Ahead of the much-anticipated automatica trade show in Munich, MVPro Media’s Matt Williams spoke with LUCID Vision Labs’ General Manager Torsten Wiesinger. He explains how LUCID has quickly become a key player in machine vision, and discusses the range of products which will be on display at automatica.
MW: I’m delighted to be joined now by Torsten Wiesinger from LUCID Vision Labs. So first, tell us about who you are, what your role is, and also a little bit about what LUCID Vision Labs does.
TW: Thank you, Matt, for giving me a chance to introduce myself. I am Torsten Wiesinger. As a General Manager, I’m responsible here for the EMEA region. I’m the main contact for the European, Middle East, and Africa markets. Our headquarter is in Vancouver, Canada, and we have about 100 employees. We produce and develop industrial cameras for the factory automation market and beyond.
MW: LUCID has been around for roughly six years now, and has already become one of the key machine vision camera makers. How did the company do that so quickly? What’s your secret?
TW: I think in the beginning, in 2017, it felt a little bit like a start-up, it was quite cool to start something new. And we felt like the young people starting after university. But we started with almost 40 people in 2017 with lots of industry experience and we invested a lot. They were professionals in the market before, so everybody knew what to do and of course what we wanted. In the beginning, we had this motto that we want to be in the top five camera makers within five years, and we never lost this mentality. We were highly motivated. Our products are all slightly different based on our past experience in our market, and we wanted to show that we are innovative, and I think that was also the key to being accepted in the market. I think that was the key to our success. And of course, hard work and luck. You also need some luck.
MW: You’ll be exhibiting at automatica at the end of June. Which new products are you planning to bring to the show?
TW: We will show our Helios Wide ToF camera, a new product based on Helios2. I think this was a real game-changer for the ToF (Time of Flight) market. Our customers accepted it very fast. We will also showcase the new Triton2 camera with 2.5GigE. I think this is the right response to USB 3.0, especially for factory automation. A lot of people thought they need to use USB 3.0 because they need 15 frames per second with five megapixels and with 1GigE it’s not possible, so they’re forced to use a USB 3.0 camera and it’s also small. 10GigE is too big or expensive, so I think our Triton2 is the right answer to that in terms of size, bandwidth, and price.
Another highlight will be our award-winning Atlas10 10GigE camera with Remote DMA (RDMA). I think this will be a game changer, especially tackling the CoaXPress market. Our RDMA card is no more expensive than a standard 10GigE network card with two ports. You can connect the 10GigE camera and completely bypass the CPU and the images get loaded directly to the memory. This gives you a highly reliable and low-cost system. The CPU can do all kinds of other calculations which are needed, especially for customers with multiple camera systems. We were very proud to receive our first “Platinum Award” by Vision Systems Design at the Automate show in Detroit.
MW: It’s an exciting time isn’t it
TW: It is definitely, yes.
MW: And you’ll be there at automatica?
TW: I will personally be there and look forward to seeing our customers and visitors at the show.
MW: As you say, it’s an exciting time for the industry, the industry is constantly growing. In which markets and application areas do you see the most growth?
TW: I remember about 15 years ago, I visited Agritechnica in Hannover for the first time. There was probably only one tractor manufacturer doing something with cameras. Then, when I first visited Logimat about 10 years ago, there was only a webcam just to check the door of the warehouse, to see if someone is going in. Now, if you visit these fairs, it’s full of vision. I think the lack of people in the industries is driving a lot of automation, so I don’t see any end to the need for cameras.
MW: In what ways do you see LUCID growing in the next five years?
TW: Five years go by very fast, I saw that over the last five or six years. We want to keep bringing new stuff to the market. We want to be seen as the innovation leader for machine vision. We want to stay in the top five of key camera manufacturers, grow our footprint, and gain more importance. I see a bright future with it.
MW: Lastly, where can our readers find you at automatica?
TW: We will be at booth B5.204 in Munich. MW: We look forward to seeing you there! Thanks again for joining me. It’s been an absolute pleasure to speak to you. We look forward to automatica, as I’m sure you do, too.
TW: Thank you. I’m looking forward to meeting you there.