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Headwall targets machine vision with inno-spec deal

24 Jan 2024

Nuremberg acquisition adds to the imaging firm's hyperspectral portfolio.

Massachusetts-based Headwall Photonics is set to add to its existing portfolio of hyperspectral imaging technologies, through the acquisition of Germany’s inno-spec.

Founded in 2005 and based in Nuremberg, inno-spec has developed a variety of hyperspectral systems, with different units targeting the infrared, visible, and ultraviolet spectral regions.

The tools, known as “RedEye”, “GreenEye”, and “BlueEye”, are used in applications ranging from high-volume recycling to industrial sorting, quality testing, biotechnology, and forensics.

Headwall, which since 2022 has been majority-owned by the private equity firm Arsenal Capital Partners, already sells equipment including lightweight hyperspectral systems suitable for drone operation, and also offers key components including spectrometers and gratings for OEM applications.

In July 2022 the firm expanded with the acquisition of both software-focused perClass, and precision optics specialist Holographix.

Industrial applications
Commenting on the latest deal, Headwall’s new CEO Mark Willingham - appointed just a month ago - said: “This strategic move marks a significant step forward in our mission to deliver comprehensive hyperspectral imaging solutions.

“By integrating inno-spec’s expertise in providing reliable industrial solutions with our advanced spectral imaging technologies, we aim to enhance our offerings and extend our global reach, especially in the rapidly evolving sector of industrial machine vision.”

Inno-spec’s CEO and founder Oliver Grass added: “Joining forces with Headwall Photonics represents a tremendous opportunity for inno-spec to scale our technology and tap into new markets.

“We are excited to become part of this group that shares our commitment to innovation and quality, and to drive the industrial machine vision segment; together we evolve the next generation of hyperspectral imaging systems.”

Headwall says that the deal combines Headwall’s cutting-edge optical components and remote sensing technologies with inno-spec’s specialist knowledge in industrial applications - and should enable the development of more advanced, efficient, and versatile hyperspectral imaging systems.

Willingham, who brings photonics-related experience from prior roles at Spire, Manz, and Labsphere, among others, added: “Headwall Photonics is committed to ensuring a smooth transition for inno-spec’s employees and customers.

“Our top priority is to maintain the high level of service and product reliability that our customers expect from us. We are dedicated to leveraging the strengths of both companies to drive growth and deliver value to our customers and stakeholders.”

• Both Headwall and inno-spec are taking part in next week’s Photonics West technology exhibition, along with Headwall subsidiaries Holographix and Netherlands-based perClass.

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