Heathfield, East Sussex, UK
+44 1435 517 000


Supporting you Then, Supporting you Now

This is our story


Measuring and Scientific Equipment, MSE, was founded in 1936 by Dr Ernest Foulkes, who had moved to the UK in the early 1930s from his native Germany. Starting out with very little capital – only £500 – but equipped with expertise, ambition and determination, Foulkes established MSE to make machine tools, which were then in short supply in Britain.
Throughout World War II, in the 1930s and early 1940s, MSE were appointed by the UK Ministry of Supply to act in the vital role of lease lend agents for American machine tools. At this time the name stood for Machine Shop Equipment.


It was not until after the war that MSE expanded their offering to incorporate the development of centrifuges and other specialised laboratory equipment. The company soon earned a reputation for delivering efficient and safe equipment that was tailored to the specific needs of scientists using them, and they became known the world over for top-quality design and manufacture of advanced products.
With the founding of the National Health Service in 1948, MSE was engaged to develop hospital Microtomes, which until then had never been manufactured in the UK.
In the early 1950s, the newly formed Atomic Energy Authority approached MSE requesting them to manufacture a range of centrifuges for use in their research. Following the change of focus from machine tool development to centrifuges, the acronym MSE was changed to Measuring and Scientific Equipment.


One of the earliest centrifuges developed by the company was the Minor, also known as the ‘mushroom’, which became a huge success. It was very compact, competitively priced and could spin a variety of tubes. As the years went on, MSE added more and more models to their range. Refrigerated, non-refrigerated, small or large capacity, MSE had developed the capability to produce a huge variety of equipment types and products that were industry leaders in the UK and beyond.


By the late 1960s, the company had a UK market share of around 65% and had moved to larger premises in Crawley where they employed over 700 people – making MSE the largest centrifuge manufacturer in the world.
MSE had their work recognised 1966 when they become one of the first ever recipients of the Queens’ Award for Enterprise – a prize which celebrates organisations who excel at international trade, innovation or sustainable development.
When Dr Foulkes retired in 1972, the company was sold Fisons, who in 1990 sold it to Sanyo where it was assimilated into the Gallenkamp brand. In 2003, Sanyo Gallenkamp sold the manufacturing wing of MSE to Henderson Biomedical Ltd and manufacturing moved to Lower Sydenham in South London.

A New Era – Looking to the Future

In 2018, MSE was bought by Labtech, with the aim of reinvigorating the respected brand to once again become leaders in the field. Labtech are known for their innovative approach and comprehensive product portfolio, supplying state-of-the-art equipment to scientists and technologists across a wide range of disciplines.

Operating with the ethos that the discoveries of tomorrow can be initiated and supported by collaborations made today, Labtech are perfectly equipped to bring MSE back to the forefront of the industry.
Just as in the 1940s Dr. Foulkes was determined to focus his design around the way scientists used the equipment in their laboratories, the focus of Labtech is on delivering exceptional solutions that work for the user through innovation, new technology and their unrivalled expertise.