ISRA expands solar business with wafer-based solar production acquisition

ISRA Vision (Darmstadt, Germany), a provider of industrial image processing (machine vision), surface inspection, and 3-D machine vision solutions, has completed its expected acquisition and acquired Graphikon, Gesellschaft für Bildverarbeitung und Computergraphik mbH (Berlin, Germany). ISRA anticipates that Graphikon's product range will supplement its offerings for the solar industry. Graphikon is a well-known inspection system supplier for wafer-based solar cells and glass tubes. Customers include companies such as Aleo, Q-Cells, Würth Solar, Solarwatt, Schott, Evergreen, Epcos, and Solarworld.

With the acquisition of Graphikon, ISRA intends to increase its renewable energy market presence. The ISRA sales and service network now also forms the platform for international sales and distribution of Graphikon solutions. The strategic focus of the regional expansion lies in Asia, North America, and South Europe. Graphikon also supplements ISRA's product range in the glass sector with applications in the field of glass tubes.

Graphikon was founded in 1990 by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Saedler. A team of specialists in optics, sensor technology, and software development develops and manufactures complete inline and offline inspection systems. Graphikon offers a modular system for inspection tasks. The new Berlin location offers for the ISRA Group future prospects through its proximity to research institutions and political decision-makers,and is also seen as an important gate to Eastern European markets.

Graphikon plans to achieve a total output of more than EUR 3.5 million for 2010. The acquisition price in the amount of approximately 75% of the current revenues also includes an earn-out and share component. Due to notable investments in product developments the company generates a marginal positive result. There is potential for an increase in revenues and profits together with ISRA. A period of few months is expected for integration. An appreciable contribution from Graphikon to the consolidated revenues and earnings of the ISRA Group is expected within the new fiscal year 2010/2011.

For the fiscal year 2009/2010, which ends in September 2010, ISRA assumes that forecasts will be met. Based on order entries of the past few weeks, ISRA expects a moderate revenue growth to more than EUR 60 million, combined with a minor improvement in margins compared to the last fiscal year 2008/2009.

ISRA's present applications focus primarily on automating production and quality assurance in a range of production lines. The company's short-term goal is to exceed the EUR 100 million mark in a few years by means of organic growth and acquisitions. Among others, this will involve exploring new markets.

-- Posted by Vision Systems Design

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