VISION 2021 got off to a great start as Messe Stuttgart opened its doors to attendees for the first time in two years, 10 months, two weeks, and five days. The aisles were a little wider than usual, but they were full of attendees. Exhibitors were happy with the foot traffic for the day and are looking forward to the next two days.
Roland Bleinroth officially opened VISION 2021 by challenging the audience to “Be Visionary.” He also shared some statistics for this year’s show. VISION 21 has 297 exhibitors, a live version for the first time, 29 countries represented with 49% of the exhibitors being international. He highlighted the Industrial VISION Days: one stage, three days, and 70 sessions. Industrial VISION Days provide the largest platform for emerging companies in machine vision.
Market data on the European machine vision market from the VDMA and EMVA offered reasons for optimism. Demand for machine vision in non manufacturing continues to grow. There is an increased demand for machine vision in Asia, and China particularly as it moves to improve its quality control. In a survey conducted by EMVA, 59.7% of respondents think the machine vision industry has returned to pre crisis levels. Amidst a chip shortage that has led to extended lead times, and supply chain problems that will likely extend to 2022, the machine vision market is growing. Yes, it has slowed, but it is still growing—and that is great news.
Ease of use was a topic that came up at a number of booths today. I stopped and spoke with several companies developing deep learning applications, and it is interesting to see where deep learning is going in this market. The most interesting use I saw today was for process optimization.
All in all, it was a great day to finally put faces with the names I’ve encountered this year and to finally see some of the new innovations we’ve been covering up close. VISION is back.