LASER measurement technology specialist Measurement Devices Ltd (MDL) is to accelerate its drive to become a worldclass laser measurement technology manufacturing business after raising finance by selling a 29% shareholding to global metrology and healthcare products manufacturer Renishaw. MDL products are designed to be used in rugged environments, to improve accuracy, enhance user safety and increase productivity. They are used in scores of applications worldwide in quarrying and mining. Family-owned business MDL, which has bases in York, Aberdeen and Houston, USA; will use the finance to fund its expansion in the fast-growing global eye-safe, time-of-flight laser measurement technology sector which it has helped pioneer since it was founded in 1983. An agreement with Renishaw provides for the remaining MDL shares to be acquired during the next four years.No changes are anticipated at MDL, which has more than 50 staff, with founder Steve Ball remaining President in Houston and Elaine Ball remaining Managing Director in the UK. Steve Ball is also the Chairman of the MDL Group.Renishaw is a major international manufacturing business with 1,358 staff in the UK and 741 overseas. The company, which has a £181.6 million turnover, was founded in 1979 by Chairman and CEO, Sir David McMurtry and Deputy Chairman, John Deer.The company’s core skills are in measurement, motion control, precision machining, spectroscopy and medical devices with products that help customers enhance their manufacturing efficiency, raise product quality, maximise research capabilities and improve the efficacy of medical procedures.Within the metrology sector, Renishaw products are used in applications that encompass machine tool automation, high-speed component measurement, machine calibration and position feedback.Steve Ball says: “The similarities between MDL and Renishaw are amazing. The main difference being that Renishaw measures small things and we measure large things. With Renishaw’s support and investment, MDL will accelerate its drive to become a worldclass company benefiting all our stakeholders and customers.”Renishaw assistant Chief Executive, Ben Taylor, says “We are very pleased to announce our acquisition of a stake in MDL. We have many reasons to be interested in such a high-quality business, one being that its laser systems complement Renishaw’s own metrology products and have potential to be integrated with them.“MDL will retain its independent distribution network although, where there are gaps, they may benefit by support from our own global subsidiary network. It is our intention that the two businesses will also share their extensive knowledge of measurement technologies to develop new products for various measurement applications.”MDL has two operating divisions: Sensors, which designs and manufactures generic time-of-flight laser distance meters and Systems, which designs and manufactures laser-based positioning and 3D-scanning products.