CyberOptics’ Coup

It’s always a good deal when you can simultaneously supply an end-product to end-customers and critical components from said end-product to competitors.

And that’s the situation CyberOptics now finds itself in after inking a deal last quarter to put its sensors in erstwhile AOI competitor Viscom’s solder paste inspection products. (CyberOptics acknowledged a deal in February but did not disclose the company until today.)

It’s a great move for CyberOptics, which continues to impress under Kitty Iverson’s leadership. The company, which by most accounts trails privately held Viscom in terms of annual revenue in the uber-competitive electronics assembly AOI market, has rebounded steadily from the market slide of 2008-09 and the tragic death of founder Steve Case. Sales doubled in 2010 to $57 million, and by becoming a supplier to its AOI competitors, CyberOptics triangulates its customer approach. Given that CyberOptics also supplies sensors to DEK for printers and Juki for placement machines, the modest company is positioning itself to become a true bellwether of the electronics assembly market health.

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association ( He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow