Dwight D. Carlson's expertise in entrepreneurial leadership began long before his present post as Founder, Chairman and CEO of Coherix, a global high speed 3D Vision company serving global semiconductor, electronics and automotive corporations to optimize their manufacturing processes.
Prior to Coherix, Mr. Carlson founded Perceptron, Inc., also a global leader in 3D Vision systems, and served as President and CEO from 1981-1996. Perceptron pioneered manufacturing techniques that not only improved quality, but also significantly reduced cost, while shortening the time to bring a new auto model to market. In the late nineties, when Mr. Carlson stepped down, Perceptron had become a public company with sales of $52 million and a market valuation of $350 million. Prior to Perceptron, Mr. Carlson founded XYCOM, Inc., a leader in industrial microcomputers, and served as President and CEO from 1968-1981. He co-founded and developed the first miniocomputer-based vehicle emissions test system. In early 1973, Mr. Carlson’s team created the first microcomputer used for self-service gas pump dispensing, resulting in the industry standard that is used in gas pumps all over the world today.
Mr. Carlson served as Chairman of the Michigan Industrial Technology Institute (ITI), and as Chairman of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center. The not-for-profit MMTC exists to enhance the global competitiveness of Michigan‘s small and mid-size manufacturers. In addition, Mr. Carlson co-founded and served as Chairman of the Auto Body Consortium (ABC, Inc.), formed to perform collaborative research between the Big Three automakers, the auto supply base, research universities, and federal research laboratories.
He also served on the Advisory Board for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Advisory Board of the Engineering College of the University of Michigan, and co-chaired the National Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing (NACFAM) in Washington, DC. He is a member of the S.M. Wu Foundation board of directors.
Today, Mr. Carlson serves as Chairman of the Precision Engineering & Manufacturing Alliance (PEMA), a similar consortium to the Auto Body Consortium. PEMA brings universities, industry and government together to solve complex, industry-wide challenges. He also serves as Chairman of Onset Management providing innovative financing for small to medium sized companies. He received the 2008 Manufacturing Leadership Award from the Shien-Ming Wu Foundation in recognition of his leadership skills and his profound impact on the manufacturing industry.
Dwight Carlson is an engineering graduate of the General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan.