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KPM Analytics acquires Bruins Instruments

13 Jan 2022

Bruins specializes in near-infrared analytical equipment for the food industry, all based around a rapid scanning monochromator.

KPM Analytics, an industrial equipment firm owned by Union Park Capital, has expanded with the acquisition of Bruins Instruments, a manufacturer of high-resolution near-infrared (NIR) reflectance and transmission analyzers based in Puchheim, Germany.

The deal will augment KPM Analytics’ existing line of NIR products for industrial applications, with a range of products used in agriculture and food production.

It also sees Union Park Capital grow its footprint in photonics-related industrial technology. The Boston-headquartered investor’s portfolio already includes LED and laser module firm ProPhotonix, cavity ring-down spectroscopy specialist Tiger Optics, and precision positioning company Z-Laser.

Monochromator core
Founded in 1979 by the late Hans Joachim Bruins, the eponymous company has a long history of manufacturing monochromators that became the core of the early NIR business for grain analysis.

KPM Analytics says that the acquisition demonstrates its commitment to the NIR analyzer market as the company continues to invest in NIR technology focusing on the food industry.

CEO Brian Mitchell said: “With this acquisition, KPM Analytics has significantly enhanced its NIR line of product offerings. The addition of Bruins Instruments complements our existing offerings and completes the KPM near-infrared line of products, from our QuikCheck Analyzer Series to the industry-leading SpectraStar XT Analyzer Series.”

With a wider offering across the agriculture and food sectors, KPM Analytics says that customers of all sizes will now be able to analyze different compositions, for example moisture or fat content, with highly accurate and reliable results in as little as one minute.

Bruins Instruments CEO Ingrid Bruins added: “For more than 40 years, we have worked to fulfil our mission of developing high-quality and precision NIR spectrophotometers and NIR analyzers with high reliability.

“We are excited that this acquisition will provide the resources and greater reach to bring the Bruins product line to a larger market.”

Bruins is said to be widely regarded for its extensive experience in calibration, thus providing high accuracy and reliable results.

Pride in technology
At the heart of all Bruins Instruments NIR analyzers is a novel rapid-scanning monochromator. “The advanced technology incorporated in this device has been developed and refined over the years to produce the most sensitive, stable, reliable and reproducible instruments in the world,” claims the firm.

The monochromator technology originally evolved from research-grade spectrophotometers, although the device itself is said to be simple in design.

“While many have tried to copy the design, none have been able to approach the performance and stability of this system,” states Bruins, adding that the stability of its equipment means that its analyzers often operate for more than five years without adjustment.

“In addition, they are the only NIR systems where product calibrations can be transferred between the entire family of instruments without recalibration,” adds the firm.

Originally an electrical engineer, Bruins gained experience in microscope imaging, biomedical instrumentation, and optical spectroscopy techniques before developing equipment that went on to be used for standards determination by prestigious customers including the Max Planck Institute.

In 1982, the company delivered its first NIR analyzer systems for the agricultural and food industries. Since then it has continued to expand worldwide, and established a US subsidiary in Salem, New Hampshire, in 2009.

Morgan Jones, managing partner at Union Park Capital, said of the KPM deal: “It gives me tremendous pleasure that we could acquire Bruins Instruments. For anyone who knew Hans Bruins, you know that he had a pride for his technology and a passion for his business which is seldom matched.

“After years of building a relationship with the owners, we were honored that they would entrust us to shepherd their business after Hans passed away [in July 2020], and we will work tirelessly to advance the business to the potential that Hans and Ingrid had envisioned.”

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