Q&A: Machine vision industry trends, 3D imaging, and EMVA 1288 testing

In this Q&A, Arnaud Darmont, Founder, CEO, and CTO of Aphesa discusses such topics as trends in the machine vision industry, 3D imaging products and technology, and EMVA 1288 testing.

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The following is a discussion with Arnaud Darmont, Founder, CEO, and CTO of Aphesa.

Name: Arnaud Darmont
Founder, CEO, and CTO

What is your latest product and for what reason was it developed?

Aphesa develops custom cameras and custom vision systems for specific customer applications. Our latest hardware product is a high-speed 3D vision camera with GigE interface used in the steel industry. Our latest software product, still under development, is image sensor simulation software.

What is your take on the current state of the machine vision market? (Strong, poor, etc. And whichever answer you indicate, please explain why you think it is that way.)

In our business of custom designs, we see more requests in a growing economy than in a downturn. Most companies reduced their investments between 2009 and 2012, but we’ve seen regular requests for custom developments since 2012.

Also, since 2014, it seems that the development budgets are less restricted but still some customers put a strong pressure on prices. This clearly shows that some companies are doing better than others.

Are market changes affecting your product development, and if so, how?

Our developments are driven by the customer needs. We have never seen two similar projects; there is always something different. It can be the temperature range, the mechanical requirements, the speed, the interface, or the processing. Our product development process is more driven by the individual projects than by the market. We have seen that customer support is getting more and more important.

In which areas or applications do you see the most growth?

There are more and more requests for very high-resolution cameras, although most of customers still require low resolution cameras in the range of 1 to 5 MPixels.

Can you tell us about your involvement with EMVA 1288 testing and why you think that is important?

We have been involved with EMVA 1288 since its early stages. At that time we needed to implement production test equipment and, as there was no suitable standard on the market, EMVA1288 was the right choice.

We had first developed equipment for ourselves and some of our key partners, and we only decided to make it a standard product much later when we received a request from JIIA to develop standard, user-friendly, equipment for them.

Today version 3.1 of the standard has reached some maturity and is used worldwide. Still there are some specific modules to research and some possible improvements, but the standard is now largely used and approved.

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