Tuesday, November 9, 2010

VISION 2010 – Day One, VISION Award, market news

Stuttgart, November 9—The anticipation seems to have been rewarded for the now-official 323 exhibitors (a record number), as most exhibitors were delighted with the quantity and quality of leads. More coverage of the show is available at this link.

At a press conference the winner of the VISION Award was announced: SICK, for its ColorRanger E. Of the 23 entries, it was probably inevitable that some sort of 3-D product would win since 3-D is one of the fastest growing technology segments in machine vision.

The ColorRanger E combines high-speed 3-D and color linescan capabilities at more than 11 kHz. Applications include wood inspection, quality control in baking or food processing, and solar wafer shape and color quality assurance.

The list of contestants contains many other innovative products—you will find the list at the end of this blog.

During a press conference, Dr. Olaf Munkelt, chairman of the VDMA Machine Vision Group, talked about the unprecedented collapse of the global market and its impact on machine vision sales—“basic trust is still lacking”, he said. Nonetheless the industry has come bounding back, with German sales expected to rise 18% in 2010 over 2009, giving the German industry a value of 1.1 billion euros. Inspection, Munkelt said, remains the most important driver of sales, especially in the automotive market, and 3-D metrology is rapidly increasing.

In a video interview with me that we’ll post soon, Munkelt said that the global sales of machine vision break out roughly into one third each for Europe, Asia, and North America. He noted that the US share is dropping in relative terms and that part of the reason for this may be that investment in R&D is declining. This observation is not new and it’s one that concerns many of us in the US.

Basler also held a press conference in which its leaders, Dietmar Ley and Arndt Bake, described the company as moving to be a “pure play” camera company, leaving its systems business side. Bake said that Basler sees significant new growth opportunities in traffic (eg, tolls, parking, law enforcement), surveillance, and point-of-sale applications (eg, recycling, wheel alignment).

Finally, for a taste of the innovative technologies on display at the show, here’s the list of the 22 entries that did not win the VISION Award. We’ll be covering some of these products online and in future issues of the magazine:

• ABAQuS, Using the M200CT to check the quality of barcodes and 2-D codes as a prerequisite to automated data input with barcode scanners
• Allied Vision Technologies, Redefining the limits of GigE Vision bandwidth using Link Aggregation
• Aqsense, Global dimensional inspection and geometric features measurement
• BAP Image Systems, High-speed scanning basing on CIS-sensors
• Basler Vision Technologies, New CMOS camera generation
• Chronos Vision, High speed, real-time video eye tracking
• Dalsa, BOA smart camera
• Effilux, LED lighting for 3-D profilometry
• FLIR Commercial Systems, New FLIR A615
• Frankfurt Laser Company, HEML high-power temperature stabilised laser diode module
• Fraunhofer IDMT, Fraunhofer eye tracker–a calibration free solution with scalable and configurable Hough IP Core
• Imaging Diagnostics, Auto-focus camera using standard DSLR lenses
• Inviso, Brain-inspired machine vision
• Keyetech, Keyetech texture-based recogniser
• New Imaging Technologies, Native WDR: a radical, innovative breakthrough in CMOS sensors based on the Magic technology
• OPT Machine Vision Tech, Introduction of AOI light application in machine vision
• Photometrics, EMCCD camera – automatic, real-time imaging data standardization
• PMD Technologies, First robust and feasible gesture control using time-of-flight technology
• Raytrix, Single lens 3-D-camera with extended depth of field for industrial inspection
• Schott Lighting and Imaging, Telecentric zoom lens ML-Z07545HR
• Smartvision, BlobMax, A new method for a safe inspection of planar and curved surfaces with diffuse or specular reflection
• Softhard Technology, Currera-R atom based industrial smart camera
• Sony Image Sensing Solutions Europe, The smallest C-mount digital camera
• Spotrack, Method for the positioning of a multiple pan/tilt devices in single object tracking applications (multiple camera tracking)
• Technos Japan, The first visual inspection system that does not miss defects
• Vision for Vision, Interactive workshop for fast prototyping
• Xenics, The Lynx: a novel high-performance line scan camera system

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