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Basler Busy and the Latest Semiconductor Equipment Forecast

  • By Jason Stockwell

Basler, the world’s leading manufacturer of industrial cameras, has had a busy summer, acquiring Silicon Software and entering into a Chinese JV, and we got the latest semiconductor equipment forecast


Basler

Basler has acquired, a German manufacturer of image acquisition cards and software for the graphical programming of vision processors.

A statement from Basler said that the two Silicon Software managing directors, Dr Klaus-Henning Noffz and Dr Ralf Lay, will be working for Silicon Software and Basler.

The statement also said: “Basler continues to expand its product portfolio for Computer Vision applications with this transaction. Camera customers will benefit from comprehensive and easy-to-integrate solutions for capturing and processing images in the future. With a view to next-generation image sensors and their associated higher data rates; easy-to-use high-performance image acquisition cards are becoming increasingly important.

“By combining Basler’s cameras with intelligent image acquisition cards from Silicon Software, customers will receive solutions from a single source in the future, which already allow pre-processing and analysis of image data “on board” and open up costcutting potential. The graphical programming of the vision processors via Silicon Software’s VisualApplets software leads to shorter development times and faster time-to-market cycles for customers.”

Basler CEO Ley said: “Silicon Software’s product portfolio complements our product portfolio and will significantly contribute to successfully implement our planned expansion strategy towards the performance segment of the Computer Vision Market.”

Dr Klaus-Henning Noffz and Dr Ralf Lay, CEOs of Silicon Software, added: “The strategic alignment of the two companies fits very well together. Basler and Silicon Software can now offer solutions from image acquisition to analysis for all performance areas worldwide. There are two strong brands that also stand for innovations in embedded and Industry 4.0.”

Founded in 1997, Silicon Software is headquartered in Mannheim, Germany, and is a manufacturer of hardware for the image acquisition and processing of industrial cameras and software for the graphical programming of vision processors. With more than 50 employees, the company produces and distributes standard products as well as customized OEM solutions for image processing applications in factory automation and medical technology. Sales in 2017 totaled around 8.6 million euros.

Basler also signed a joint venture agreement with its Chinese distributor Beijing Sanbao Xingye.

The German company, the world’s largest manufacturer of industrial cameras, said in a statement that this move would strengthen its position in the Chinese market.

Beijing Sanbao Xingye has been Basler‘s distribution partner in China for nearly 20 years. The company distributes image processing components, and consults its customers in machine vision and scientific imaging.

Both companies have agree to transfer the Machine Vision division to the newly established Beijing-based Basler China with branch offices in Shenzhen and Shanghai. The management is staffed by employees of both companies.

The company said that the founding of Basler Vision Technology China brings the manufacturer and its customers closer together and the range of offering will be increasingly geared to local requirements in the future. What’s more, customers will benefit from the manufacturer’s ability to offer China market leading products, an improved supply chain and increased flexibility.

Basler CEO Dietmar Lay said: “Sanbao Xingye (MVLZ) and Basler have been working together for many years in a trusting and successful manner. We are proud to join forces – pairing our leading-edge technology and manufacturing know-how with MVLZ’s superb consulting competence and market insight.”

Guan Qunli, Chairman of Sanbao Xingye: “We are pleased to announce the joint venture with Basler AG, the industry leader in industrial cameras, with an excellent reputation and a world-leading brand. By bundling our strengths, we will serve our customers even better in the future and offer our employees attractive future prospects.”

Semiconductor Equipment Forecast

The global industry association which represents the electronics manufacturing supply chain, released its midYear Forecast at the annual SEMICON West exposition.

SEMI reported that that worldwide sales of new semiconductor manufacturing equipment are projected to increase by 10.8% $62.7bn 2018, exceeding the historic high of $56.6bn set last year. Another recordbreaking year for the equipment market is expected in 2019, with 7.7% forecast growth to $67.6bn.

The SEMI report said: “The SEMI Mid-Year Forecast predicts wafer processing equipment will rise 11.7 percent in 2018 to $50.8 billion. The other front-end segment, consisting of fab facilities equipment, wafer manufacturing, and mask/reticle equipment, is expected to jump 12.3 percent to $2.8 billion this year. The assembly and packaging equipment segment is projected to grow 8.0 percent to $4.2 billion in 2018, while semiconductor test equipment is forecast to increase 3.5 percent to $4.9 billion this year.

“In 2018, South Korea will remain the largest equipment market for the second year in a row. China will rise in the rankings to claim the second spot for the first time, dislodging Taiwan, which will fall to the third position. All regions tracked except Taiwan will experience growth. China will lead in growth with 43.5 percent, followed by Rest of World (primarily Southeast Asia) at 19.3 percent, Japan at 32.1 percent, Europe at 11.6 percent, North America at 3.8 percent and South Korea at 0.1 percent.

“SEMI forecasts that, in 2019, equipment sales in China will surge 46.6 percent to $17.3 billion. In 2019, China, South Korea, and Taiwan are forecast to remain the top three markets, with China rising to the top. South Korea is forecast to become the second largest market at $16.3 billion, while Taiwan is expected to reach $12.3 billion in equipment sales.

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