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MEIKLE AUTOMATION INC. AND AUTOMATION ENGINEERING INC.
ANNOUNCE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT

Focus Will be on Sharing of Sales, Manufacturing, and Technologies

Wilmington, Massachusetts. March 25, 2003 - Meikle Automation Inc. and Automation Engineering Incorporated (AEi) today announced the signing of a strategic partnership agreement. The partnership calls for cooperation based initially on the integration of equipment and technologies, and on a cooperation of manufacturing, sales and marketing resources in the automated photonics assembly and test arena. The combination of expertise in vision and motion control plus ultra high precision assembly capability will allow the companies to better meet the needs of the market.

Meikle Automation and AEi have developed expertise in automation and integration across a broad market spectrum, acquiring experience in custom control software, ultra high precision assembly, precision system development and test and measurement technologies. Combined, the two companies have significant experience in standard software packages for integrated PC-based motion control, operator interface, and machine vision, as well as having developed automation and control systems for a varied range of customers.

"This alliance allows us to share tools so that each company can provide solutions with increased capabilities in the photonics market" Said Andrew Meikle, President, Chief Executive Officer of Meikle Automation. "With both companies making significant advances in both mechanical technology and software control of high precision automation, this unification of efforts will bring outstanding new systems to the market. Our collective expertise in integrating machine vision with motion control combined with strong background in high precision automation systems will produce a new level of results built on both companies' standard platforms."

"While there is a degree of overlap in the abilities and expertise of both companies, we see this as a great opportunity to best meet the needs of our customers in the photonics and other precision industries." Said Andre By, Chief Technology Officer and founder of AEi. "The complementary locations of both companies' facilities will improve our mutual ability to serve the entire North American market. Further, there are a number of complementary advanced technical innovations we have individually developed and deployed for flexible automation of photonics manufacturing. We expect to cross-license several of these between the two companies in order to provide our customers optimal automated manufacturing solutions."

Under terms of the strategic alliance, Meikle Automation and AEi will jointly generate business leads, develop new technologies, share marketing strategies and forecasts, as well as engaging in research and development initiatives. The agreement allows for close co-operation on a range of opportunities, particularly as applied to photonics.

About Meikle Automation Inc.

Meikle Automation is a privately held world-class leader that designs and builds automation systems for a variety of industries. Meikle has brought clarity and commitment to customers in the Photonics, Life Sciences, Electronics, Semi-conductor and Automotive market places. For more information, please visit www.meikleautomation.com

About Automation Engineering Incorporated

AEi, founded in 1990, provides comprehensive engineering services for design for manufacturing and process prototyping plus complete flexible automation solutions for its customers. AEi specializes in automation applications and equipment that require the integration of advanced machine vision and motion control technology. AEi operates in this capacity as both a consultant and a systems integrator for turn-key automation machinery for the aerospace, consumer products, electronics, fiber optics, electronics, medical devices, photonics, and many other industries. AEi technology and systems are currently in production across North America and Europe. Additional AEi product and services information is available at its web site at http://www.aeiboston.com.

Contacts: Sandra Macdonald
Marketing Coordinator
Meikle Automation Inc.
50 Groff Place
Kitchener, ON
N2E 2T6
(519)896-0800 ext. 235
smacdonald@meikleautomation.com

Phyllis Hayes
Marketing Coordinator
Automation Engineering Inc.
600 Research Drive
Wilmington, MA
01887
(978)658-1000 ext. 101
phayes@aeiboston.com