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Four HP Women
A Trip to Bermuda

from the chairman's desk

D ECENTLY there has been considerable publicity about Throughout the corporation we have several projects under
R cutbacks in military procurement programs and the way that will extend our measurement capabilities into new
effect of these cutbacks on defense-related industries_ fields. Some of these projects are in the research and investi-
As I mentioned in the June issue of Measure, several com- gative stage; others have already generated specific product
panies in our industry have suffered sharp reductions in developments.
sales and earnings, and some have had to layoff large num- In the medical field we are investigating new techniques
bers of employees and curtail expenditures for new plants of electronic anesthesia and improved methods of blood and
and equipment. urinalysis. Also under study are improved diagnostic tech-
Fortunately our company, though a large share of its niques that probe the body with various kinds of electrically
market is defense oriented, has maintained a steady increase generated signals.
in sales and profits, and we are basically optimistic about our We are active in microwave spectroscopy, a technique for
future growth. At the same time, we are fully aware that the detecting and measuring the different compounds in gaseous
slowdown in defense expenditures poses some real challenges mixtures. We are investigating specialized areas of computer
for us. It means that we will face keener competition all technology, particularly those involved with the display and
across the board and will have to work harder to maintain processing of data acquired from electronic measurements.
our share of existing markets for our products_ It also means Our new magnetic tape transport is expected to be the fore-
that we will have to broaden and diversify our product line, runner of several interesting products in the industrial and
thereby opening up new markets and becoming less de- medical recording field. We have a special group in Palo Alto
pendent upon defense-related business. investigating crystal technology and the application of
Developing new types of products and creating new mar- various laser devices. Another group is studying the possible
kets is not something that can be done overnight. It requires modification of many of our instruments to make them
the most careful analysis and planning, followed by extensive adaptable to nuclear measurement.
engineering effort. As you know, most of our products are at While these are by no means all of the projects under way
least a year in the design and development stage and some throughout the corporation, they represent some of our more
considerably longer. Obviously, the engineering task becomes significant efforts to expand our capabilities and markets. In
even more formidable when we are considering entirely new many cases these efforts are in areas of vast market potential,
types of instruments to be sold to entirely new markets. running into many millions of dollars annually.
Ievertheless, there is certainly no reason why our present In considering possible fields in which our technology may
be successfully applied, we are interested only in those fields
technology cannot be extended to new fields of measure-
in which we can make a real contribution. We have no in-
ment, and we are taking positive steps in this direction.
tention of producing instruments or systems that are no
The acquisition of Mechrolab last March has given us a better than existing products. They must represent a signifi-
scientific and marketing entry into the field of precision cant advance in measurement technology, and have a good
chemical analysis. This is a rapidly growing area and one sales and profit potential. We are confident that many of the
making increasing use of electronic techniques. Among products currently under development in our laboratories
Mechrolab's more important products are osmometers, vis- will fulfill both requirements, and will contribute signifi-
cometers, and spectrometers. cantly to our future growth.

What a way to go