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2017 SUSTAINABILITY REPORT

Providing unique, creative and
forward-thinking solutions to our
customers that differentiate us
as an industry leader.

Innovation & Technology
ESCO’s success is based upon manufacturing highly engineered, high quality products and leveraging technology and innovation to continually improve upon our products for the benefit of our customers. We strive to be at the forefront of research and new developments and to be at the cutting edge with new and innovative products. This requires a commitment to investment in infrastructure and management systems to ensure that our products continue to evolve to meet or exceed our customers’ expectations.
Investing in Research & Development

Our commitment to innovation is demonstrated, in part, by our ongoing financial investment in company and customer sponsored research and development which totaled $16 million in FY2017. Detailed information about our subsidiaries’ research and development activities and investments can be found in our 2017 Annual Report & Form 10-K.


Driving Sustainable Performance

Each ESCO subsidiary focuses on developing its products and solutions to provide customers with enhanced functionality, new capabilities and, in many cases, more sustainable performance. Our customers come from a wide variety of sectors including aerospace, electric utilities, consumer electronics/wireless, healthcare, military, and industrial markets. Each sector has a unique set of product requirements and it is our job to understand their requirements and develop solutions that meet their demanding expectations.

While improved product quality and enhanced performance are central to our innovation efforts, we are especially interested when our products or the processes used to manufacture them also deliver improved environmental, health and/or safety performance.

The topic of sustainable design and finding ways to better document and communicate the sustainability benefits of our products will be a focus for ESCO in the years to come.


Product Innovation

Each ESCO subsidiary innovates differently, but each devotes significant time and energy to the research and development of technologies that are pertinent to its own methodology and business. These investments improve efficiency, sustainability, cost effectiveness, and help keep ESCO on the forefront of emerging technologies and practices. Many of these innovations result in reengineered products that help reduce energy consumption and improve energy efficiency. Some of our recent successes include the following:

Filtration/Fluid Flow

In collaboration with its supply chain, PTI has been working to improve the filtration and shelf-life performance of its media by updating the binder systems to more sustainable alternatives. PTI is also exploring new developments in cast aluminums and the additive manufacturing of aluminum, stainless steel and titanium to make near net shape components, thus shortening manufacturing cycles, and simultaneously reducing electricity, water/coolant usage and material waste from machine turnings.

VACCO is continuously researching new materials that have less or minimal environmental toxicity. VACCO’s aerospace products often end up burning up in the atmosphere upon reentry from space or at the bottom of the ocean; therefore, VACCO recognizes that minimizing impact to the environment is critically important. Some of VACCO’s innovations include prohibiting and/or avoiding harmful materials such as toxic propellants, Cad plating, Chromium based coatings or plating, Beryllium or other materials that emit toxic fumes when machined. VACCO is also a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). As part of this group, VACCO is on a committee to promote the use of electric propulsion systems in space to both reduce the size and complexity of spacecraft and eliminate the need for toxic propellants.

Crissair focuses its efforts on product longevity and durability of materials, and designs its products to last for the lifetime of the aircraft in which they are installed, thus reducing overall lifecycle impacts.

Utility Solutions Group

Doble’s products play a central role in monitoring and maintaining the reliability of electrical grids, ensuring that they work as efficiently as possible. For example, dobleARMS® is a Doble product that consists of an asset risk management system that provides intelligent alerts and notifications that allow utilities to remotely monitor high risk and high value assets. Utilities can now make more informed decisions regarding day-to-day and longer-term operations to maximize asset longevity. Doble has also recently introduced the M7100 High Voltage Asset Analyzer which significantly improves the safety and efficiency of field work by automating multiple tests that were previously performed by several pieces of equipment, thus reducing the manpower necessary to perform the testing and the testing time from 7 hours to as little as 1.5 hours. This new product also reduces the number of technician ladder trips, thus improving workforce safety and efficiency.

Technical Packaging

TEQ is currently working with suppliers to develop TEQconnex, which will significantly reduce processing energy consumption by allowing the use of uncoated Tyvek in packaging, adding to the recyclability of both rigid trays and their lidding material while improving the breathability of the lidding. TEQ expects to implement TEQconnex by 2019.


Process Innovation

Sustainable products are the result of both environmentally friendly materials and safer, more efficient processes used to manufacture those products. Our subsidiaries continue to seek process improvements that will result in reduction of our carbon footprints.

For example, TEQ designs its packaging solutions to have the smallest possible footprint to reduce the amount of plastic utilized in production. TEQ’s products are also designed to be nestable, resulting in lower overall size and volume for shipping and lower energy usage. Plastique is at the forefront of process innovation with its pulp based packaging which is a more sustainable alternative to plastic. Plastique’s “Fibrepak” packaging solution is recyclable and produced from renewable virgin wood fibers sourced from locally managed forests with full chain of custody certification. This natural and sustainable material is easily recycled, biodegradable and non-toxic, and offers significant storage and transport savings compared to foam packaging parts.

NRG has automatic fans and lighting in its spray booths, which activate as needed and then turn off when not in use, thereby minimizing the use of energy. ETS-Lindgren is in the process of transitioning to more sustainable paints, adhesives, coolants and other process chemicals to reduce its environmental impact and minimize health and safety risks to its employees. In many cases, our subsidiaries have been able to eliminate harmful materials such as lead from their processes and substitute more sustainable alternatives.


Advancing Industry Standards

Employees from many of ESCO’s subsidiaries serve on industry standards boards which influence industry trends and technological developments. Our subsidiaries also engage with their customers to collaborate on product enhancements and solutions. Doble hosts its annual International Conference of Doble Clients, which boasts approximately 1,400 attendees each year. Conference presentations include research on new topics such as aging infrastructure in the utility industry. These activities allow the ESCO companies to stay at the forefront of product improvement initiatives that benefit our customers.


Intellectual Property

ESCO’s business is driven by our technological advancements. We are careful to protect our intellectual property to maintain a competitive market position. Our subsidiaries maintain and pursue patent protection and other forms of intellectual property for products and processes that differentiate ESCO from our peers. For example:

  • Our Test segment holds a number of patents on products for wireless device testing. This segment has also sought protection for inventions such as window designs, unique antennas and improved acoustic techniques for sound isolation.
  • VACCO has proprietary manufacturing technology regarding its quieting technology used by U.S. Navy submarines.
  • Doble is pursuing patent protection on improvements to its line of diagnostic equipment.
  • Our Technical Packaging segment has a number of proprietary products and trade secrets including technology for producing high-quality thin-wall packaging from sustainable virgin crop fibers and pulp.

Corporate Resources

Corporate Resources


Company Portfolio
Crissair
PTI
Westland
Mayday
VACCO
ETS-Lindgren
Doble
NRG
Morgan Schaffer
TEQ
Plastique

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