NOVEMBER 25--VISION 2003 attained its target by attracting 4412 visitors. More than 170 exhibitors presented their components, systems, and services at the 16th International Trade Fair for Machine Vision (MV) and Identification Technologies, which was held in Stuttgart from 21 to 23 October 2003 (www.vision-messe.de). The international character of VISION increased significantly: 33% of exhibitors (2002: 28%) and 23% of visitors (2002: 18%) came from abroad. Whereas 18 countries were represented on the exhibitor side, VISION was attended by visitors from a total of 36 countries, primarily Austria (16%), the United Kingdom (13%), Switzerland, France, and the Benelux countries (each 11%), and the USA (3%). This outstanding result confirms VISION's claim as the world's leading event for the machine-vision industry.
This view was also shared by exhibitors, nearly all of whom were satisfied with their attendance at the trade fair. Volker Pape, chairman of the executive committee of the machine vision group in the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), summed up the feelings of many people saying: "Compared with other industry events, the quality of VISION is outstanding. This was clearly shown by the increase in the number of exhibitors and visitors from abroad. This international character will increase still further."
One pleasing aspect for exhibitors: 82% of visitors came with clear investment and purchase intentions, that is, a substantial increase compared with the previous year (2002: 66%). This statement confirmed the forecast of the VDMA, according to which turnover in the machine vision industry would increase between 10% and 15% in 2003 and 2004, respectively.
Visitors were primarily interested in machine-vision technologies (66%, multiple nominations possible), followed by components and measuring systems (44%), and applications (33%). More than 50% of visitors said they came from research and development (57%) while 1 in 10 visitors said they came from manufacturing and production (11%). Other task areas included the IT sector (8% of visitors), production and quality control (7%) and marketing/sales (7%).
The special forum "Industrial VISION Days," which was under the overall control of the VDMA, was very well attended (2250 people) on all three days of the trade fair. Visitors to this forum, but also visitors to VISION, were both interested, in particular, in applications and components.
The 23rd Heidelberg Machine Vision Forum, which was held during VISION 2003 on 23 October 2003, presented the latest digital machine vision results on the topic of "Lighting and photography." The organizer of this Forum--the Academy for Further Education of the Universities of Heidelberg and Mannheim--rated it as a success after it attracted 102 participants.
VISION 2004 will be held again in Halls 1.0 to 4.1 at the Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre from 19 to 21 October 2004.