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COVID-19


Automation proposition undiminished, say vision industry bodies


Greg Blackman listened to what the heads of the AIA, EMVA, VDMA Machine Vision, and UKIVA had to say about the state of the vision industry in a recent IMVE webcast


Allan Anderson


Chairman UK Industrial Vision Association (UKIVA)


Jeff Burnstein


President, AIA – Advancing Vision + Imaging


Anne Wendel


Director, VDMA Machine Vision Group


Chris Yates


President, European Machine Vision Association (EMVA)


T


he appetite for vision and automation remains strong. Demand is likely to increase once restrictions around


movement of people and goods are eased – but there is still a lot of uncertainty in vision industry markets at the present time. Tese were the views of the heads of the


AIA, EMVA, VDMA Machine Vision, and UKIVA during a webinar, hosted by Imaging and Machine Vision Europe, discussing the industry's response to the Covid-19 crisis. Chris Yates, president of the European


Machine Vision Association, commented that there is still demand for machine vision and projects are continuing, from what the EMVA has been hearing from its members. Tis is particularly the case in industries


like e-commerce, food and beverage, logistics, and electronics, although other sectors like automotive production have been hit hard.


Allan Anderson, chairman of the UK


Industrial Vision Association, said that projects aren't being cancelled, but are being delayed. 'Many UKIVA member companies are seeing the downturn and things put on pause. But it's a delay; it's not cancellations,' he said. Te vision industry serves many sectors,


which is one of its strengths in the current crisis. It also doesn't work at high volumes, which means companies can continue operating without seeing a significant impact from supply chain disruption, Yates said – at least in the short-term. However, this might change depending on the extent of the lockdown. 'Different companies will feel this in


different ways, but I expect for all companies there is a focus on conserving cash,' Yates said. 'Tis is only really a rational response to the uncertainty we feel at the moment.'


4 IMAGING AND MACHINE VISION EUROPE JUNE/JULY 2020


Yates added that the largest unknown in


the current crisis is how long lockdown will continue in different countries, where firms can't act and trade as is normal. 'Most companies in the automation sector


will be looking at planning for some kind of reduced trading for a six-month period,' he said. 'Tey will almost certainly be hoping for a three-month period as a best-case outcome. At the other end of the scale, a nine-month period of this type of reduced trading will start to see significant effects across the industry.' However, he concluded: 'Te overall


proposition of the automation and vision industry is completely undiminished by this crisis. It will certainly affect us all; it will affect business, it will certainly affect our attitudes, but the fundamental drivers of the economy of the [vision] industry remain, and in some cases are strengthened.' Success stories for machine vision during


@imveurope | www.imveurope.com


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