Chief Executive Officer at IDEX
Thank you, Allison. Welcome to IDEX. It's a pleasure to have you on the team. I'd like to start by thanking Mike Yates, our former Chief Accounting Officer, for his 16 years of service to IDEX. Mike help lead an evolution of our finance and accounting organization and his work has had a long lasting impact on the business. On behalf of the entire IDEX team, I wish Mike the best in his future endeavors.
Now, let's turn to our IDEX overview on Slide 6. We continue to see supply chain challenges throughout the third quarter. Our localized sourcing, production and selling model helps us a bit relative to others but this prolonged environment of poor material, labor and logistics availability challenges us just like any other business. Despite these obstacles, our IDEX teams around the globe have risen to the occasion. They exhibited both resiliency and stamina as they overcame yet another quarter filled with day-to-day disruptions, all while providing a high level of support to our customers. I want to thank all the IDEX team members across the globe for your hard work, not just in Q3 but over the last 18 months of business within a pandemic. At this stage, we don't see any near-term signs of diminishing macroeconomic headwinds. Rather, we expect they'll remain at a high level and persist into 2022. We'll continue to leverage our 80/20 principles as we align around our best customers, our best prospects for growth and our critical business priorities.
I spoke last quarter about our ability to capture price due to the differentiated mission-critical nature of our products. Overall, the price actions that we took over the past six months were increasingly realized in the third quarter and we saw our price, cost spread increase sequentially. We will push price aggressively and appropriately as conditions continue to support our arguments. Despite the many challenges out there, our organic performance remains strong. We set another record in the third quarter for orders, sales and backlog. Our backlog is now $186 million higher than it was at the end of last year. Signals around the return of industrial projects have intensified and current energy prices, if sustained, have the potential to drive investments within IDEX application areas.
Our Health Science and Technologies segment performed exceptionally well. Over the past 5 or so years, we have stepped up organic investments with our focus on the longer term. Within our sealing business, we built a new facility with the goal of capturing share in the expanding semiconductor market. We brought three optics facilities together and our new Optics Center of Excellence to enable future wins in life sciences by integrating multiple IDEX components to create value for our customers. We optimized the footprint and core technology of our material processing technology platform to enable long-term repeatable growth across a series of technologies. These investments have generated tremendous returns and we are well positioned to capture share and capitalize on market growth going forward.
On the inorganic side, our recent acquisitions are doing extremely well. Abel Pumps is fully integrated and performing ahead of expectations. The Airtech integration is ahead of schedule and the team is making strong progress on their growth strategy. Both are executing well in the challenging operating environment as they come up to speed on our 80/20 playbook. Our balance sheet remains strong and we have ample capital available to support future acquisitions and investments in the business.
Our M&A funnel is healthy. Our expanded team has identified a number of interesting opportunities as we look to deploy additional capital in the near and long term. In the end, we are focused on delivering and growing within a very difficult near term operating environment while spending a significant part of each day thinking about the best investments in teams, technologies and business opportunities to thrive in the years to come. I'm very confident in our team's ability to outperform in both areas.
With that, I'll turn to our market outlook on page seven. In our Fluid & Metering technology segment, industrial day rates were favorable versus the second quarter. Larger industrial projects still lag but quote activity and funnel strength have both improved. Agriculture remains robust, delivering on record volumes. Our water businesses continue to perform well. Municipal spending is steady and there is general optimism around future increased government funding. The chemical and energy markets continue to lag primarily due to limited capital investment. However, on the chemical side, smaller, fast starting projects performed well. We are cautiously optimistic on energy as increased fuel prices and concerns over energy shortages have the potential to trigger investment.
As we noted last quarter, our Flow MD business has experienced a significant pullback in customers' capital investments. It impacted FMT's organic sales by 8%. In other words, excluding the impact of Flow MD, FMT organic sales would have grown 15% instead of 7% as reported.
Moving to the Health & Science Technologies segment. We continue to see strong demand across all our end markets. Semiconductor, food and pharma, analytical instrumentation and life sciences all performed well. We continue to win share through our targeted growth initiatives and our intentionality around identifying opportunities that grow faster than the broader market is paying off. The automotive market remains affected by supply chain driven challenges but we continue to see growth due to our concentration in higher end European vehicles. The industrial businesses within the segment saw a trend similar to FMT.
Finally, our Fire & Safety Diversified Products segment is our most challenged segment right now. Price capture and volume offsets faced stronger headwinds within the segment due to higher direct OEM exposure and higher levels of material intensity due to vertical integration.
In Fire & Safety, North America Fire OEM production continues to struggle due to supply chain challenges. Larger tender activity is slowly increasing within the global Fire Rescue markets but we feel these market challenges will persist into 2022. U.S. automotive production pullbacks due to microprocessor shortages have tempered the performance of our banded business. We continue to achieve new platform wins and believe we're well positioned to supply chain constraints eventually ease. But in the third quarter, the impact of automotive shutdowns increased versus last quarter and moderated our performance.
Finally, dispensing performed well as key customers deploy capital on strong DIY market demand and our global product offerings capture share. We continue to closely monitor market conditions and expect rolling supply chain disruptions to continue throughout the balance of the year and into 2022. That said, our third quarter organic orders were flat sequentially versus second quarter and our backlog remains at a record level. Overall, the demand environment for IDEX products is not weighed despite supply chain challenges and we remain optimistic about the trajectory of our end markets.
With that, I'd like to turn it over to Bill to discuss our financial results.