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Cognex Corporation Acquires the Machine Vision Business of Gavitec

Cognex Corporation

NATICK, MA, December 1, 2003-Cognex Corporation (NASDAQ: CGNX), the world's leading supplier of machine vision systems, announced today that it has acquired the machine vision business of Gavitec AG of Aachen, Germany. Under the terms of the acquisition, which closed today, December 1st, Cognex purchased both the tangible and intangible assets, and assumed certain liabilities associated with Gavitec's machine vision business for an undisclosed amount of cash.

Gavitec, founded in 1997, produces a wide range of machine vision products for direct part mark reading, a fast-growing application for machine vision systems which can read numbers, letters and symbols that are printed, etched or stamped directly on the surfaces of manufactured items. These specialized vision systems are used by manufacturers to collect data about product components during the product's manufacturing process, and to trace the manufacturing history of the components during the product's lifetime. Direct part marking, also referred to as ‘‘industrial ID,’‘ is required in a growing number of industries where serial numbers on parts must survive for the life of the part (such as on aircraft components and on certain automotive components).

Gavitec markets its products primarily in Germany; its customers include leading manufacturers in the automotive, electronics, and healthcare industries. Cognex expects to continue to market and sell Gavitec's machine vision products to their existing customer base and to expand the distribution of their products worldwide. Cognex will retain a group of key Gavitec employees in Aachen who will serve as a remote engineering group focused on developing additional products for direct part mark reading.

‘‘This is an important acquisition for Cognex for several reasons,’‘ said Dr. Robert J. Shillman, Cognex's CEO and Chairman. ‘‘Industrial ID is a rapidly growing market for machine vision, as industries from aerospace to automotive to pharmaceuticals implement new initiatives for product traceability and error-proofing. Gavitec's experience in the design of easy-to-use industrial ID products, combined with Cognex's global sales resources and engineering support, will enable us to provide the best products and services for this growing market.’‘

Dr. Shillman continued, ‘‘This acquisition is also important because it strengthens Cognex's overall market position in Germany, an important manufacturing center and the largest market for machine vision in Europe.’‘

‘‘We are very pleased to be joining forces with Cognex, which has an excellent reputation for high quality technology,’‘ said Jörg Küchen, Founder and CEO of Gavitec AG. ‘‘Cognex pioneered the industrial ID market many years ago with products for the semiconductor industry, and for more than 20 years they have continued to develop leading-edge machine vision technology. Gavitec's customers will benefit from our combined expertise in machine vision and industrial identification.’‘

Cognex Corporation designs, develops, manufactures, and markets machine vision systems, or computers that can ‘‘see.’‘ Cognex is the world's leader in the machine vision industry, having shipped more than 200,000 vision systems, representing nearly $1.5 billion in cumulative revenue, since the company's founding in 1981. Cognex's Modular Vision Systems Division, headquartered in Natick, Massachusetts, specializes in machine vision systems that are used for automating the manufacture of a wide range of discrete items and for assuring their quality. Cognex's Surface Inspection Systems Division, headquartered in Alameda, California, specializes in machine vision systems that are used for inspecting the surfaces of products manufactured in a continuous fashion, such as metals, papers and plastics. In addition to its corporate headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, Cognex also has regional offices located throughout North America, Japan, Europe, and Southeast Asia.

Forward-Looking Statement
Certain statements made in this press release and its attachments, which do not relate solely to historical matters, are forward-looking statements. You can identify these forward-looking statements by use of the words ‘‘expects,’‘ ‘‘believes,’‘ ‘‘projects,’‘ ‘‘anticipates,’‘ ‘‘will’‘ and similar words. These forward-looking statements, which include statements regarding business trends and the company's financial outlook, involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Such risks and uncertainties include: (1) the effect of the general economic slowdown, including the worldwide slowdown in capital spending, and the uncertainty of the timing and rate of recovery; (2) the cyclicality of the semiconductor and electronics industry; (3) the company's continued ability to achieve significant international revenue; (4) the loss of, or significant curtailment of purchases by, any one or more principal customers; (5) the inability to achieve expected results from acquisitions; (6) the inability to design and manufacture new products or products which respond to competitive technology; and (7) the other risks detailed in the company's reports filed with the SEC, including the company's Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2002. You should not place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. The company disclaims any obligation to update forward-looking statements after the date of such statements.

CONTACT:
Robin Pratt
Corporate Communications Manager
Cognex Corporation
(508) 650-3384

 

 

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