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Throughout the entire spectrum of the manufacturing industry, the words 'globalisation' and 'consolidation' have become common currency. Companies and organisations are being forced to operate in increasingly competitive, increasingly global markets against increasingly aggressive world-class players. Through mergers, joint ventures and acquisitions, fewer and larger groups are taking the wider view beyond their immediate domestic markets to win market share in the fastest-growing world economies. Here, the author describes how Instron and Carl Schenck, two key international players in the niche market for materials, products and structures-testing equipment have now formed an alliance aimed at winning a bigger slice of the global cake.