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Business deals

Omron to buy US bar code reader maker Microscan for around $160m

Deal brings tech to enhance Japanese company's factory automation products

A porter robot zooms through the aisles of an Omron plant.

KYOTO, Japan -- Omron, a Japanese producer of factory automation equipment, will acquire U.S. peer Microscan Systems for roughly 17 billion yen ($156 million) in a bid to capitalize on growing demand for labor-saving production technology.

Microscan holds the third-biggest global market share in 2-D bar code readers, which provide a way of tracking products as they move through increasingly automated factories. The American company also produces bar code verification equipment as well as industrial cameras. Omron aims to purchase by early October all of Microscan from British parent Spectris, a maker of specialty measuring instruments.

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