Monday, December 15, 2008

Economic downturn good for vision?

This economic downturn has been a nightmare for many industries, and rightly so. Housing, automotive, and financial institutions have had bigger than tolerable growth for years, and that couldn't go on forever. Eventually a bubble will pop, even if the government tries to slow down the pop.

Now, instead of ranting about how things could (and should) have been handled in a different manner leading up to now (hindsight's 20/20), I wanted to discuss why this might be a great time of growth for machine vision.

The cost for machine vision solutions are dropping as technology improves. The need for automation in many industries is increasing, and the number of tasks that can be automated increases daily. Combine these two facts with the state of the economy today, add a few engineering managers the right mindset, and it makes a great case for adding new optimizations.

The main reason people don't automate is the fact that they don't want to take a large hit on the books today, even though it will make the books look better from now on. If a company is expecting to take a loss in the coming quarters, why not take a bit more of a hit knowing that it will provide for long term cost savings? There are caveats here of course.... don't put yourself out of business trying to cut future costs, but if you can set your company up to take more advantage of the upturn when it happens now may be a good time to do so.

Just my $.02

Monday, December 8, 2008

Machine Vision Fundamentals

It seems that there are plenty of places to learn about machine vision on the web, but it appears to me that there isn't one place to find it all. I look to remedy this somewhat, although it may take me some time. If anyone that reads this has any feedback, it would be greatly appreciated.

My thoughts are as follows:

What is machine vision?
Machine vision software
Configuration based machine vision
Programmable machine vision
Machine vision hardware drivers
Machine vision hardware
Frame Grabbers
Camera Buses - pros and cons of each
Benefits of PCIe/PXIe
Embedded Machine Vision
Vision Systems
Smart Cameras
Machine vision application architectures
Machine vision lighting
Machine vision optics

Hopefully I can get this pulled together in a reasonable amount of time. Again, any feedback on these thoughts would certainly be taken to heart.