In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, LaBarge Inc. is diversifying its business mix to include sophisticated electronics required in airport security equipment.
Last week, the St. Louis-based EMS provider was awarded a contract in excess of $7 million to make assemblies and box assemblies for X-ray inspection systems from PerkinElmer Detection Systems.
It is the second time in the past two months that PerkinElmer, Woburn, Mass., has signed a deal with LaBarge. In December, LaBarge inked a $3.5 million contract to produce small assemblies and components for the security systems company.
"We were doing very little security-related business before Sept. 11," said president and chief executive Craig LaBarge.
LaBarge derived about one-third of its 2001 revenue of $119.2 million from the defense industry with customers such as Northrop Grumman. The rest of the company's business mix is divided among the aerospace, oil field service, and government sectors.
"We made a conscious decision not to get into the communications or consumer electronics markets," LaBarge said. "We wanted a high-performance niche business."
For PerkinElmer, LaBarge will provide near complete assembly of the electronic devices that will be part of the inspection systems for checked baggage at airports. LaBarge will integrate the assemblies for PerkinElmer's Vivid VIS108, which uses X-rays to detect the presence of explosive materials, weapons, and other contraband.
"Working with LaBarge to supply us with higher-level assemblies, we will be better positioned to meet the increased demand," said Mike Meshay, Perkin- Elmer Detection Systems' president, in a statement.