Imaging & Detector Industry Report

July 1, 2001
Imaging companies combine to form Roper Scientific MASD; Investors ante up $6 million to Be Here; Opsys goes west...

Imaging companies combine to form Roper Scientific MASD
Roper Industries Inc. (San Diego, CA) has announced the consolidation of high-speed-imaging companies Roper Scientific MASD Inc. and Redlake Imaging Corp. (both of Morgan Hill, CA) to create Redlake MASD Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Roper Industries. The facilities in Morgan Hill, CA will be closed and all operations will be moved to the San Diego location to take advantage of increased production facilities and ISO 9001 processes. The new company will develop and market digital imaging products including high-frame-rate systems for commercial, industrial, medical, military, educational, motion-analysis, and machine-vision applications.

Investors ante up $6 million to Be Here
Be Here Corp. (Los Angeles, CA) has won $6 million in financing from investors that include Eastman Kodak (Rochester, NY), Philips Electronics (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), and Intel Capital, the strategic investment program of Intel Corp. (Santa Clara, CA). The financing round was led by Snider Capital (Ardmore, PA). Be Here produces panoramic navigable-imaging broadcast and interactive television, among other systems. The company has developed a system in which a single camera can provide a seamless 360° video or photo image. Formed in 1996, Be Here received $17 million in financing in the period since its inception.

Opsys goes west
Opsys (Oxford, England) has received £8 million (US $11.2 million) in funding from two large European venture-capital investors. The company, which is developing organic light-emitting-diode (OLED) displays, announced that it has begun a major expansion. Its two-year plans include a new manufacturing and research facility in Fremont, CA, with initial production scheduled for late 2002, as well as expansion of its research facility in England. Another development effort at Opsys centers on OLED backlights for conventional liquid-crystal displays. The company is the first European licensee of Eastman Kodak's OLED technology and is developing backlight colors in addition to the blue and green backlights it already makes. The Fremont facility will produce 1- to 5-in. diagonal passive-matrix displays and backlights.

DRS wins $26.3 million to produce military infrared detectors
DRS Technologies (Parsippany, NJ) has received a not-to-exceed contract for $26.3 million to produce advanced infrared detectors for the tracking and imaging systems on a variety of military platforms, including the US Army's Bradley fighting vehicles and Abrams main battle tanks. The initial $6.3 million will go toward the production of dewar assemblies for Army systems that provide infrared-imaging capabilities on several ground-vehicle platforms; work for this award will be done at the DRS Infrared Technologies Unit (Dallas, TX). Product deliveries will extend through August 2002. The dewars are used in a forward-looking infrared-imaging system also produced by DRS. The company's focal-plane-array technology is slated for use in theater missile-defense applications, with its multiband sensor capabilities to discriminate between threat projectiles, decoys, and background debris.

Also in the news . . .
Colorado MicroDisplay
(Boulder, CO) has changed its name to Zight Corp. . . . Royal Philips Electronics (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) has placed an inaugural Eurobond issue for a total amount of €2.25 billion (US $1.93 billion), with the proceeds to be used to refinance short-term and maturing long-term debt. . . . The board of directors of Hamamatsu Photonics K. K. (Hamamatsu City, Japan) voted in favor of a two-for-one stock split. . . . Toshiba Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (both of Tokyo, Japan) have incorporated their new Singapore joint venture, AFPD PTE Ltd., which has begun operation; a manufacturing facility for the venture is scheduled to open in July 2002. The partners expect to invest some x123 billion (US $1.02 billion) in the company.

John Wallace

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