Growth has been slower than expected for the Auckland arm of a US high-tech laser scanning company, but its head still expects for 100 staff within four years.
Kiwi Dennis Row created the Asia-Pacific headquarters of the California-based Cyra Technologies on the North Shore a year ago, partly because he wanted to return home (see Kiwi brings home star wars tech).
Cyra, which was formed in 1993, uses lasers to measure materials to pinpoint accuracy in 3D for the construction industry. Row says the Cyrax scanner is like a 3D camera for engineers that “brings the site to the desktop”.
Row had planned to recruit five to 10 staff to further develop and sell the technology in this country, expecting staff numbers would grow to 100 over five years. But the Canterbury civil engineering graduate says growth has been slower than planned, partly because of a takeover by Swiss-owned Leica Geosystems in February. He still hopes for 100 staff in 2005-6.
The Milford firm employs three software developers to work on software CAD integration and automated software quality assurance work, plus Row and one other in sales.
This month, Row launched the scanners at seminars in Auckland, Wellington and Rotorua and to a conference of surveyors. He now describes the scanners as “partly New Zealand-made”.
No sales have yet been made in New Zealand, a market he expects will run to about two units a year. However, Row says six systems will be in place in Australia by year-end, usually at small survey companies, including McMullen Nolan, Alexander & Symonds and Max Braids. Globally, some 130 Cyra laser systems operate worldwide, with 25 sites in the Asia-Pacific. Customers include Chevron, Hitachi and the US Navy.
Auckland-based Global Survey has been appointed New Zealand distributor.