After a hiatus of three years, VISION Messe Stuttgart returned to give the biggest and best machine vision players a platform to showcase their innovations. Questions around the attendance and success of the event were asked before, during and after it closed its doors on Thursday 7th October. To put those questions to bed, the organisers of VISION Messe Stuttgart have released the key stats, figures and opinions gathered over the three days.

The organisers of VISION report that over 5,400 trade visitors came to Stuttgart for the restart of the trade fair for machine vision. This year the majority of visitors came from Europe. The top 10 countries from outside Germany were Italy, Switzerland, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Poland, the United Kingdom and Sweden. Contrary to expectations, some individual visitors actually came to the industry event from the USA, Korea, Japan and Taiwan despite the travel restrictions and quarantine regulations.

In its capacity as the promotional supporter of VISION, VDMA Machine Vision affirmed the positive mood in the industry during the opening of the trade fair. According to the Association, the order books in the machine vision industry are well-filled and the demand for components and systems is at a consistently high level. Looking back at 2020, turnover in the European machine vision industry dropped by 4 per cent compared with 2019. The VDMA Robotics + Automation Association expects turnover in the European machine vision industry to rise again by 7 per cent in 2021.

According to Mark Williamson, Chairman of the Board of the VDMA Machine Vision Division, this was reflected in the mood during VISION 2021. However, one drawback in regard to turnover development is the continuing worldwide shortage of chips: “Camera manufacturers and system integrators – there is practically no company which is not suffering due to the lack of chips. Although this is not leading to a downturn on the market, it is dampening growth prospects”. Nevertheless, VDMA Machine Vision is again expecting 7 per cent growth next year.


The talks in the Industrial VISION Days are now available on-demand on the VISION website. Image: VISION Messe Stuttgart.

A quick survey by the European Machine Vision Association (EMVA) before the event found that 60 per cent of the survey respondents felt that they were only able to partly attain their targets regarding new customer acquisition in the last 12 months without the opportunity for personal meetings. 95 per cent of the participants said they always felt safe at the trade fair on account of the hygiene concept.

The organisers of VISION claim that the “high quality of the contacts was positively highlighted in many discussions with exhibitors”. More visitors (61%) said that they were solely or partly responsible for purchasing decisions concerning machine vision solutions in their companies.

“Compared with trade fairs featuring a machine vision area, the discussions are deeper and more detailed”, said Christian Vollrath, Head of Computer Vision at Wenglor. “Customers have specific demands backed up by corresponding unit numbers. As far as we are concerned, VISION is and will remain the leading trade fair for machine vision. We are already looking forward to next year when we will again present highlights in innovations”.

VISION will next be held from the 4th to 6th October 2022 – concurrently with the Motek trade fair – and thereafter again every two years. 72 per cent of the visitors are already planning to attend VISION 2022.

You can find more information about VISION Messe Stuttgart and the official stats, figures and opinions from the 2021 show on its website.

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