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Belinda Jones


Mergers and Acquisitions in the World of Metrology

Published: Monday, February 4, 2013 - 16:01

Two major acquisitions were announced in early January 2013, and it is not surprising that both companies were software developers and long-time players in the industrial measurement sector.

3D Systems announced it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Geomagic Inc. This acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close during the first quarter of 2013 after those conditions are met. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The combination of Geomagic’s sculpt, scan, design, and inspection software tools positions 3D Systems for accelerated growth in the 3D content-to-print industry. The transaction adds complementary products and technology to 3D Systems offerings and also increases the company’s reseller coverage globally.

“Geomagic represents the perfect strategic fit for us, and we will be thrilled to welcome 3D pioneer and Geomagic founder and CEO Ping Fu as our chief strategy officer once the deal has closed,” says Abe Reichental, president and CEO of 3D Systems. “Our complementary capabilities in product development, channel coverage, and marketing, combined with greater efficiencies are sure to result in more affordable and user friendly solutions that will delight our customers and could present attractive long term shareholder value. In line with that, we intend to expand the range of our 3D authoring solutions further into new manufacturing and consumer applications and concurrently maintain and enhance the existing Geomagic and Rapidform product lines.”

“We have worked with 3D Systems for many years to accelerate adoption of 3D content-to-print solutions and believe that now is the right time to combine our efforts to further democratize access to design and 3D printing,” says Fu. “Joining 3D Systems provides us with the scale, resources, and strategic platform to realize our shared vision of delivering functional, affordable, and extensible 3D solutions for the benefit of professional designers and engineers, as well as the exciting maker’s movement.”

One week after Geomagic joined 3D Systems, Hexagon AB announced it had acquired New River Kinematics (NRK), a U.S.-based engineering company that specializes in 3D analysis software for portable metrology applications.

Founded in 1994, NRK revolutionized coordinate measurement with the first metrology software to introduce a 3D graphic environment for portable metrology. Today, NRK develops and supports the industry standard in portable metrology software solutions. SpatialAnalyzer (SA), their flagship offering, is used to address a broad spectrum of challenges related to large scale measurement with portable metrology devices in manufacturing plants around the world.

“When it comes to industries like aerospace and shipbuilding, where parts are either very large or very expensive, mitigation of continuous rework is an absolute necessity,” says Norbert Hanke, president, Hexagon Metrology. “New River Kinematics’ software facilitates this. From single-part inspection to highly accurate, large-scale, multi-instrument surveys, SpatialAnalyzer’s advanced analysis capabilities support large-scale manufacturers who have no other option but to make components that fit.”

NRK’s founders, Robert Salerno and Joseph Calkins, are excited about the opportunities ahead. “New River Kinematics remains fully committed to supporting the entire spectrum of portable metrology instruments and manufacturers,” says Salerno. “We are excited about taking NRK and SA to the next level and will continue to push the envelope on metrology software in order to help customers meet their challenges. That is, and will continue to be, one of the key strengths of SA.”

NRK, based in Williamsburg, Virginia, was fully consolidated as of Jan. 1, 2013, and will immediately contribute to Hexagon’s earnings. The company had a turnover of approximately $13.3 million in 2012. Hexagon Metrology is a part of Hexagon AB, and offers a comprehensive range of products and services for all industrial metrology applications in sectors such as automotive, aerospace, energy, and medical.


About The Author

Belinda Jones’s picture

Belinda Jones

Belinda Jones is the founder and owner of HiTech Marketing LLC, in Westbrook, Connecticut. For more than a decade, Jones has written articles and commentaries about manufacturing, engineering, quality assurance, CAD/CAM/CAE applications, and other high-tech topics. She has extensive experience in marketing communications, technical sales, and applications engineering. Before joining the computer industry, she was a broadcast copywriter for four years. Jones holds degrees in fine arts and mechanical engineering, and studied cultural arts in Europe.