Waters Corp was incorporated in Delaware in 1991. It 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 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 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.