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 NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Aug. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Pacific Scientific Co. (NYSE: PSX) has acquired Automation Intelligence Inc. (AI), a software developer and integrator of open architecture, Windows-based motion control solutions for multi-axis applications in factory automation. The acquisition is expected to have a multiplier effect on sales since AI-designed automation systems typically use brushless DC motors and drives such as those made by Pacific Scientific and its newly acquired subsidiary, Powertec Industrial Corp. The privately held AI, based near Atlanta in Duluth, Ga., has extensive experience in automating packaging machinery for Fortune 500 food companies. Exact terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
 Following the peak revenue of $6 million for 1991, AI had 1992 sales of $3 million as it devoted its resources to developing a next generation of user-friendly automation software, which was introduced during the second quarter of 1993. The new software uses MS-DOS and Windows. It runs on IBM-compatible or VME industrial PCs and offers connectivity to a broad array of computer and PLC networks. The software was developed as a result of AI's substantial expertise in multi-axis motion control with connectivity to PLCs, AC/DC drives and man-machine interfaces.
 Multi-axis systems use computer-controlled servo drives and motors to perform separate but coordinated functions on one machine. Manufacturers of packaging equipment, for example, are rapidly adapting multi-axis servo systems to accommodate the quick changes and short production runs that are necessary for fast delivery and just-in-time manufacturing. Brushless motors provide high reliability and reduced maintenance expense as compared to other older technologies.
 According to the announcement made by Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Edgar S. Brower, "We have, for several years, recognized the need for a user-friendly software, communications and systems capability in the sale of fully integrated factory automation systems using Pacific Scientific motors and drives. The acquisition of AI brings us the most advanced multi-axis software on the market. More importantly, AI has targeted on multi-axis applications, the fastest growing use for brushless DC motors and controls. We expect sales of motors, generators and controls to top $100 million for the first time in 1994, and we expect AI's products and capabilities to play a major role in future sales growth."
 Brower also said, "AI software will broaden our product reach and our range of services; in so doing, it will add new markets for our brushless DC motors and controls as well as our stepping motors and controls. We will also make AI software and systems available through some of our 200 distributors and sales representatives around the world."
 He added, "Our customers will no longer have to deal with numerous vendors to get solutions for complex multi-axis applications. We expect to be the preferred, one-stop source for total systems, whether they use stepping motors or brushless motors. For applications in factory automation, no other vendor, to the best of our knowledge, can match our software and systems capability in multi-axis motion control using brushless DC motors. And the Powertec Industrial acquisition dramatically broadens our range of brushless drives and motors up to 600 HP."
 AI is also a world leader in SERCOS (SErial Real-Time COmmunication Systems) technology, which uses fiber optics for error-free communication between controllers and motor drives, replacing bulky, expensive and interference-prone bundles of copper wire. SERCOS is an open interface standard to communicate closed-loop, 32-bit data in a real time, noise-free environment between a motion controller and intelligent digital drives. Pacific Scientific will introduce the first US-made motor drives using the SERCOS state-of-the-art fiber optic communication system later this year, Brower said.
 AI will be operated as a wholly owned subsidiary. To facilitate close coordination between AI and the company's Motor & Control Division (MCD) drive experts, AI will report to William T. Fejes, 37, vice president and general manager of MCD's Charlestown, Mass., operation. AI will continue to be headed by W. Hal Gurley, 37, its co-founder and current president. Ann K. Hamil, 33, will remain as executive vice president and director of engineering of the AI subsidiary. E. James Grethe, 56, an AI co-founder, will consult with the company. No changes in AI staffing or location are planned.
 Pacific Scientific announced on Aug. 2, 1993, the acquisition of Rock Hill, S.C.-based Powertec Industrial Corp., a leader in the fast- growing market for brushless DC motors, with approximately $20 million in annual sales. The company announced the acquisition of Chandler, Ariz.-based Unidynamics/Phoenix Inc., a pyrotechnic devices manufacturer with $13 million in annual sales on April 2, 1993.
 Pacific Scientific designs, manufactures and markets electrical equipment and aircraft safety equipment. It recently reported record quarterly sales of $49.9 million, an increase of 15 percent over the previous year's second quarter. Earnings for the period rose by 34 percent to $1.6 million, or 30 cents per share.
 -0- 8/9/93
 /CONTACT: Richard V. Plat of Pacific Scientific, 714-720-1714; or Joseph Allen of South Coast Group, 714-252-8440, for Pacific Scientific/

CO: Pacific Scientific Co.; Automation Intelligence Inc. ST: California IN: CPR SU: TNM

LS-MF -- LA008 -- 0576 08/09/93 07:01 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 9, 1993

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