A view at the European machine vision market
As part of the VDMA Machine Vision experts series we talked with Mark Williamson, Stemmer Imaging´s Director – Corporate Market Development, about his view on the European machine vision market, Asian competitors and the Brexit influence on the British vision industries.
What are the differences between the German and the European or British machine vision market?
Mark Williamson: Germany is very strong in manufacturing compared to most other European countries. Looking at the market split between manufacturing and non-manufacturing applications for machine vision, in Germany the focus remains on manufactur
ing while the UK have a far more diverse range of non-manufacturing markets such as intelligent traffic systems, sports analysis or medical. Focusing on manufacturing, each region is influenced by its local market. For example, Scandinavia is very strong in wood processing, and the Netherlands have cutting-edge knowledge in agricultural systems. I´d like to emphasise one important point regarding the automotive industry: While many European countries manufacture cars, the designs of production lines are usually developed in the car manufacturer´s headquarters. This is the main reason why we see a lower ratio of automotive sales in countries other than Germany than you would expect compared to automotive manufacturing output.
How does the knowledge level of German machine vision users differ from those in other European countries?
Williamson: For machine vision in general manufacturing there is a very good base of knowledge in Germany with many good sized integrators. Germany certainly has a many automation engineers with good machine vision skills, far more than other countries which have very few medium and large integration companies. However, the UK has a strong innovation culture which I would say is more progressive than in Germany: We do see a lot of innovation in advanced algorithms creating solutions for complex applications in the UK. The challenge for the UK is to commercialize these innovations and sell them world wide.