Thursday, January 20, 2011

Too many camera manufacturers?

I’ve heard some discussion over recent months regarding the highly fragmented nature of the machine vision camera industry. There seems to be an emerging consensus that too many companies are chasing too little volume, and that we’ll all do better if some consolidation were to take place.

Well having a few minutes spare, I decided to list down all the camera companies I could think of. I excluded those who make highly specialized cameras for scientific imaging and by keep just to those I might consider when sourcing hardware for my next project, came up with a list of twenty-two.

That is quite a gaggle of companies to be chasing what is in all honesty, a pretty small market, so it seems reasonable to conclude that consolidation will provide some economies of scale and thus lower priced products. Some folks might argue that we buyers would end up with less choice, but I really don’t think that’s the case, for one reason: the number of sensor manufacturers is much smaller than the number of camera makers.

But aside from the fragmentation, I was also very interested in the geographic dispersion of the camera companies. In fact I’ve even put together a little graphic to show where the various manufacturers are based.

I don’t claim that this is 100% accurate, and I certainly haven’t tried to determine the size of each company, but it makes me wonder if the German producers of machine vision cameras might be exploring some mergers and acquisitions.


Linescanner said...

So it begins:

Allied Vision Technologies acquires VDS Vosskühler

Igor said...

Dumb question: who are all these companies ?