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We all know Bollywood and the flashy movies coming out of India. But imaging technology is moving beyond the movies in that country. And we all know about the burgeoning imaging markets in China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Western companies are flocking to the East, and Asian companies are staking their own claims.
In this issue of Advanced Imaging, we present a Special Report on Imaging in Asia. We talked to a number of vendors, OEMs and distributors to get their thoughts, including, of course, the technology, but also the ins and outs of doing business in the East.
"The machine vision market is vibrant and exciting in Asia, with a lot of applications and actors emerging every day," says Singapore-based Marc Damhaut, Managing Director of Euresys Pte. Ltd. "China is the new manufacturing center of the world, driving applications in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. A lot of food inspection applications are developed in Australia and New Zealand. We see a lot of manufacturing inspection applications in India too."
Our panelists point out that Asian countries are at different levels. For example, Keith Reuben, President, DALSA Asia-Pacific (Tokyo), says "Japan is far more developed and the largest market—equally and more advanced than the West...Korea is young and very dynamic...and their technology is world class. Taiwan is similar to Korea. It's very strong in semiconductors and flat panels. China is just developing...India is behind China. The infrastructure is not there. That's the difference. Japan, Korea, Taiwan are as good as any country in the West. China has the highest growth potential with India just behind."
India, says Ganesh Devaraj, CEO, Soliton Technologies (Bangalore, India), is working to move beyond its infrastructure problems. "Many sophisticated vision solutions are getting developed and implemented in India today," he says, "and the awareness in the industry about what this technology can do is also growing. A couple of years ago many visitors to our stall [at trade shows] were unaware of machine vision, but this year, there was a high level of awareness and many manufacturing companies have already started to incorporate machine vision into their production lines and inspection processes."