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Business briefs

09 May 2003

Including news from Rofin-Sinar, Carl Zeiss Meditec, GSI Lumonics, Northrop Grumman and more.

•  Germany-based laser manufacturer Rofin-Sinar has enjoyed another good quarter. At USD61 million, its sales were up 14% on the same period last year. Profits in the first half of the year have quadrupled to almost USD7 million. "This result confirms our strategy to find new laser applications," commented chairman and CEO Peter Wirth.

•  In an effort to focus on its core ophthalmic business Carl Zeiss Meditec, the German manufacturer of medical laser systems, is to sell its dermatology and dentistry units. The Italian companies El.En and Quanta Systems have acquired the units for an undisclosed sum. "This concludes our efforts to concentrate on our core ophthlalmic business," said Carl Zeiss Meditec CEO Ulrich Krauss.

•  GSI Lumonics has bought the principle assets of the encoder division of fellow US firm Dynamics Research Corporation (DRC) for USD 3.3 million in cash. GSI will now integrate the DRC division into its Component Products group and expects the move to be completed by September 2003. An optical encoder is an electro-mechanical feedback device used in motion control systems.

•  Northrop Grumman, US has won a first-phase contract to develop the strategic illuminator laser (SILL), a 4 kW, solid-state laser. Two other companies each received a four-month phase-one contract to produce a design for the SILL. A single contractor will be chosen at the end of the phase and will go on to complete the three-year project. The SILL is destined to become part of the Airborne Laser.

•  Rockwell Scientific, US, has won a USD 15.5 million contract to improve the production technology for third-generation dual-band focal place arrays. This technology is used by the Army to detect and identify battlefield threats at an increased range with greater accuracy. The US Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) and Night Vision and Electronics Sensor Directorate (NVESD) awarded the contract.

•  As concern over severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) continues, infrared camera maker FLIR Systems says it has received over 50 orders for its thermal-imaging cameras. These devices will be used at airports, hospitals and other buildings in Taiwan and Korea. The cameras record facial temperature, which helps authorities find people who have a fever, a possible precursor of the disease.

•  DALSA has received orders totaling over CAD 1.8 million (USD 1.29 million) for its high-speed cameras. Three Asian producers of the defect inspection equipment used to monitor the production of flat-panel displays placed the orders. The Canadian imaging giant will ship the cameras over the next six months and now anticipates follow-on orders.

•  Universal Laser Systems, US, has named BFiOPTiLAS of France as its exclusive distributor in the UK and Germany. The decision extends an existing agreement which has seen BFi distribute Universal's range of CO2 lasers to customers in Italy.

DataRay Inc.ULO OpticsNIL TechnologyScitec Instruments LtdEKSMA OPTICSBristol Instruments, Inc.PhotonTec Berlin GmbH
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