Corrections or additions?

This article was prepared for the April 10, 2002 edition of

U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Between the Lines

One week ago today U.S. 1 deliverers went out on their

appointed rounds, visited nearly 5,000 places of business, and

returned

with notes regarding 27 different companies. Some appeared to be gone,

some seemed to have moved to new locations that may or may not have

been readily known, and others quite definitely appeared to be new

companies in old spaces.

Of the 27 initial reports only about a dozen were true moves. Some

others turned out to be small companies with doors locked while the

entire staff (both of them, perhaps) went out to lunch. Still others

were simply cases of a new deliverer missing a company located in

an out-of-the-way office.

But even a dozen changes a week in the greater Princeton business

community, multiplied by 50 weeks of publication a year, and you can

see the task that U.S. 1 has in compiling our long-awaited annual

Business Directory, which is due to arrive in our parking lot even

as we write this column at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9.

Keeping track of this flux is a year-round job, of course, and it

is assisted by the cooperation of literally thousands of businesses

that return our annual requests for information — we thank all

of you who responded this year.

Of course we make our share of mistakes. Some creep into the Business

Directory; others find their way into the newspaper. One of the more

unfortunate ones we made recently began with a report from a

deliverer:

ORS Automation in Research Park was closed, the deliverer reported.

A reporter called and discovered that it was not a case of the staff

being out on a lunch break — the company had indeed closed down

its operations. Somewhere in the brief conversation the reporter

thought

she heard bankruptcy and that word was in our story printed on April

3.

A few days later ORS executive Ed Kornstein called and graciously

set the record straight. The error was particularly unfortunate

because

Kornstein’s first job as president of ORS Automation in 1987 was to

bring the company out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It took him four

years,

but he was successful. So he was understandably concerned when U.S.

1 reported that the reason for the public company’s closing was

bankruptcy.

"That has a negative connotation," says Kornstein. "We

closed down in an orderly fashion. Everybody got severance pay."

He attributes the demise of the 34-year-old firm to a decline in the

electronics industry. "We ran out of capital, and in this climate,

we couldn’t get financing."

ORS pioneered in the field of machine vision, development, production,

and installation of microprocessor-based vision systems for industrial

use. The company retains some intellectual property and some licensing

capabilities, says Kornstein. A math and physics major at New York

University with a master’s degree from Drexel University, he has

worked

in the electro-optics area with RCA, then worked for Optel from 1970

to 1972. From 1972 to 1978 he was an independent consultant, and he

joined ORS in 1980.

So how did he pull out of Chapter 11 back in 1987? "I found a

niche market," says Kornstein. "We worked on the alignment

of screen printers for electronics manufacturers. We didn’t try to

be everything to everybody."

ORS Automation (ORSI), Box 2215, Princeton 08543.

Ed Kornstein, president. 609-924-1667; fax, 609-924-2413. Home

page: www.orsautomation.com


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