Canadian Technical and Distribution Business Aquired as Laser Specialist MDL Sharpens Global Focus

The acquisition of its Canadian technical and distribution facility has been completed by British laser measurement technology specialist, Measurement Devices Ltd (MDL), in a multi-million dollar deal.

MDL, York, a global market leader in the design and development of robotic laser surveying and mapping technology, has acquired 100 per cent share in Thomas Engineering (TEC) Manotick, Ottawa, Canada, as part of its strategy to create a global laser measurement, manufacturing and distribution and services business.

The acquisition, the exact financial details of which have not been disclosed, enables MDL and TEC to launch a new business, MDL Canada Ltd, which will focus on sales and service to the fast-growing Canadian mining, quarrying and surveying industry.

MDL mining and quarrying industry products, already widely used in Canada include the Quarryman®, Boretrak®, C-ALS® (Cavity Auto Scanning Laser System), Void Scanner (VS150) and the 3D mobile mapping system Dynascan; used on any land and sea moving platform.

TEC, established in 1993 by its founder and president, Cameron Thomas, has built up a multi-million Canadian dollar business with twelve staff by providing services using MDL laser systems to customers in aggregates, cement and industrial businesses including Lafarge, Holcim, Miller Group, US Steel and many others. The company has also provided MDL equipment and after-sales services to many uranium, gold, nickel, and zinc mining operations throughout Canada including Goldcorp, Vale, Xstrata and Cameco.

MDL founder and Chairman, Steve Ball, says: “The global laser surveying industry is set to grow by 50 per cent in the next two years. This will certainly be reflected in Canada where there are vast resource developments and very few people to do this specialist work.

“Our developments in robotic surveying are having a profound effect on how surveying operations are conducted, especially in the dangerous and environmentally-complex field of mining. MDL’s growth is because our equipment saves lives as well as valuable time and money and substantially reduces the risks in conducting essential underground measurement operations.

“MDL is doubling in size every two years in spite of the tough economic climate and we now aim to double turnover at MDL Canada Ltd in the next twelve months and create many new jobs as we grow the business across western Canada and into other industrial sectors as part of our global expansion and consolidation.”

Cameron Thomas adds: “This exciting deal has come about for the mutual benefit of our two businesses and MDL customers throughout Canada and beyond. It will bring our business in Canada directly in line with MDL customer service and enables us to expand throughout Canada by gaining access to greater resources, more cash for investment and MDL’s global business contacts.”

MDL, which last year acquired a 100 per cent holding of Melbourne-based MDL (Australia) Pty Ltd from mining and construction services business Jeminex Pty Ltd, has also developed a significant presence in Brazil, Chile, South Africa, Russia and China. The company has two operating divisions: Sensors, which designs and manufactures generic time-of-flight laser distance meters and Systems, which designs and manufactures robotic laser-based positioning and 3D scanning products.

More details are available at:

Photo caption: (L to R) are Thomas Engineering founder and president, Cameron Thomas, and MDL Ltd founder and president Steve Ball, signing the acquisition deal at MDL’s headquarters in York, England.

Photo caption: A Cavity Autoscanning Laser System (C-ALS) from MDL in use in rugged conditions.