In order to provide our readers with information on how to obtain the right technology or systems integrator for their application, we are profiling major machine vision and image processing distributors and integrators from across the globe.
In this article, Chris Walker, Technology Consulting Director at Fairman International, provides some information into the design and maintenance of machine vision systems. Based in China, Fairman International offers machine vision consulting, vision systems integration, and vision system performance qualification services.
Company name: Fairman International
Headquarters: Korla, China
Year founded: 2012
Regions served: International
Services offered: Machine vision consulting, machine vision systems design and integration, vision system performance qualification services.
How have market changes and customer demands changed the way that you’ve approached business?
Our customers want machine vision systems that add value to their process, improve quality of their products, and perform as required. The service we provide is geared toward meeting detailed specifications in custom design solutions. Our strategy therefore is not to necessarily be the cheapest solution, but the one that actually works. We excel in providing concept, design, integration, and qualification services as a full working solution for our client’s needs.
In what areas do you see the most growth?
(1) Manufacturers seeking to meet GMP and ISO standards are improving the quality of their products and deliverables by installing vision systems. The basis of valuing the quality of their products and staying “ahead of the game” drives companies to machine vision solutions.
(2) The market in East Asia and particularly China is growing as quality becomes a priority to more and more manufacturers. Many western OEMs are breaking into the market and gaining a stronger presence here.
Can you provide one example of a relatively new technology that you are utilizing?
Although RDC is not new, some of our larger clients that have multiple manufacturing facilities (globally) are allowing remote desktop access to systems we provide. This enables cheaper and faster remote systems support from our engineers.
We are also seeing more interest in 3D camera solutions.
Have there been any recent examples of vision systems you’ve installed that are particularly unique or interesting?
We have recently installed more than one type of single-camera solutions to meet 360° inspection requirements on cylindrical products. This is rather interesting as traditional methods involve multiple-camera solutions. We have used products from OPTO Engineering to do this, as well as high frame rate cameras for multiple images of moving (rotating) products.
What is your take on the current state of the machine vision market?
Excellent. The past several years has seen a large rise in the market.
Is there a particular trend or product in the next few years that you see as “the next big thing?”
Many of our customers are manufacturing at higher throughput than recent years. Companies are aiming for a 2x increase in line rates. Some of our customers produce products on a single line at >900 parts per minute.
The current smart camera market has a relatively poor selection for high processing speeds and parallel processing capability to handle these line rates. We believe that smart camera manufacturers will need to utilize faster processors to continue to compete with PC-based solutions.
What camera type do you think will be most popular in two years and why?
I have not seen USB3 interface expand as rapidly as expected, despite excellent bandwidth. I believe that GigE will continue to be a big player.
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