Thursday, April 23, 2009

The gloom deepens

Cognex are cutting more jobs, and expect to lose money this year. ( – April 21st, 2009) Fortunately they’re sitting on a pile of cash that will tide them through the lean times, but even so, it’s a sign of just how difficult conditions have become.

It’s almost certain that part of the problem is their exposure to the automotive industry, but I wonder if it’s also related to the growth of the Checker range. I’m sure these inexpensive sensors must be stealing business from the low end of the In-Sight family, and that has to hit both revenue and income.

So how can they get out of this hole? I don’t think cutting prices will do it: in my humble opinion the average buyer of machine vision products is not very price-sensitive. I doubt Dr. Shillman will want to cut R&D, (at least, I hope he won’t,) so what other options exist?

You’ve heard this before, I know, but the way out is through innovation. Give the market something new. Solve applications that can’t be done. Push into new markets.

And if you have a better idea, please speak up.

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