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Machine vision industry goals

14 May 2013

Thomas Lübkemeier, general secretary of the European Machine Vision Association (EMVA), discusses some of his ideas for moving the association forward, and the challenges facing the machine vision industry.

With my appointment as general secretary of EMVA , as of 1 January 2013, I am very excited to accompany the machine vision community in Europe on its way to conquer new markets and applications.

EMVA has played an important role in the industry for the past 10 years. Through further implementing the clear EMVA strategy, focused on international growth and broadening membership benefits, we aim to continue our own growth together with that of industry.
I have been fascinated by the image processing technology, with its enormous power of innovation, ever since I took over a leading position in a machine vision company in 2007. Innovation leads to continuous evolution of the technology and constantly to new applications, such as the great variety of emerging non-industrial applications, ranging from traffic surveillance through to medical applications and even marketing applications to monitor customer behaviour in supermarkets.

Another goal for the industry is user-friendliness. Vision systems increasingly meet the plug-and-play requirements of the users and – in a similar way to PLCs – quite naturally become part of automation. At the same time, complex high-end turnkey vision systems are still being designed for use in very specific and demanding applications.

Standards play a very important role in such a heterogeneous industry, which is why the EMVA, together with our partner associations in North America and Japan, introduced the common initiative Future Standard Forums (FSF) which will provide proactive, strategic guidance for the development of industry standards and will minimise the creation of conflicting standards within the machine vision industry and in neighbouring industries.
EMVA will also strengthen its activities in the political environment such as in Brussels, in order to boost the understanding of the enormous potential of machine vision technology, as well as to get a better grip on technology funding. Market analysis is another key component for communication within our fragmented community but also with other stakeholders, so we will further develop this area and the resulting reports.

New challenges
A challenge has been put towards the industry only recently, with the cancellation of VISION 2013, the key trade show for the machine vision players not only in Europe, but worldwide. Although the VISION organisers have to be commended for not taking this decision lightly, in the decision process EMVA had been a strong promoter for a more smooth approach to change with a longer-term planning cycle. As we are aware that for a large number of vision companies all across Europe the VISION was – and is – the major platform to present their products to an international audience we will focus this year on measures to fill the gap and more than ever provide a platform of support for our members spread out through the continent.

Under these special circumstances our annual highlight, the ‘11th EMVA Business Conference’ will play a key role. After the cancellation of VISION 2013, the annual EMVA Conference from 6 - 8 June in Barcelona will be the only international gathering of the machine vision community in Europe this year. EMVA will also celebrate its 10th anniversary at the event, together with all conference delegates. The prearrangements are already under way for a very special event this year. I am looking forward to meeting some of you in Barcelona, or to receiving your feedback and proposals on EMVA’s activities.

More information on the EMVA conference and on all other EMVA activities on our website: www.emva.org


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