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Cognex Corporation Launches New Engineering Team Focused on the Growing Fiber Optic Industry

Cognex Corporation

Natick, MA, October 20, 2000-Cognex Corporation (NASDAQ - CGNX), the world's leading supplier of machine vision systems, today announced that it has formed a new engineering team to develop machine vision solutions specifically for the fiber optic industry.  The new team, based at the company's headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, is headed by Cognex co-founder and Senior Vice President of Engineering, Marilyn Matz.  The Fiber Optic Team will focus on the pressing and fast-growing needs of the manufacturers of fiber optic components who want to automate the assembly of components such as optical amplifiers, laser diodes and pump lasers.  Currently much of the manufacturing is done manually and, as a result, the yields are quite low and, therefore, production rates are not keeping up with the market demand.

"Our leading-edge products have made Cognex the 'industry standard' for suppliers of capital equipment used in the automated manufacture of semiconductors and electronic products, and likewise, we plan to become the standard in the new, and potentially very large, market for capital equipment used in automated fiber optic assembly," said Justin Testa, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Cognex.  "Several optical component manufacturers are already using our vision systems to automatically align components in the highly-precise fiber optic assembly process, and there are many other applications that we are now involved in."

One company Cognex is currently collaborating with is Automation Engineering Incorporated (AEI), a leading supplier of advanced fiber optics automation equipment.  Andre By, President and Technical Director of AEI said, "to remain competitive, fiber optic companies need reliable and effective manufacturing automation systems to increase production capacity in a very short time span.  Our collaboration with Cognex to integrate their unique PatMax™ (patent pending), technology with AEI's FlexAuto™ open architecture software platform for integrated motion control and machine vision has allowed us to offer fiber optic manufacturers robust automated solutions for alignment, assembly, and testing functions.  These systems will be able to further improve our customers' time-to-market while enabling them to double, triple, and even quadruple production capacities quickly."

Cognex's Fiber Optic Team will work closely with both manufacturers of fiber optic components and with the manufacturers of capital equipment to expand the use of Cognex's core technologies, and the team will develop application-focused solutions to help those customers meet the growing need for precise and high speed manufacturing of fiber optic components.

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 100,000 machine vision systems, representing over $1 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 which 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 which are used for inspecting the surfaces of products manufactured in a continuous fashion, such as metals, paper, 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.  Visit Cognex on-line at http://www.cognex.com.

AEI, founded in 1990, is a leading supplier of machine vision and motion control technology and flexible automation systems.  AEI develops open architecture software for machine vision and motion control plus operates as a systems integrator for advanced control systems as well as complete turn-key automation machinery for the photonics, fiber optics, electronics, consumer products, semiconductor, aerospace, medical products, automotive, and many other industries.  AEI technology and systems are currently in production across North America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim.  Additional AEI product and services information is available at its web site at http://www.aeiboston.com.  The FlexAuto™ software has been developed by AEI since 1994 for a wide range of vision based advanced automation applications throughout the world.  AEI announced on October 3 that it will merge with Axsys Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AXYS, http://www.axsys.com) a leading supplier of precision micro-positioning and precision optical products which will form the Axsys Automation Group.

Evan Lubofsky
Cognex Senior Public Relations Specialist
Phone:  (508) 650-3140

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