Micro Technologies Small is Beautiful: New Ways for Industrial Imaging Technologies
Microscan’s senior management recently visited India to promote a major section of their product line – the MicroHawk MV smart cameras – it is the next generation of industrial imaging devices. We took this opportunity to interact with them and understand more about the company, their latest product line and their views on the Indian market. Read on to learn more...
Microscan was established in 1982 and has a strong history of technology innovation, revolutionizing the auto ID industry in the early 1980s with the invention of the first laser-diode barcode scanner, and again with the invention of the 2D symbology, Data Matrix. Since then, the organization has come a long way and today it specializes in technologies of automatic identification and machine vision with extensive solutions for ID tracking, traceability and inspection.
President, Microscan, Scott L Summerville, who is responsible for running the entire Microscan business opines, “It has been an exciting journey as we have moved the company from being a bar code reading company to an integrated solutions company that focuses on the track, trace and control as well as machine vision inspection and bar code verification business.” The company caters to the electronic, life sciences, packaging, food and beverage, and fast moving consumer products markets.
One of the core focuses of the company is to make “manufacturing” more productive. In order to achieve this, the company has introduced the MicroHawk MV smart cameras – the next generation of industrial imaging devices. With this, barcode reading and machine vision is now possible on a single device! The MV series reads barcodes, tracks parts, controls quality and enables guidance.
Director, Marketing, Microscan, Matt Van Bogart explains, “One of the value propositions for our customers is that they will have one universal hardware package that they can buy and get used to a common set of interfacing with the product. As their application change, they can deploy from us different versions of software and tools depending on their capabilities.” Further elaborating on the product line, Summerville continues, “We believe that this is revolutionary for the industry because it’s a consistent platform across ID products as well as machine vision products.”
Setting the Pace for Small Integration
Another unique aspect of this product line is its size; it is a fully integrated machine vision smart camera and the smallest one in the industry today. “From a size perspective, we have really changed the game and raised the bar on size,” adds Summerville.
He further explains that the company believes in a substantial future for this kind of technology and now it’s only the beginning. The MicroHawk MV product range can also be customized according to the requirements of the customer.
In addition to this, another highlight of the series is that for the first time, one can upgrade the software from ID reading to full machine vision. This means that one does not have to buy a separate unit – despite a licensing up charge, it will be still more efficient than buying a whole new product.
On the ID side, the company has also introduced a new software interface ‘WebLink.’ This is an innovative web browser based interface which significantly improves the user experience. With this software, the set up time is reduced from hours to a few minutes.
The India Connect
The company began its journey in India in 2011 and since then it has witnessed numerous business opportunities. Summerville says, “There are many international companies that are setting up contract manufacturing facilities in India. This used to be the domain of China but now it is taking place in India. We are a big supplier of machine vision products and code readers to the contract assembly market, hence, we see it as a great opportunity for us.”
Microscan is targeting machine builders and automation equipment suppliers to use their technology to make their machines more capable, productive and cost effective for their customers.
Regional Sales Director, Asia Pacific, Microscan Systems, Ng Eu-Gene opines, “The machine builder industry in India plays an important role in manufacturing machines not only for the domestic market but for the export market as well. Hence, this industry plays a significant role in our overall business in India.” With numerous business opportunities in the pipeline, Summerville shares, “The Indian market is receptive to our products and we are very bullish on the Indian market.”
The government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative is sure to bring further growth to the manufacturing industry in the coming years and Microscan is already betting big on the Indian market. Summerville concludes, “We see India as a growth opportunity for a business like us. We expect to see a growth rate of 20–40 per cent for the next five years and significant growth even beyond that. I would expect India to be in the top five countries in the next 10 years in terms of sales revenues for Microscan.” With these estimated growth figures, the Indian market is surely poised for growth!