Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Responses to my “You’re a bunch of players” post

Well I roused a few of you with my poll and provocatively-titled follow-up post back on November 24th.

You may recall, I argued that the benefits of sticking with a single machine vision vendor outweigh the gains from buying the strongest product for each application. I suggested, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that those of you who spread the vision love around are “a bunch of players.”

Here’s a sampling of the comments:

Anonymous: “We actively select the best tool for the job

David Dechow of Aptura: “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.”

Another anonymous contributor: “Another aspect may be that the customer tells us to use a certain product by a certain company.”

These are all good points, especially the third one. When the customer says, “We expect you to inspect our products using a Micro-anner-Sight smart camera” what are you going to do? Put the business at risk? But there again, what if it isn’t up to the task or requires you to invest time and money learning a new system?

Now obviously, this is not a black or white issue. Even if you try sticking with one make of smart camera, (and hence smart camera software,) there will be occasions when you need a linescan system, or the power of a PC and PC software.

I will maintain though that standardization is very beneficial for the people who have to keep the production equipment running. And second, the costs of not standardizing should be weighed against the benefits of buying “the best” rather than the second or third best.

If you want to comment, I’m waiting.

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