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July 28, 1998 | General
TSE Stock Symbol: ATA

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada (July 28, 1998): ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. today announced it has been awarded a US$ 9 million contract to supply automation modules and enclosures to Obsidian Inc., a leader in semiconductor wafer processing technology.ATS will supply approximately 20 modules to Obsidian over the next two years which will be used by the Fremont, California-based customer in their leading edge chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) technology equipment. This equipment, used to polish semiconductor wafers, serves one of the fastest-growing niches in the wafer processing equipment market.

Established as a spin-out from Exclusive Design Company in 1997, Obsidian has developed a reputation for CMP technology that is economical and enabling.

In announcing the contract, Obsidian President and CEO Bruce Rhine said ATS was chosen "because of its high degree of technical capability and automation knowledge. We wanted a supplier that could live up to our standards for precision and innovation and ATS fit the bill. We also wanted a supplier that offered a complete, turn-key design and build capability. The automation modules we are commissioning from them will be integrated into our leading-edge, next generation Flatland 8200 SSP (trademarked) system."

Klaus Woerner, ATS President and Chief Executive Officer, said the contract is a "breakthrough for us in that it's our first major assignment in the wafer processing industry. Our stated strategic goal is to drive automation into new market areas and semiconductor is a high priority target for us. We have made several investments to expand our knowledge of this particular market and the experience gained by working with Obsidian will widen our opportunity for further penetration."

Mr. Woerner said ATS' goal is to "become an ongoing supplier to Obsidian by providing a rapid return on their investment. We will build the automation models in our new Accu-Fab Systems clean room facility in Corvallis, Oregon which is ideally equipped for this type of assignment."

Obsidian Inc. is the fastest growing supplier of CMP equipment to the global semiconductor industry. Obsidian has a unique CMP tool architecture that enables customers to achieve greater process stability, planarity and time to planarize than other approaches.

ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (Internet website address: is one of North America's leading designers and producers of turn-key automated manufacturing and test systems, which are used primarily by multinational corporations operating in a variety of industries: automotive, computer/electronics, consumer products and healthcare. The Company also makes precision components and sub-assemblies using its own custom-built manufacturing systems, process knowledge and automation technology. ATS employs approximately 2,600 people at 18 facilities in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The Company's shares are traded on The Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ATA.

For more information:
Carl Galloway, Corporate Treasurer, ATS Inc.
(519) 653 6500
Richard Vogt, Vice President Sales, Obsidian Inc.
(510) 492-4419