MVPro: What about new technologies and markets?
MW: Machine vision is a cross sector technology and we’ve got big customers in medical, automotive and electronics. Historically machine vision is perceived as industrial automation. If I look at our German company they probably have a higher percentage of industrial customers than other countries. If you look at France and the UK where perhaps our manufacturing bases are not as strong, we’ve ended up finding other markets that aren’t industrial.
We recognise that we are very good in that area, so this is why we have introduced the concept of artificial vision. What we are saying is: ‘Yes we know machine vision and factory automation very well but we believe significant growth is going to also be in non-industrial applications.’
So, the likes of IOT, autonomous driving, traffic systems, retail systems, checkout-less supermarkets are where I think the market growth will come from. I wouldn’t say it will be big growth in 2020 but certainly there is significant interest and things such as embedded vision are enabling these new applications. What embedded vision is doing is making it easier to create small low-cost high-volume systems. I think the main market for that is not industrial, it’s creating appliances that can get used in many different markets where vision acts as an aid. The existing industrial stuff is still there and embedded will have an effect on it, but I don’t think it’s going to be as ground-breaking in industrial as it is non-industrial mainly because the volumes aren’t high enough.
MVPro : How do you see your role in the organisation
MW: I’m working closely with our CEO and Director of Corporate Sales to ensure our product management and marketing teams who report to me be are aligned with our strategy. Product management is being re-organised and we have created a new position to lead the portfolio strategy. Marketing has had changes to focus further on new digital platforms and ensuring the customer experience in selecting products and services continues to lead the market – plus I continue to lead the UK team.