December 17th, 2012

Interview with Dr. Joost van Kuijk, VP Marketing & Technology, Adimec, The Netherlands

Novus Light Technologies Today provides first-hand insight into what drives the leading companies in the industries that make up our market. Andreas Breyer, Senior Editor Germany had an opportunity to interview Dr. Joost van Kuijk, VP Marketing & Technology at Adimec, a leading high-end camera manufacturer serving the machine vision, medical imaging and outdoor imaging markets.

 joost@vision2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Novus Light Technologies Today:
How did your business develop in the first three quarters 2012?

The first two quarters 2012 were still down in machine vision, like the last two quarters of 2011, but in the third quarter things are picking up again. We have a few customers who are indicators for us regarding business development, and as they kicked off in the first quarter we could see that the machine vision industry would pick up again soon. Now it’s almost back to the level of 2010, which was a very good year for Adimec.

 

NLTT: Regionally, where are your customers located and has that changed in recent years?

We primarily sell in the US, in the major countries in Europe, but also to Korea and Japan. The rest of Asia Pacific has been rather slow in the past but is picking up now. China is becoming less and less interesting as a market, as the only thing that counts in China is low price. Customers there tend to compromise price for quality, this is one thing we don’t do. From our point of view, low price cameras will dominate the Chinese market in future, and this is not the Adimec attitude. China is picking up by volume, but not by profit and margin.

 

From our point of view, low price cameras will dominate the Chinese market in future, and this is not the Adimec attitude.

 

NLTT: What does Adimec differentiate from other camera manufacturers?

We do not participate in the price battle. At the moment there are a lot of inexpensive cameras coming on the market; with the same sensors that we use. Of course, our machine vision customers who are in very high-end applications do negotiate price, as well. However, the low price cameras are no alternative to them, because of the quality of our products and the support they get. Our customers cannot afford for the cameras they use will fail, therefore they tend to choose a high-end product that they can rely on. Also, our customers get a tremendous support about designing the camera into the inspection system. In other industries we serve, such as outdoor security, we benefit from the fact that we offer robust cameras that can pass the rigorous Mil Spec tests.

 

Our customers cannot afford for the cameras they use will fail, therefore they tend to choose a high-end product that they can rely on.

 

NLTT: Are there any new products coming up?

CoaXPress has matured as an interface. Five years after the interface had been invented with the support of Adimec, customers are now specifically asking us which frame grabber to choose using CoaXPress with an Adimec camera. Also, we have recently shown at Vision 2012 a series of new cameras with the latest sensor technology from all high-end sensor manufacturers, including ON Semi, Sony, CMOSIS, and Truesense Imaging. Here, we keep innovation inside the camera to get the best performance out of the best image sensors available and to put on the right interface for the customer.

 

NLTT: What do you see as the main challenges in the industry and how are you trying to overcome them?

Adimec_25_MegaPixel_S-25A30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adimec S-25A30 25 MegaPixel CMOS global shutter camera

 

One thing we clearly see is that the main challenge is no longer throughput in terms of megapixel per second. We are now able to handle very high data rates. Thus, what we concentrate on now is how to get the right, or better say the relevant information out of the available data at the right place, vision is about the image. This will further ensure that the camera, or more precise the imaging chain process is no longer the bottleneck within an inspection system. What is key in our business is customer support, small series production, and we see that many of our customers stay with us for a long time because of the reliability of our products and services they receive from us. This is also part of the Adimec strategy. Other companies will need to sell 200,000 cameras, when we will sell 20,000 cameras and still be more profitable.

 

NLTT: What industry trends do you see in the coming years?

Everybody is under price pressure. The machine vision market is driven by the availability of products at a low price, which is triggered by low price end-markets such as the BRIC countries. Technology-wise, getting more out of the image sensor is something that the industry will focus on. In that respect, the main challenge we see is how to deal with the great variety of new image sensors, and CMOS in particular, which are introduced to the market each year. So, after the megapixel per second era, how to cope with all these different image sensor offerings in ever faster design cycles and be able to react quickly enough to make good cameras with them is a challenge.

 

NLTT: We have seen and heard a lot about standards at Vision 2012. How do customers benefit from the standards discussion in the industry and the results coming out of it?

Standards are a sign of a maturing market. Nobody in our industry is big enough to force an industry standard, which is also why we chose to share CoaXPress with the industry. With standards in place, a customer can buy all the products in the imaging chain, e.g., a camera and a frame grabber that can communicate with each other without much effort. Customers want plug and play products, and standards are prerequisite for this.

 

NLTT: What is your business forecast 2013 for Adimec?

We expect a good growth next year. All three sectors we are in, namely machine vision, medical and defense, are all picking up at the moment.

 

Interviewed by Andreas Breyer, Senior Editor,Germany, Novus Light Technologies Today

 

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