CamSensor senses export success in 2002

A company which makes visioning systems for industrial processes is expecting a boost in exports after a software modification.

A company which makes visioning systems for industrial processes is expecting a boost in exports after a software modification.

Auckland and Wellington-based CamSensor Technologies is developing generic software which will simplify implementation of its system, says field services manager Pete Bethune. The company has received a $20,000 government grant, in the form of an Enterprise Award, to help fund the software development.

The four-year-old firm already exports its quality control sensors to Australia, the US, Canada and Saudi Arabia, and plans to tackle Europe.

Bethune says turnover grew about 70% in 2001, making Camsensor a multimillion-dollar company, with exports responsible for about two-thirds of that. Head count has gone from four last year to nine today, with several more due to start in coming months, and numbers are expected to reach about 15 by the end of next year.

Bethune says the business is “pretty focused” on Australia at the moment, opening a Melbourne office a few months ago and him crossing the Tasman to open a Sydney office in the new year. The firm has also just made its first sale to Saudi Arabia.

CamSensor products are essentially a digital cameras controlled by specialist electronics and software. The camera scans products on a conveyor belt, for example, looking for flaws or enabling sorting according to quality. They are also used to control robots on production lines. The electronics are developed internally by the firm, with the processors sourced internationally, mainly from Toshiba. The software is coded in C++.

Customers include Carter Holt Harvey, Alliance Meats, Fonterra, Kraft Foods, Fisher & Paykel, Lion Breweries, the Ford Motor Company, Frucor, Kawasaki and Lever-Rexona.

The company sprang from the garages of former Fisher & Paykel engineer Edwin Russell of Auckland and Wellington-based electronics consultant Clayton Gumbrell. Now the Auckland office manages projects, while Wellington operates as the electronics and R&D centre.

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