Industrial Vision Systems Continue To Rally

Total market revenues in the European industrial vision systems market will rise from US$574.9 million in 1999 to an impressive US$2.10 billion by 2006, according to a new study by Frost and Sullivan.

The scale of growth is reflected in a rampant compound annual growth rate of 20.3 per cent. Optimistic forecasts are primarily a result of the increasingly fundamental role that vision systems play within manufacturing.

Analysis currently shows the market for 1-D and 2-D metrology systems as the largest market sector. The markets for guidance systems and web inspection systems follow in second and third place respectively, two sectors that are demonstrating particularly strong growth.

Major players in the market include Cognex, Honeywell Measurex and RVSI Europe. However, no single company exerts a clear domination of the market, manufacturers achieving market shares of 5.0 per cent or less account for 81.6 per cent of total market participants. Companies within the market tend to hold a transnational market base, facilitating the exploitation of economies of scale.

The forging of close relationships within the market is proving advantageous, market participants have laid down key partnerships with a number of end-users. The latter has included semi-conductor original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and parties within the automotive industry.

Companies are pursuing a number of individual strategies in order to achieve competitive advantage, including approaches that focus on niche markets and those not fully served by standardised solutions. In turn, a number of companies offer a variety of industrial vision functions on one system, thus providing multifunctional systems to such markets as the automotive and semiconductor industries.