Instruments is now one of the world's leading materials and biophysical characterization companies. Having built on a long-established reputation for innovation in particle sizing, the company today is highly respected for its technology and applications leadership in areas that range from particle, protein and macromolecule characterization through to rheological properties measurement and into process optimisation.

Malvern Instruments provides the materials and biophysical characterisation technology and expertise that enable scientists and engineers to understand and control the properties of dispersed systems. These systems range from proteins and polymers in solution, particle and nanoparticle suspensions and emulsions, through to sprays and aerosols, industrial bulk powders and high concentration slurries. Used at all stages of research, development and manufacturing, Malvern’s materials characterisation instruments provide critical information that helps accelerate research and product development, enhance and maintain product quality and optimise process efficiency.

Our products reflect Malvern’s drive to exploit the latest technological innovations and our commitment to maximising the potential of established techniques. They are used by both industry and academia, in sectors ranging from pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals to bulk chemicals, cement, plastics and polymers, energy and the environment.

Malvern systems are used to measure particle size and count, particle shape, zeta potential, protein charge, molecular weight, mass, size and conformation, rheological properties and for chemical identification, advancing the understanding of dispersed systems across many different industries and applications.

Headquartered in Malvern, UK, Malvern Instruments has subsidiary organisations in all major European markets, North America, Mexico, China, Japan and Korea, a joint venture in India, a global distributor network and applications laboratories around the world.

Malvern is the recipient of seven Queen's Awards. Now known as the Queen's Awards for Enterprise, these are amongst the UK's most prestigious business prizes. Over 90% of sales are exported.  Research and development of new technologies and product evolution are key to our success, and we commit about 7% of turnover to these activities.

To ensure that best practice is maintained at all times across the multiple sites, and to satisfy the demands of its customer base, especially the highly regulated Pharmaceutical industry, Malvern operates to ISO 9000:2008 Certification. The key benefits to the business are consistency of standards and management systems that ensure everyone follows the same procedure for design, product development and service delivery.

The manufacturing site in Houston, Texas and the administration and support centre in Westborough, Massachusetts all operate to the same standards, thus guaranteeing consistent standards of product quality to their customers. This gives confidence to customers who can expect to receive the same high standards anywhere in the world from a Malvern Instruments site. Ultimately as Alan Bragginton, Regulatory Compliance Manager for Malvern Instruments said, “ISO 9001 is critical to the business as it ensures uniform standards and systems are adhered to across the organisation. It meets the demands of its customer base, especially the pharmaceutical customers where this certification is mandated, and it encourages growth opportunities in the business”.

The organisation also conforms to TickIT as certified by Lloyds, who are accredited by UKAS. This certification relates to software development and provides confidence to customers that Malvern is developing its new products with a high level of control over the development processes for both hardware and software, hence maintaining the same level of quality in product development as they do in product manufacture.

Central to the core values of the business is the on-going development of a sustainable global policy. Malvern is compliant with the standards set out in ISO 14001:2008 Environmental certification. This certification is seen not only as a means to controlling, measuring and reducing its environmental impact but also to satisfy increasing demands from our customer base for their suppliers to operate to sound environmental principles.

Malvern are also compliant with OHSAS 18001:2007 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems standard. The primary benefits of having this certification is seen not only as a moral obligation to employees to demonstrate Malvern’s commitment to their safety and health whilst at work, but also again to demonstrate to customers our commitment to product safety.

To support the ethos of putting their people first, Malvern is recognised by the Investors in People certification. This is perceived as being attractive to new employees and provides a learning and development framework for both existing and new employees, demonstrating the organisation’s commitment to ensuring staff are happy and motivated and that they have opportunities to progress their career.

In terms of quantifying the actual cost savings of having the certifications in place, Alan Bragginton said, “It’s difficult to put a specific figure on the financial benefit to the business. Ultimately however, we have to satisfy the demands of our customers and prospective new customers by having stringent certification processes in place. To secure new business, especially within an international market, we found that companies were increasingly asking what standards Malvern was compliant with. To grow and develop the organisation, we therefore had to comply with certifications as required by our existing customers and prospects alike - the benefits therefore could run into the millions”.

Streamlining business process yields efficiencies and cost benefits

The regular audit reviews provide opportunities to refine and adapt the business and management processes to ensure the highest levels of service and product quality are adhered to at all times. Compliance across various areas of the business encourage new business opportunities and provide added confidence to existing customers around the world that the highest product development and manufacturing standards are in place at all times.