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Cognex sells surface inspection division for $160m

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Cognex has sold its Surface Inspection Systems Division (SISD) to Ametek for approximately $160 million. Ametek, with headquarters in Berwyn, PA, USA, provides electronic instruments and electromechanical devices in the aerospace, oil and gas, medical, and other industrial sectors. In the first quarter of 2015, the company generated sales of $984.1 million.

'The sale of our Surface Inspection Systems Division is a strategic decision for us,’ said Robert Willett, president and CEO of Cognex. ‘SISD is a profitable and well-managed business, but it does not fit Cognex's long-term objectives and business model. With this sale, we can focus all of our efforts on discrete manufacturing where we see continued strong growth for our vision and ID products.’

Surface inspection sales were $60 million in 2014, or 12 per cent of Cognex's total revenue. Revenue for the company in the first quarter of 2015 was $113.4 million.

‘Cognex entered the surface inspection market in 1996 with the acquisition of Isys Controls, a small company that had developed vision systems for automatically detecting and classifying flaws and defects on the surfaces of materials as they are being produced at high speed in a continuous fashion,’ said Dr Robert Shillman, chairman and chief culture officer of Cognex. ‘We are proud to have built this business from an organisation which was primarily selling into the US metals market, into a leading global supplier of surface inspection systems for metals, paper, plastics, non-wovens and glass.’

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