MARCH 1--The three founders of Cognex Corporation (Natick, MA; www.cognex.com), Robert J. Shillman, chairman and CEO, Bill Silver, senior vice president and CTO, and Marilyn Matz, senior vice president of engineering, have been selected by Fortune Magazine as "Heroes of Manufacturing" for 2004. Heroes of Manufacturing honors companies and individuals who are trailblazers in the manufacturing industry. The feature will be published on March 8, 2004, in Fortune's Industrial Management & Technology edition, which is distributed to more than 250,000 subscribers.
Founded in 1981, Cognex created the market for machine-vision systems, which can be simply described as computers that can "see." Machine vision is used wherever vision is needed to perform automated assembly and process-control tasks such as ensuring the correct number of chocolate chips in cookies or ensuring the correct placement of semiconductor chips inside cell phones. Cofounder Shillman left an academic position at MIT to start Cognex, inviting two of the school's top graduate students, Bill Silver and Marilyn Matz, to join him. The company's three cofounders provided the impetus to make Cognex one of the world's leading machine vision companies, with more than 200,000 systems sold to date.