COGNEX CORP

COGNEX CORP

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Company Overview
Cognex Corporation, headquartered in Natick, Massachusetts, USA, is the world’s leading supplier of machine vision systems – or computers that can “see” – which are used to automate a wide range of manufacturing processes where vision is required. Since being founded in 1981 by Dr. Robert J. Shillman, Marilyn Matz and Bill Silver, Cognex has generated over $2 billion in cumulative revenue, shipped more than 350,000 vision systems, and acquired more than 246 patents, with 92 US and international patents pending.
Cognex’s vision systems automatically identify products, inspect for defects, gauge part dimensions, and guide robotic equipment – at up to thousands of parts per minute. Its products are used to track semiconductor wafers through manufacturing processes, to guide the placement of surface mount devices (SMDs) onto circuit boards, to inspect light bulbs, and to assess the quality of printing on the face of a watch. In a typical application, a Cognex machine vision system captures an image of the part to be inspected through a video camera. The system then analyzes the image and generates an answer about it, such as whether a part is defective. This information then can be sent to other equipment in the manufacturing line, including a robotic arm that will remove a bad part from the process.
Cognex provides the broadest range of products in the vision industry. Its products include In-Sight Vision Sensors, which are ideal for a wide range of vision tasks, including dimensional measurement, part location, assembly verification, and part identification; PC Vision Systems, which combines the power and flexibility of advanced programming with the simplicity of a graphical programming environment; ID Products, which quickly and reliably read codes (two-dimensional codes such as Data Matrix, 1D codes, and others) that have been stamped, etched, or otherwise formed directly on surfaces of manufactured items; Expert Sensors, which delivers low-cost solutions to specific automation problems, an example is the company’s self-contained stereovision sensor that detects, counts, and tracks people; and Surface Inspection Systems, which provides comprehensive surface and web inspection of products that are manufactured in a continuous fashion, such as metals, paper, nonwovens, and plastics.
Cognex’s machine vision market can be segmented into two categories: original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the factory floor. Currently, the majority of Cognex’s customers are OEMs, most of which are in the semiconductor and electronics industries. The factory floor can be further subdivided between system integrators and end users. Additionally, Cognex sells its machine vision products around the world, with nearly half of the company’s revenue generated by customers in Japan. To support its global markets, the company also has offices throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, and Southeast Asia.
Business Summary
Cognex Corporation (Cognex) is a provider of machine vision products, which capture and analyze visual information in order to automate tasks, primarily in manufacturing processes, where vision is required. The Company operates in two divisions: the Modular Vision Systems Division (MVSD) and the Surface Inspection Systems Division (SISD). MVSD develops, manufactures, and markets modular vision systems that are used to automate the manufacture of discrete items, such as cellular phones, aspirin bottles, and automobile wheels, by locating, identifying, inspecting, and measuring them during the manufacturing process. SISD develops, manufactures, and markets surface inspection vision systems that are used to inspect the surfaces of materials processed in a continuous fashion, such as metals, paper, non-wovens, plastics, and glass, to check there are no flaws or defects on the surfaces. In September 2009, the Company acquired the Web monitoring business of Monitoring Technology Corporation.
Description and history
Cognex Corporation (Cognex), incorporated in 1981, is a provider of machine vision products, which capture and analyze visual information in order to automate tasks, primarily in manufacturing processes, where vision is required. The Company operates in two divisions: the Modular Vision Systems Division (MVSD) and the Surface Inspection Systems Division (SISD). MVSD develops, manufactures, and markets modular vision systems that are used to automate the manufacture of discrete items, such as cellular phones, aspirin bottles, and automobile wheels, by locating, identifying, inspecting, and measuring them during the manufacturing process. SISD develops, manufactures, and markets surface inspection vision systems that are used to inspect the surfaces of materials processed in a continuous fashion, such as metals, paper, non-wovens, plastics, and glass, to check there are no flaws or defects on the surfaces. In September 2009, the Company acquired the Web monitoring business of Monitoring Technology Corporation (MTC), a manufacturer of products for monitoring industrial equipment and processes.

Vision Software

Vision software provides the user the ability of combining the general purpose library of Cognex vision tools with the cameras, frame grabbers and peripheral equipment of their choice. The vision software runs on the customer’s personal computer (PC), which enables integration with PC-based data and controls. Applications based upon Cognex vision software perform a range of vision tasks, including part location, identification, measurement, assembly verification and robotic guidance. Cognex’s VisionPro software offers the power and flexibility of advanced programming with the simplicity of a graphical development environment.

Vision Systems

Vision systems combine camera, processor and vision software into a single package with a user interface for configuring applications. These vision systems are designed to be programmed to perform a range of vision tasks, including part location, identification, measurement, assembly verification and robotic guidance. Cognex offers the In-Sight product line of vision systems in a range of models to meet various requirements.

Vision Sensors

Vision sensors are designed to deliver solutions for a limited number of common vision applications, such as inspection, error proofing, part detection and gauging. Cognex offers the Checker product line of vision sensors that perform a range of single-purpose vision tasks.

ID Products

The Company’s ID products read codes (one-dimensional or two-dimensional barcodes) that have been applied or directly marked on items during the manufacturing process. Manufacturers of goods ranging from automotive parts, pharmaceutical items, aircraft components, and medical devices use direct part mark (DPM) identification to ensure that the appropriate manufacturing processes are performed in the correct sequence and on the right parts. In addition, DPM is used to track parts from the beginning of their life to the end, and is also used in supply chain management and repair. Cognex offers the Dataman product line of identification (ID) readers that includes both hand-held and fixed-mount models.

Surface Inspection Systems

Surface inspection systems detect, classify, and analyze defects on the surfaces of materials processed in a continuous fashion at high production speeds, such as metals, paper, non-wovens, plastics and glass. Cognex’s SmartView Web Inspection System identifies and classifies defects on surfaces, while Cognex’s SmartAdvisortm Web Monitoring System provides the customer with the ability to determine the root causes of each of those defects.

Founded by Dr. Robert J. Shillman, Marilyn Matz and Bill Silver

Business Line
Supplier of machine vision systems – or computers that can “see” – which are used to automate a wide range of manufacturing processes where vision is required
Subsidiary
ASSISTWARE TECHNOLOGY INC
Advisor
GRANT THORNTON
IPO date
7/1989
US SIC Code
3823
Company Address
1, Vision Drive

City province or state postal code
01760, NATICK, MA
Phone: +1 508 650 3000
Fax: +1 508 650 3333
Country address: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Website url: www.cognex.com