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Zeiss expands metrology portfolio with GOM acquisition

11 Apr 2019

Braunschweig firm employing 600 will become part of the optics giant’s 'industrial quality and research' business segment.

German optics giant Zeiss has made a significant move to expand its offering in the area of precision industrial metrology, signing a deal to acquire Braunschweig-based GOM.

GOM, founded in 1990 and now employing some 600 people, sells a range of optics-based hardware and related software used in a variety of industry sectors – including car part and turbine blade inspection, and consumer electronics production.

Neither company disclosed financial details of the acquisition, although GOM is known to have posted sales of around €150 million in its latest financial year. Subject to regulatory approval, the deal should be closed by the end of June.

“The aim is to further strengthen this leading technological position together, especially in the area of optical digitization systems,” announced Zeiss. “The combination of existing products and solutions as well as joint innovations in the future will lay the foundation for shaping and entering new markets.”

State-of-the-art optoelectronics
Zeiss CEO Michael Kaschke added in a company announcement: “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.

“By acquiring GOM and thereby expanding our solutions portfolio, we are bolstering the leading position of our Industrial Quality & Research segment and will be able to offer even better solutions for our customers.”

The Oberkochen company added that the combination of its existing metrology product portfolio with the optical 3D measuring expertise provided by GOM had the potential to create new opportunities across various industrial applications.

GOM’s ‘ATOS’ range of sensors are used by major automotive, aerospace, and consumer electronics manufacturers to inspect parts including sheet metals, tools and dies, turbine blades, prototypes, and injection-molded and pressure die-cast parts.

“The accuracy of optical measuring systems is based on state-of-the-art optoelectronics, precise image processing and mathematic algorithms, ensured by stable precision standards and an automated calibration procedure,” says the firm on its website.

Blue light
Its technology is based around the use of precise “triple-scan” fringe patterns, which are projected onto the surface of an object and captured by stereo cameras.

“As the beam paths of both cameras and the projector are known in advance due to calibration, 3D coordinate points from three different ray intersections can be calculated,” GOM explains. “This triple scan principle offers advantages for measuring reflective surfaces and objects with indentations. The result is complete measuring data without holes or erratic points.”

GOM uses narrow-band blue light to generate those fringe patterns, meaning that interfering ambient light can be filtered out easily during image acquisition. “The light sources are so powerful that measuring data is captured even on non-cooperative surfaces,” adds the firm.

Jochen Peter, who heads up the industrial quality and research segment at Zeiss, said of the deal: “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.”

GOM’s managing director Detlef Winter added: “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.”

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