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Novanta buys UK encoder-maker, Zettlex

29 June, 2018

The US-based high-tech component supplier Novanta has acquired Zettlex, the British manufacturer of inductive encoders, for an undisclosed sum. Novanta – which specialises in precision motion, vision and photonics technologies – will integrate Zettlex into its Celera Motion business, which supplies motion control components and subsystems, including encoders, motors and customised mechatronic systems, to industrial and medical OEMs.

Cambridge-based Zettlex develops and produces robust, lightweight encoders which provide absolute and accurate positioning, even in extreme environments. About 90% of its production is exported from the UK. The company has about 40 employees and won the Queen's Award for Innovation in 2017 and for International Trade in 2018.

Zettlex’s founders, Dr Darran Kreit and Mark Howard, have agreed to stay with the business. In a statement, they say: “Zettlex has grown quickly in recent years and we're excited to join Novanta as we believe this provides the opportunity to accelerate growth still further.”

Zettlex joins Celera’s existing brands – MicroE optical encoders and Applimotion motors and actuators.

Zettlex co-founder Mark Howard: an opportunity to accelerate growth

“By combining our commercial resources and application-specific competencies with Zettlex's technologies and strong team, Celera Motion can broaden the components and solutions we can provide our customers,” says Novanta’s CEO, Matthijs Glastra. “We see a growing demand for precision motion technology in robotics, precision automation and key medical markets, and we're excited to add a complementary technology to our precision motion offerings. In particular, many of Celera Motion's customers desire absolute encoder technology, and we are pleased to be able to meet their needs.”

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