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Seeing a positive future for vision in industry

05 October 2010

A number of recent indicators would suggest that the vision industry has weathered the worst of the global recession and is poised to emerge with positive signs of growth. Recently published surveys for 2010 from the European Machine Vision Association (EMVA) and the Automated Imaging Association (AIA) in the US predict an 11% increase in turnover and a 2.6-4.6% increase in sales respectively in their particular regions.

Similarly, an informal survey of UK Industrial Vision Association (UKIVA) members attending the UK’s Advanced Manufacturing exhibition earlier this year revealed an upturn in enquiry levels and actual business since the beginning of 2010.

Vision technology has been finding increasing applications in industrial automation in manufacturing environments in the western economy, where automation and quality are key to competitiveness against other areas of the world, where labour costs are much lower. Vision has been found to help reduce costs and ensure quality to a consistent and high standard, increasing competitiveness.

Using data from a vision system to feed into a statistical control system can be the ultimate integration of vision into an automated manufacturing process. It can make sure that a factory never produces scrap material as corrections can be made before the product goes out of tolerance. Using vision systems to accurately measure what is delivered to a customer can have a direct effect on profitability. Using vision to work accurately to the minimum within-tolerance parameter, rather than the middle of a tolerance band, can save a huge amount annually in raw material costs. When vision is used to check that items have been correctly assembled, warranty costs are reduced.


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