Tis the season for machine vision. Spring and early summer is the time for slew of machine vision, industrial automation and control shows around the world. This year is no different. What seems to be different is attendance and the impact of machine vision on the shows. The interest in and deployment of machine vision systems is on the rise.
Automation Worlds, held earlier this month in Korea, is reporting a 15% increase in attendance and attributing 50% of that to the addition of a machine vision sub-event to the show this year – reports say Machine Vision market is the equivalent of $525M USD just in Korea. VISION Japan started April 25th in Yokohoma, Japan. CONTROL 2012 kicks of May 8th in Stuttgart, Germany. At the same time, AIA’s The VISION Show starts in Boston, Massachusetts. That’s four major global events in a 30 day span. Time to get down to the show floor or on a plane folks!
Why Machine Vision and Why Now?
The simple answer as to why Machine Vision is grabbing attention is: Economics.
The AIA summarizes the machine vision value proposition this way on their website (http://www.visiononline.org):
- improve processes
- reduce waste
- find results faster
- improve decision making
- reduce errors
- improve quality
- increase safety
- stay compliant with
- improve your bottom
- and more!
Those are all pretty good reasons to consider adopting a technology. “Why now” is driven by the other side of the economics coin – acquisition cost. At Keynote Photonics, we’ve seen a major push by manufacturers to drive to lower system costs.
In fact, the sub-system evolution has gained the attention of the semiconductor industry. While the number of application specific elements and innovations now available or in development across the industry is beyond the scope of this post, the sheer size of the effort is instructive. Just turn up your Google Alerts and watch the flow for a few days. It implies two key elements needed for the next level of growth: First, demand pull on features down to the component level. Second, the perceived size of the machine vision market has captured the attention of entire value chain.
Keynote Photonics is a part of the machine vision value chain and is addressing the request we heard most often over the last year. That request was to enable “smaller and brighter”. Translated, like any industry at the verge of turning the corner, that also means “more for less.” Keynote’s role is to help system designers get the most out of structured lighting using DLP technology.
So, a lot of signals suggest machine vision technology deployments are on the verge of taking off. A push for lower cost, with better features that is being addressed across the value chain (because they see upside in investing in development) suggest the economics are coming into balance on both sides of the equation and that expansion will follow. In tech, lower prices and smaller form factors generally lead to wider and deeper deployments that lead to a sustainable economic model. Is it machine visions’ time?