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Companies realizing importance of serialization - Omron

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By Joe Whitworth+

01-Sep-2017

©iStock/pichet_w
©iStock/pichet_w

Spectris is to sell Microscan Systems Inc. (Microscan) to Omron Corporation (Omron) for $157m (£123m).

The instrumentation and controls company said net proceeds will be used to reduce net debt and increase financial flexibility for future capital deployment.

Headquartered in Renton, Washington, Microscan is a global supplier of industrial code readers.

Traceability and quality control

Microscan does code scanning and decoding technology for applications including food and beverage. The company develops a range of code reading devices, including barcode readers, 2D barcode readers and barcode verifiers.

It also possesses an algorithm which enables stable reading of codes directly engraved or printed on products, even those with rough, glossy or curved surfaces.

Omron said it expects to acquire a diversity of code readers incorporating Microscan's 2D code reading technology and integrate these with automation technology in its line of control equipment.

Completion of the acquisition is scheduled for early October subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals in the US.

As at 31 July 2017, the book value of Microscan’s gross assets amounted to £22m. The adjusted operating profit generated for the year ended 31 December 2016 was £7m.

Microscan Systems has 192 employees with branches in Nashua, New Hampshire and the Netherlands as well as sales offices in Singapore, China, India, South Korea, Germany, France, Mexico and Brazil.

Spectris said it is transitioning to provide tools incorporating hardware, software and services in selected markets and believes Microscan’s next stage of development can be better fulfilled elsewhere.

John O’Higgins, chief executive, said: “This is an important step in focusing Spectris on its areas of strength. Omron is well-aligned strategically with Microscan and as such, we believe that this will be a good home for Microscan in the next phase of its corporate journey.”

Personalization and serialization

Omron said the deal advances the control of manufacturing equipment and production lines, using IoT to connect virtually all objects on a manufacturing floor, including components and machines.

The firm aims to help customers develop a flexible style of manufacturing that meets increasingly diversified consumer requirements.

“This will be done by coding the information of all components and production equipment in the manufacturing environment. At the same time, Omron seeks to help customers avoid frequent quality issues by tracing the source of problems.”

In recent years, manufacturers have become committed to traceability and enhancing governance regarding product safety, said Omron.

“Final products are becoming increasingly personalized, reflecting the diversification of consumer preferences, and this leads to a growing need for high-mix, low-volume manufacturing. Moreover, to reach the ideal of one-to-one customized production, companies are realizing the importance of the ability to trace individual products through serialization.

“Because of these trends, assigning an ID code to each product or component has become increasingly common in various industries, resulting in more exacting requirements for code readers used on manufacturing floors.

“In the pharmaceutical industry, employment of serialization systems that mark a separate code on each box of medicine is being promoted to prevent counterfeiting and improve product safety.”

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