Industry solutions provider marks anniversary with expansion into downstream

One of Scotland’s leading providers of engineering solutions to industry, XL Global Group, is celebrating its 30th anniversary by further growing its global presence.

Industry engineering solutions provider, XL Global Group, is celebrating its 30th anniversary by expanding globally and embracing downstream.

XL Global Group is a multi-disciplinary company providing integrated process, instrumentation and control solutions.  It serves markets including oil and gas, power and utilities, offshore renewables, manufacturing, distilleries, education, healthcare, food and beverage and the military.  The company comprises 11 divisions offering comprehensive engineering solutions to a diverse range of sectors.

Headquartered in Aberdeen, the group is poised to sign a partnership agreement that will see it expand into Latin America for the first time.  Already, XL Global Group operates from locations in the Middle East, Canada, UK and Ireland.

A strategic goal

Colin Laird, CEO of XL Global Group, said: “There is not a more fitting way to mark our 30th anniversary than by fulfilling another of our strategic goals – establishing a presence in Latin America.  We are also in the process of negotiating a multi-million-pound investment that will accelerate the next phase of our business plan, through both acquisitions and organic growth.”

In 1992, after a number of years at the sharp end, working with specialist equipment for the military, Colin drew on his experience in connecting multi-faceted industrial processes to form Excel Industrial Systems – initially focusing on the oil and gas sector.  It became XL Group in 2000 and XL Global Group in 2016 as it encompassed other divisions.  The Group has grown by delivering highly specialised expertise and the ability to provide complementary services from a diverse skill base within the organisation.

XL Group today includes a range of software, IT, equipment supply, manufacturing, fabrication, electrical engineering and calibration service businesses serving a global client base.  Its portfolio of solutions ranges from metering and data management (Aquidata xl) to safety and process control systems (Automation xl), and from industrial fabrication and logistics lifting solutions (Access xl) to specialist vehicle access solutions (Mobility xl).

Embracing downstream

“We will continue to have a deep connection with the oil and gas industry,” added Colin. “However, we are moving from upstream to embrace downstream as well. So rather like from ‘farm to fork’, we are now working from wellhead to fuel cap.

“We are also applying our expertise to emerging energy and renewables markets such as hydrogen, wind and solar.  Similarly, we are already using our skill sets to deliver efficiency savings and productivity benefits to clients in healthcare, logistics, pharmaceuticals, water, manufacturing and aviation.”

The strategy behind XL Global Group was inspired by the geology of the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.  This world heritage site in County Antrim features approximately 40,000 interlocking basalt columns.  “Individually each column is strong, but they are much stronger together,” said Colin.  “The interoperability of the divisions within our group is what creates our unique proposition.  We can leverage the expertise of one, several or all divisions to provide tailored, turnkey solutions to our clients.”

Colin cites longevity of service among his employees as a key factor in the group’s success.  “The first guy I hired is semi-retired now but still active within the business, 30 years later.  Many others have been with me for 25 years or more.  It has become a cliché to say that employees are the key reason for success within a business, but in our case, it is demonstrably true.

“I am merely the conductor of an orchestra comprised of extremely talented musicians. I chose the sheet music but it’s ultimately down to them to perform it.”