VDMA: European machine vision on course for further success | Automation.com

VDMA: European machine vision on course for further success

VDMA: European machine vision on course for further success

November 9, 2016 – “The machine vision industry in Germany and Europe has been reporting high growth numbers for years. In Germany alone, the turnover has more than doubled within ten years and an end to the boom is not in sight. In Germany, the sector will achieve a new record turnover of at least 2.2 billion euros this year. The European machine vision industry will record an 8 percent increase in turnover in 2016,“ says Dr. Olaf Munkelt, Chairman of the Board of VDMA Machine Vision at the press conference of VISION, the leading trade show for machine vision worldwide. According to current surveys, VDMA predicts a further dynamic development of the European machine vision industry also in 2017.  

Key component in global race towards automation  

Machine vision “made in Europe“ has become the key technology for the automation industry worldwide. Equipped with machine vision, machines are learning to “see and comprehend”. This leads to an improved production quality and in addition to increased productivity and competitiveness in the context of Industry 4.0. Vision technology paves the way for stable and efficient processes as well as flexibility and intelligence in production.

Non-industrial applications gaining ground

Moreover, machine vision is continuously serving new customer industries and expanding into new application areas. “Every year brings new and creative application options: Identification of food products without bar codes at supermarkets, track monitoring at the London Underground, prawn sorting on fishing boats – machine vision proves to be a true all-rounder that has already conquered our everyday lives!” says Olaf Munkelt. In 2015, the share of the European machine vision industry in non-industrial sectors already accounted for 24 percent; the turnover increased by 14 percent, an above-average growth rate. Intelligent traffic systems, medical equipment, as well as security & surveillance were particularly strong growth drivers.

Automotive industry still largest customer

Broken down into sectors, the automotive industry is still the world’s largest customer of the European machine vision industry, with a share of 20 percent of the overall turnover. The turnover of machine vision rose by 9 percent in 2015. The turnover of all industrial sectors except automotive grew by 8 percent compared to the previous year. The electrical/electronics industry – including semi-conductors – was the second largest customer with a share of 12 percent, followed by the metal industry as well as the food and beverage sector with a share of 7 percent each.

Germany – main driver of growth

For the European machine vision industry, Germany was the major sales market: 33 percent of the turnover was generated in Germany, 12 percent more than in the previous year. North America generated 14 percent and was the second most important export market (11 percent increase), followed by China with an 8 percent share of the turnover (16 percent increase in comparison with 2014).

Record turnover of cameras 

Leading the pack are cameras with a 30 percent share of the overall turnover of the European machine vision industry. The turnover rose by a full 9 percent. With a growth rate of 6.5 percent, the turnover of machine vision systems was less dynamic.

Trend topic Embedded Vision 

This year’s VDMA panel discussion at the Industrial Vision Days will deal with the trend topic 'Smarter Vision with Embedded Vision?'. The discussion will reveal which fields are covered by the term 'Embedded Vision' and what advantaged users will have of it. The panel will be prominently staffed with representatives of Advantech Europe, ARM, BASLER, Imago Technologies, MVTec Software and SICK bringing together classical machine vision companies as well as external players.  

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