BitFlow predicts five machine vision trends for 2017

Identifies Industrial Internet of Things and CoaXPress as trends set to impact machine vision markets
Tuesday January 10, 2017
Written by BitFlow
Jan. 10, 2017 - BitFlow, a global provider of machine vision technology, has highlighted five technology trends it believes will be strategic for the vision industry this year, each with the potential to “significantly impact or even disrupt processes.”

“We have identified the top five machine vision trends that integrators and OEMs should factor into their strategic planning for 2017,” said Donal Waide, director of sales and marketing for BitFlow. “Vision professionals should look to make deliberate decisions about them during the coming year.”

• The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT): As the IIoT gains traction, machine vision should see a dramatic boost. IIoT links production technology with information technology, therefore it involves extensive data capture and analytics to continually optimize the operation of factories. Machine vision is one of the most important basic technologies to supply the IIoT with information.

• CoaXPress (CXP): CoaXPress is an asymmetric high-speed serial communication standard that transmits and receives data over coaxial cables between cameras to computers via a frame grabber. A new generation of lower-priced CXP single-link cameras featuring smaller footprints, lower power requirements and producing less heat are lowering the barrier for integrators to design systems based on the CXP interface. CXP moves at speeds that would humble an Olympic track star; it is almost twice the real world data rate of the USB3 Vision standard and significantly quicker than the latest GigE Vision data rates.

• Non-industrial sectors: Lower costs and ongoing improvements in vision components, such as 3D colour cameras and machine learning techniques, will further expand the machine vision sector into non-industrial niche applications, such as driverless car systems, IP video surveillance, intelligent traffic systems, logistics, agriculture and guided surgery.

• Ease of use: Operators of machine vision systems have expressed a clear preference towards products that contribute to a more user-friendly, intuitive environment on the plant floor. At the same time, vision sensory input is more complex than ever before, making it a huge challenge for device and software designers to simplify their interface. Standardization of products will help users integrate and run vision systems while also providing cost trade-offs for exchangeability of devices. In addition, software designers will be successful as they make strides towards interfaces that walk users through a simple process of setting up applications, locating and inspecting parts, and configuring results with communication to HMIs, PLCs and robotic equipment.

• Regulation of pharmaceuticals: Increased regulation globally is forcing the pharmaceutical industry to install machine vision systems to ensure quality, traceability and security at every step of manufacturing ranging from drug synthesis to final packaging. For example, FDA regulations now require a given product to be traceable by serial number to a specific manufacturing facility, batch number and date, providing accountability and ultimately, boosting consumer confidence. The European Union in 2010 required the name of medications to be printed in Braille for blind and partially sighted patients. One key reason for the more stringent regulations is the crisis of counterfeit drugs. The World Health Organization estimates that up to 30 per cent of prescription drugs in developing countries are counterfeit and, in developed countries, counterfeit drugs make up as much as 1 per cent of the market.

According to industry research1, the global market for machine vision components will grow from US$9.0 billion in 2016 to $12.50 billion by 2020. This year’s predictions came from BitFlow and other industry players who manufacturer, source and design machine vision systems worldwide.

1. “Machine Vision Market to Hit 9.1% CAGR to 2020 with Highest Traction for Smart Camera-Based Segment” (June 24, 2016), RnR Market Research

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