Waters Corp incorporated as a Delaware corporation in 1991, is an analytical instrument manufacturer, mainly designs, manufactures, sells and services, through its Waters Division, high performance liquid chromatography, ultra performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry instrument systems and support products, including chromatography columns, other consumable products and comprehensive post-warranty service plans. Waters became a publicly-traded company with its initial public offering ("IPO") in November 1995. The Company's two operating segments, Waters Division and TA Division, have similar economic characteristics; product processes; products and services; types and classes of customers; methods of distribution and regulatory environments. The Waters Division's products and services primarily consist of high performance liquid chromatography ("HPLC"), ultra performance liquid chromatography ("UPLC" and together with HPLC, referred to as "LC"), mass spectrometry ("MS") and chemistry consumable products and related services. TA products and services primarily consist of thermal analysis, rheometry and calorimetry instrument systems and service sales. The Company's products are used by pharmaceutical, life science, biochemical, industrial, nutritional safety, environmental, academic and governmental customers. These customers use the Company's products to detect, identify, monitor and measure the chemical, physical and biological composition of materials and to predict the suitability of fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals, water, polymers and viscous liquids in various industrial, consumer goods and healthcare products. The Company's competitors include: Agilent Technologies, Inc., Shimadzu Corporation, Bruker Corporation, Danaher Corporation and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. In the markets served by the TA Division, the Company's principal competitors include: PerkinElmer, Inc., Mettler-Toledo International Inc., NETZSCH-Geraetebau GmbH, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., Malvern Instruments Ltd., Anton-Paar and General Electric Company. The Company is subject to federal, state and local laws, regulations and ordinances that govern activities or operations that may have adverse environmental effects, such as discharges to air and water as well as handling and disposal practices for solid and hazardous wastes and impose liability for the costs of cleaning up and certain damages resulting from sites of past spills, disposals or other releases of hazardous substances.