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Belinda Jones

CMSC

Mergers and Acquisitions Reshape Metrology Industry in 2019

New partnerships for great brands

Published: Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 21:22

Change is the only constant in life.” This quote is attributed to Heraclitus, a very influential Greek philosopher from the late sixth century BCE. His time-honored words still hold true in 2019, and change indeed continues to shape the metrology industry. The dynamics of the marketplace are captured in the following major announcements through the third quarter of the year.

Automated Precision Inc. (API) acquires Exact Laser Measurements

In July, Automated Precision Inc.  (API) announced the acquisition of Exact Laser Measurements, a provider of portable metrology services to the North America automotive and aerospace sectors. Exact Laser Measurements provides laser tracker, portable arm, and point cloud generation metrology services. The company was founded in 2003 and headquartered in Windsor, Canada, with subsidiary operations in Detroit. Its operations relocated to the existing API facility in Plymouth, MI, and commenced to offer ISO 17025 laser tracker accuracy certification to OEM specifications along with industrial robot accuracy certification and calibrations using API’s 6DoF technology.

“Exact Laser Measurements is a perfect fit for API as we continue to expand our process control metrology automation products into the automotive sector,” says API president Joe Bioty. “API is already unique as a metrology hardware manufacturer in offering contract measuring services through the API Services Group located in Newport News, VA, with regional offices in Dallas and Los Angeles. The acquisition of Exact Laser Measurements perfectly complements our existing metrology services network and strengthens our presence in the automotive sector and Michigan markets while providing enhanced experience as we roll out our services portfolio into international markets.”

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“With our customers’ focus on improving their process control through metrology feedback, the increasing need to calibrate industrial robots in the plants, along with 5-axis machine tools calibration within automotive tooling shops, the synergy between API products and our metrology services execution create a compelling solution to the automotive sector,” says Exact Laser Measurements CEO Tim Pare.

Hexagon Acquires Etalon and AMendate in 2019

Hexagon AB announced the acquisition of Etalon, a provider of equipment calibration solutions, early in the year. Headquartered in Braunschweig, Germany, with a global network of distribution partners, Etalon operates within Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division. Etalon’s solutions continuously monitor and initiate compensation of machine tools, measuring machines, robots, and structures to ensure the dimensional accuracy of manufactured parts. Founded in 2004, Etalon’s domain expertise lies within production and metrology technologies used by customers in mechanical engineering, industrial instrumentation, automotive and aerospace technology, and the research sector. Etalon’s portfolio strengthens Hexagon’s calibration solution offering and also complements its on-machine measurement solution range, which now incorporates machine tool probes, software, and calibration equipment.

“By joining Hexagon, Etalon gains the scale to strengthen and expand its position in equipment calibration. Moreover, the acquisition is a natural extension of Hexagon’s data-driven smart factory strategy. It is reinforcing our commitment to increase customer value through the convergence of production and metrology and greater process autonomy through machine-controlled operations,” says Hexagon president and CEO Ola Rollén. “We are very pleased to welcome such an innovative team on board and look forward to working together on new solutions for our customers.”

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In June, Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division also announced their acquisition of AMendate, a German-based start-up providing simulation software solutions that support the generation and optimization of designs for additive manufacturing. AMendate will join Hexagon’s MSC Software business, a global leader in computer-aided engineering (CAE) simulation software and services. 

“The AMendate acquisition directly addresses a major obstacle during design for companies shifting to additive manufacturing processes,” says Paolo Guglielmini, CEO, MSC Software. “It enhances our Smart Factory solutions by minimizing time-to-print. We are proud to welcome AMendate to the MSC team, and we look forward to what we will accomplish together.”

AMendate was founded in 2018 by a team of experienced researchers from Paderborn University and the Direct Manufacturing Research Center (DMRC) in Paderborn, an industrial/academic consortium started in 2008 by Boeing, EOS, and other commercial partners.

ZEISS Expands Metrology Portfolio with GOM Acquisition

In April, German optics giant ZEISS made a significant move to expand its offering in the area of precision industrial metrology, signing a deal to acquire Braunschweig-based GOM. Founded in 1990, GOM GmbH develops, produces, and distributes software, machines, and systems used in a variety of industry sectors—including car part and turbine blade inspection, and consumer electronics production. The firm's 600 employees became a part of the Zeiss industrial quality and research business segment.

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“Our growth strategy expressly mentions the targeted acquisition of highly innovative solutions, technologies, and companies, which can reach their full potential as part of the ZEISS Group,” says Dr. Michael Kaschke, president and CEO of ZEISS. “By acquiring GOM and thereby expanding our solutions portfolio, we are bolstering the leading position of our Industrial Quality and Research segment and will be able to offer even better solutions for our customers. This is entirely in keeping with our corporate strategy, which is focused on our customers' success.”

Combining the ZEISS product portfolio with the optical 3D measuring technology from GOM has the potential to create new opportunities and expand market access for Industrial Quality and Research. GOM offers cutting-edge solutions for surface digitization, which will strengthen ZEISS in this area. Dr. Jochen Peter, member of the ZEISS Executive Board and head of the Industrial Quality and Research segment, explains: “With this acquisition, we are pursuing our goal of achieving a leading position in the area of surface measurement and digitization. Customers and users in both areas will benefit from the strengths of GOM and ZEISS in the areas of software and hardware.”

“Being part of the ZEISS Group will open up new opportunities for GOM in the future, which will also positively impact the site in Braunschweig and our business partners. By pooling ZEISS and GOM’s process and solutions know-how, we can tap into new customer segments and applications,” says Dr. Detlef Winter, managing director of GOM.

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About The Author

Belinda Jones’s picture

Belinda Jones

Belinda Jones is the founder and owner of HiTech Marketing LLC located in Westbrook, Connecticut. For more than a decade, Jones has written articles and commentaries about manufacturing, engineering, quality assurance, CAD/CAM/CAE applications, and other high-tech topics. She has extensive experience in marketing communications, technical sales, and applications engineering. Before joining the computer industry, she was a broadcast copywriter for four years. Jones holds degrees in fine arts and mechanical engineering, and studied cultural arts in Europe.