Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The trouble with success

Two years ago the machine vision industry was mired in a deep recession and doom and gloom abounded. Today many companies are experiencing record order intakes, but that brings its own set of problems.

Chief among these is having people to do the work. In other words, a hiring boom is underway in the vision industry. An article in the May 2011 edition of Photonics Spectra covered this from the German perspective. Under the heading, “Attracting top workers is a full-time job in Germany,” Lyn Savage discusses how camera-manufacturer Basler is not only planning to recruit an additional 15 people this year, but is also striving to retain they talent they have.

I can see the logic in that: when demand for skilled labor rises good people can be tempted to move, and as it takes many months, if not years, for a new hire to become fully effective, it’s probably cheaper to hang on to those you’ve already got rather than try to replace them.

It’s also interesting to read about the German apprenticeship system in the Photonics Spectra article. My impression has long been that German is very focused on developing a cadre of technical specialists who combine both practical skills with in-depth understanding, and the piece tends to confirm this. In short, Germany is investing for a strong future in photonics and machine vision. Sprechen Sie Deutsches?

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