NDT.net Aug 2005, Vol. 10 No.08

Harfang Microtechniques to join Sonatest NDE Group

Sonatest NDE and Harfang Microtechniques are pleased to announce their acquisition agreement, which became effective as of 1st April 2005. Harfang Microtechniques will continue to operate from its existing base in Quebec City, Canada, and will be a substantially autonomous business unit within the expanding Sonatest NDE Group.

By combining microelectronics, embedded software technology and Harfang's powerful imaging software, Harfang Microtechniques aims to be a world leader in developing and implementing Phased Array instruments and analysis software, increasing productivity and maximizing the quality of inspections. Currently the X-32, a portable ultrasound Phased Array instrument for NDE, is the leading product from the Harfang arena.

"Sonatest ultrasonic flaw detectors are favoured by many of the world's major airlines and air forces, power generators, rail, petrochemical and service inspection companies", commented Mike Reilly, Group Managing Director of Sonatest NDE Plc. He explained that "due to the high levels of R&D investment required to maintain and enhance the mono-channel flaw detector market position, we have not been able to devote the resources we would like to phased array development". However, he added, "this merger provides us with the world's best portable phased array instrument and enables Sonatest NDE to provide an even broader range of NDT solutions for our global client base. We are also delighted that the highly talented Harfang R&D team will bring our strengthened product development group to over forty individuals".

François Mainguy, Vice President Technology and Founder of Harfang Microtechniques said, "We are very excited about joining the Sonatest group. Our combined resources will allow us to accelerate two critical paths of our business. First of all, we will quickly maximize Harfang's market penetration by adding the Sonatest world-wide distribution network to our existing group of distributors. Secondly, the additional resources will speed up our development programme to bring several new products to market during the next 12-18 months. Existing and new products will be marketed through Harfang's enhanced distributor network, jointly supported by the same management team and expanded resources. The future looks great!"

About Harfang Microtechniques inc.
Harfang Microtechniques, headquartered in Quebec city, Canada, designs, manufactures and markets portable Phased Array and software analysis products. Harfang Microtechniques' products combine microelectronics, embedded software technology and Harfang's powerful imaging software to create NDT instruments that increase productivity and maximize the quality of inspections. For more information, please call 1-418-683-6222 or 1-866-HARFANG or visit www.harfangmicro.com.

About Sonatest NDE plc
Sonatest NDE Plc is the worlds' largest independent designer and manufacturer of Non-Destructive Evaluation instruments and systems. Headquartered in Milton Keynes, UK, the Group employs 110 people in Belgium, Canada, UK and USA, with 2005 revenues expected to exceed $20 milllion (USD). For further information about the Sonatest NDE Group please call +44 (0)1908 316345 or visit www.sonatestnde.com.

Sonatest Ltd, Dickens Road, Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes, MK12 5QQ England
Tel: 01908 316345 Fax: 01908 321323

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