EVERETT, Wash. Fluke Corp., a leader in handheld digital multimeters and other compact test instruments, is acquiring the Precision Measurement Division of Wavetek Wandel Goltermann as well as WWG's Test Tools product line.
The move by Fluke comes only two years after Wandel & Goltermann purchased Wavetek a leading vendor of signal sources, DMMs, calibrators and other test equipment and changed its corporate name to give the Wavetek brand first billing.
The Precision Measurement Division primarily designs and markets calibration products and waveform generators. The Test Tools operation handles Wavetek's handheld DMMs, VXI modular test systems, clamp meters, bench instruments and related products.
Fluke said it will maintain the Wavetek Precision Measurement facility, formerly known as Datron, in Norwich, United Kingdom, where it will become part of the Fluke Industrial Group's Calibration Business Unit. The Test Tool products largely originate in San Diego.
"We're selling the lines because they're not part of our core business: communications test," said a spokesman for WWG. "Our strategic goal is to be 100 percent devoted to communications test."
WWG will retain the Wavetek LAN business unit, cable networks, fiber optics and wireless test gear about a $50 million business, according to one industry observer.
Other observers agreed that the divested product lines made a poor match with WWG's sophisticated communications test gear. "They didn't want to support those lines but didn't want the lines to die," said one source.
WWG is "selling off only about $40 million of an almost $500 million company," said Jim Wookey, a Wavetek senior product marketing manager based in San Diego.
Consolidation and line pruning have become commonplace in the test and measurement industry. Fluke itself divested most of its high-end signal generators and benchtop instruments in favor of handheld DMMs, oscilloscopes, LAN meters and other compact instruments.
With the acquisition, Fluke appears to be returning to its earlier benchtop-product makeup. But Warren Wong, product development manger for Fluke's calibration products, noted that the lines target "specific calibration markets, not general-purpose test."
Wong said the acquisition of the calibration products will increase Fluke's "overall volume by one-third to one-quarter."
A Fluke spokesman said the company will retain the Wavetek/Datron name for the next three years but that new products probably will come out under the Fluke banner. After that, Datron will disappear. The handheld tools will retain the Wavetek name.