Vision-based quality-control systems supplier Cognex Corp. should find it easier to sell to more industrial factories thanks to its purchase of DVT Corp.
Cognex of Natick, Mass., and DVT of Duluth, Ga., are both major players in vision technology. In plastics plants, their systems often are used in conjunction with robots to help align parts for assembly, to measure part dimensions, to inspect parts, to read bar codes and other data, and for mold tending to ensure a part ejects before the mold closes.
DVT gives Cognex access to about 150 additional distributors around the world, Cognex said in a news release. It would have taken the company three or four years to build a network that large on its own, said spokeswoman Robin Pratt.
Cognex originally had focused on direct selling of its vision systems, but about a year ago began to build a distribution network. By the time it bought DVT it had signed up about 40 distributors, most of them in North America.
Vision-based systems were expensive in their early stages but their decreasing cost and rising power have expanded sales to a wider range of factories. Distributors that handle a range of industrial equipment can serve those markets more easily than direct sales, Pratt said.
DVT has emphasized third-party distribution since it began operating 12 years ago, said DVT marketing manager Nicole Rasche. The firm should benefit from Cognex's bigger size and its established presence in original equipment manufacturers' plants.
DVT's product lines and its Georgia plant will continue under Cognex. The $115 million deal closed May 9.
Cognex, which recorded first-quarter sales of $43.2 million, expects sales to grow by $15 million to $20 million this year as a result of the acquisition.