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Cognex celebrates 25 years in business

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COGNEX Corporation has celebrated 25 years of machine vision leadership with a gala celebration in Boston on January 12, 2006.

Employees from around the world were flown to Massachusetts, site of the company's world headquarters, for a full day of activities capped by a celebratory event in downtown Boston.

Cognex was founded in 1981 by Dr Robert J. Shillman and two MIT graduate students, Bill Silver and Marilyn Matz.

Dr Shillman invested his life savings of $86,000 to develop a commercial product based on research in machine vision that he carried out as a National Science Foundation Fellow at MIT.

"When we started Cognex in 1981, machine vision was a curiosity practiced almost exclusively in academic and government laboratories," said Dr Shillman, who still serves as Cognex's Chairman and CEO.

"Today, because of advances in both hardware and software technologies, machine vision plays a critical role in factories around the world, where it is guiding the manufacture of virtually every product that is made in high volume, ranging from potato chips to computer chips."

Vision systems were first employed in large numbers by the semiconductor and electronics industries, where the speed and precision needed for assembly and inspection far exceeded the capability of human vision.

The relatively expensive and complex machine vision systems of those early years have evolved into today's vision sensors, which are inexpensive and easy-to-use devices - about the size of a mobile phone - that can solve manufacturing problems on virtually any production line.

This evolution has led to increasing adoption of the technology in general factory automation, currently the fastest growing market segment for machine vision.

In addition, machine vision is starting to be used in new markets, such as building automation and transportation.

Further information is available from DVT Machine Vision .

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