Drives and Controls Magazine

Cognex expands its vision by buying DVT for $115m

01 May, 2005

The machine vision market-leader, Cognex, has bought its rival, the family-owned DVT Corporation, for about $115m. The acquisition, Cognex`s largest ever, will give it access to a large global network of distributors with machine vision experience.

DVT produces low-cost, easy-to-use vision sensors mainly for inspection and quality control duties in factories. Cognex plans to maintain operations at DVT`s Georgia plant, and will continue to sell and support DVT products. It expects DVT to add $15-20m to its revenue this year.

In recent years, Cognex has expanded its product line to include lower-cost systems and its In-Sight business has grown to more than $60m in five years. Its recent Checker line is also starting to take off. However, to reach all potential customers for these products, Cognex realised it would need a big third-party sales and distribution channel to supplement its own sales force.

Last year, it started to build a third-party distribution channel and signed up more than 40 distributors, mainly in North America. "With the acquisition of DVT, Cognex immediately gains a worldwide network of more than 150 additional distributors, all fully trained in selling and supporting machine vision products," explains Cognex`s chief executive, Dr Robert Shillman.