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Cognex Surface Inspection Systems Chosen by Leading Producer of Stainless Steel

Cognex Corporation

NATICK, Mass. -- Aug. 7, 2003 -- Cognex Corporation (NASDAQ: CGNX), the world's leading supplier of machine vision systems, announced today that AvestaPolarit, a leading global producer of stainless steel and a business unit of Finland-based Outokumpu Steel, has purchased two Cognex SmartView® Metals surface inspection systems for installation at their Meadowhall facility in Sheffield, England.

The Cognex SmartView systems will be used to inspect both carbon and stainless precision strip steel used primarily in the automotive industry. The SmartView systems will inspect the steel for scratches, slivers and roll cracks on two rewind lines immediately following the cold rolling process.

‘‘Cognex has previously supplied systems to AvestaPolarit at other sites in the UK and Sweden, and therefore, the customer was already aware that we deliver on our promises and provide leading-edge technology that is also rugged and reliable,’‘ said Markku Jaaskelainen, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cognex's Surface Inspection Systems Division. ‘‘In addition, SmartView's advanced architecture offers AvestaPolarit add-on capabilities and easy software upgrades for expanding their inspection functionality in the future.’‘

The Cognex SmartView system is a state-of-the-art surface inspection system that is used to automatically detect, identify, and display defects in metal and other materials--as they are being produced in real time. Cognex has sold over 350 SmartView systems since its release in February 2000, making it the most successful product launch in the history of surface inspection systems.

AvestaPolarit is one of the world's leading stainless steel producers.The company combines cost-efficient production with a global sales and distribution network to offer customers one of the broadest product ranges on the market. AvestaPolarit is an integral part of the Outokumpu metals and technology group, in which the stainless steel business is a core area. AvestaPolarit currently employs around 9,200 people, and in 2002 reported net sales of approximately 3 billion Euros.

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 175,000 vision systems, representing over $1.4 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, plastics, and nonwovens. 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.

Cognex Corporation
Robin Pratt

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