FLIR adds lasers to its portfolio

FLIR Systems, designer and manufacturer of thermal imaging and stabilized camera systems for thermography and imaging applications, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the stock of Scientific Materials Corporation (Bozeman, MT) for $13 million in cash.

WILSONVILLE, OR - FLIR Systems, designer and manufacturer of thermal imaging and stabilized camera systems for thermography and imaging applications, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the stock of Scientific Materials Corporation (Bozeman, MT) for $13 million in cash. Scientific Materials, founded in 1989 as a producer of specialty crystals for use in laser manufacturing, has since expanded into the production of military-grade laser assemblies and laser components used by a variety of industrial, medical, scientific, and military laser manufacturers.

According to Earl Lewis, president and CEO of FLIR, the acquisition will give FLIR greater control over the development of the laser subassemblies used in many of their imaging systems.

“We are seeing increasing demand for laser payloads in many of our systems, and the acquisition of Scientific Materials will give us greater control over the development, manufacturing, and cost of this important subassembly,” he said.

According to Tony Trunzo, senior VP of strategy and development for FLIR, while the company’s infrared systems are passive, lasers are incorporated as rangefinders and designators.

“As lasers have become increasingly important payloads in our higher-end systems, we believe having in-house capability improves the supply chain, reduces costs, and aids in product development,” he said.

After the acquisition is finalized in approximately 30 days, FLIR will continue to source laser subassemblies from its other multiple vendors in addition to directly from Scientific Materials. Trunzo notes that Scientific Material’s operations will continue as before in Bozeman, MT and that the financial impact of the acquisition over the next year or so will be immaterial to FLIR’s bottom line.

In related news, FLIR won a $50 million contract to make infrared visual sensor systems for U.S. Navy ships. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, work on the Naval Surface Warfare Center contract will take place at FLIR’s North Billerica, MA, facility. The work is scheduled to be completed by November 2010. Since June, FLIR has won two $9.9 million infrared system repair contracts for the Navy and U.S. Coast Guard.

-Gail Overton

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