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Ann Arbor's Coherix capitalizes on flu for growth

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Good businesses have a good idea and capitalize on it. Great businesses can take that idea, adapt and change it so they can continue to thrive. It's starting to look like Coherix is becoming the latter.

Coherix develops high-tech systems to improve engine-manufacturing quality. It uses high-tech optical-based measurement and inspection products to find efficiencies in the automotive and semiconductor industries. You can see a video example of their work here.

The 6-year-old company started out selling its products to private enterprises. Then the economy crashed last year and the brass behind Coherix quickly realized the private sector business was drying up, so it began repackaging its products for where the money is now namely the U.S. government.

"We're doing quite well actually," says Dwight Carlson, chairman and CEO of Coherix. "Necessity is the mother of all invention."

The latest necessity is Swine Flu. Coherix created a sensor that could tell if someone was running a fever and was ready to deploy it to the Far East when Bird Flu was the big worry a few years ago. That never happened because the technology has military applications and the feds wouldn't allow its exportation. But Coherix is ready to do the same with Swine Flu here in the U.S. and is fielding calls for it.

"When the Swine Flu pandemic came up we were ready," Carlson says.

The company employs just under 50 people today and the occasional intern. It plans to expand its staff overseas before adding to its Ann Arbor staff.

Source: Dwight Carlson, chairman and CEO of Coherix
Writer: Jon Zemke
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