Sunday, November 24, 2013

You’re a bunch of players

Having discussed the pros and cons of vision system standardization, (“Do you play the field?” November 14th,) I conducted a poll to find out just how fickle you lot are.

The answer is, very.

Less than a third of you use only a single make or brand of vision system, and some 40% have three or more different brands. This is interesting, and perhaps a little disappointing.

To be blunt, it says to me that you buy what the salesman pushes. When the guy from Keyence shows you their latest-and-greatest, you buy it. And the same for Cognex. And Microscan. And Banner. And so on. I may be wrong on this, though I doubt it. And it’s a pity. You’re giving yourself substantial learning curves, spares, and support issues and making life more complicated than it needs to be.

Now the number of respondents was pretty small, so I may be being unfair on some of you, but really, three or more different brands? Next time you’re shopping don’t just believe the salesman, ask me instead.


Anonymous said...

Err - no. We actively select the best tool for the job - may it be Basler, IDS or AVT.

David Dechow said...

Not sure this is just about the end-user being fickle or blindly following a sales channel. Sometimes, maybe! Let's though, have a little faith in the machine vision engineering community: How about the integrator/user who has widely varying MV tasks in inspection, guidance, track&trace, measurement, etc? It would be very prudent for that person or company to use 3 or so different brands of component to be sure they have the best, easiest, and most cost-effective solution for each task. It might be a different sign that a company has bought into some sales pitch if they believe that machine vision is a "one size fits all" technology and insist on force-fitting one specified brand (or even model)of component into any and all machine vision applications.
Great topic as usual, B.

Anonymous said...

Another aspect may be that the customer tells us to use a certain product by a certain company. In that case, if you don't want to lose the customer or the project you just do it. It does not matter that it is not the best tool for the application if the customer already has 50 machines using that product...

John Phillips said...

In part, this is also a fulfillment of the promise of interface standardization. If we use manufacturer X, but a camera from manufacturer Y suits better in this specific application, as long as they are both standards (GigE Vision, USB3 Vision, compliant, then the impacts to the system (especially software) are minimal (or possibly none).