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  • Faro Buys DPI Rights
May 2008
LAKE MARY, Fla., May 1, 2008 --

Faro Technologies Inc., a maker of portable computer-aided measurement hardware and software, announced it has acquired an exclusive license from Dimensional Photonics International (DPI) Inc., a Wilmington, Mass., provider of digital shape-scanning (DSS) systems, for global rights to develop, make and sell DPI's technology and products.

Terms were not disclosed. Faro said it expects the transaction to be mildly dilutive to earnings in 2008 and 2009.

The license covers technology and products only (no personnel or facilities are involved) and includes rights to more than 20 existing and pending patents and to certain technology developed and patented by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It establishes Faro as the exclusive owner of global rights for a wide variety of industrial applications.

"This is game-changing technology for Faro," Faro President and CEO Jay Freeland said in a statement. "When combined with our significant level of expertise in three-dimensional measurement, imaging and optics, it will enable us to positively impact more industries and applications than ever."

Faro said it will establish a technology "center of excellence" in the Boston area, close to the existing DPI team, to ensure successful technology transfer and to draw on technical talent in the region. The new R&D team will fall under Faro's current engineering organization, headed by Jim West, senior vice president of engineering and chief technology officer.

DPI's proprietary technology, accordion fringe interferometry (AFI), creates a 3-D digital model of a physical object's surface by immersing it in patterns of light then recording how the light reflects.

"Its ability to achieve accuracy of 25 µms or better in a 500-mm field of view is world class for a non-contact technology," Faro said in a statement.

AFI is also highly scalable technology, with inherent design flexibility between accuracy, speed and field of view, and is capable of 3-D scanning objects from the nanoscale to several meters, Faro said. In addition to 3-D scanners for industrial applications, DPI is developing an intra-oral 3-D scanner.

"Advanced users of industrial metrology tools have determined that DPI's technology is the overall most accurate available in the market," Faro said.

Faro produces computerized measurement devices and software used to create digital models -- or to perform evaluations against an existing model -- for anything requiring highly detailed 3-D measurements, including part and assembly inspection; factory planning and asset documentation; surveying, recreating accident and crime scenes; and digitally preserving historical sites. Its products include the FaroArm portable measurement arm, the Laser Tracker X and Xi; Laser ScanArm; Photon laser scanners; the Faro Gage, Gage-Plus and PowerGage; and Cam2 Q advanced CAD-based measurement and reporting software

"The technology is complementary to Faro's existing non-contact offerings," Freeland said. "The Faro Laser Scanner LS is capable of significantly larger volume, but with lower accuracy. The Faro ScanArm is more portable than the existing DPI product but is also less accurate." 

He added, "I have been very open about my desire to expand our non-contact capabilities, and DPI's technology provides us with a one-of-a-kind platform to do so. Their current products are highly applicable to all the existing industrial markets we currently serve, and we will continue to enhance and refine the technology as we move forward."

Faro also announced this week that its first quarter revenues increased by $5.8 million, or 14.4 percent, to $46.1 million during the first quarter compared to the same period last year. It said net profits increased to $3.4 million, or 20 cents per diluted share, up from $3.2 million, or 22 cents per share, over last year. New order bookings for the first quarter reached $47 million, an increase of $8.8 million, or 23 percent, over the $38.2 million recorded during the first quarter of 2007.

"We had strong growth in new orders during the first quarter, once again validating our belief that FARO's world-class technology is in the early stages of a very large market opportunity," Freeland said. "We also maintained our historical balance of approximately 50 percent of our orders coming from new customers and 50 percent from existing customers. This remains a good indicator of the adaptability and versatility of our technology."

He said shipments, however, were lower than orders, driven by a large number of new orders received at the end of the quarter with delivery requirements in April. "Overall, lower orders growth in the US during the first quarter was offset by strength in Europe and Asia and we continue to see the right 'buy' signals from our customers in all three regions."

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