Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Machine vision industry consolidation - what's next?

Now that the recession is over and profits are rising fast, it seems that many companies are considering how to expand their markets and solidify both geographical and technological positions. The acquisition of LMI Technologies by Augusta Technologie, parent of Allied Vision Technologies, is just the most recent example of course.

Augusta also recently acquired P+S Technik (digital film expertise) and VDS Vossk├╝hler (infrared specialist), and in 2009 acquired Prosilica (GigE cameras).

Teledyne has been reconfiguring the machine vision world with its recent acquisitions of DALSA (cameras, boards, software) and Nova Sensors (infrared), and the partial acquisition of Optech (airborne and space imaging).

And, in this year alone, Pro-Lite acquired light measurement supplier SphereOptics. Camera systems supplier NET New Electronic Technology acquired iv-tec, which develops algorithms and real-time image-processing software. And Adept acquired food-packaging equipment supplier InMoTx after having acquired service robot maker Mobility in 2010.

These are only the most recent and obvious acquisitions. Numerous OEMs and peripheral software and hardware makers have also merged or been acquired. It's a trend long predicted in the machine vision world. What hardware and software products will be in demand by those seeking to expand? What's next in the drive to create full-product-line vendors to serve vision system integrators and end-users?

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