Hikvisions Way to Europe
Interview with Shawn Huo, General Manager of International Business, Hikvision
Hikvision has recently signed an agreement with MaxxVision about the distribution of Hikvision´s machine vision portfolio in the German (DACH) market. What can we expect from the new play on the market and where can we see the first products? We asked these and other questions Shawn Huo, General Manager of International Business, Hikvision.
Mr. Huo, Hikvision is well-known as a leading supplier of video surveillance equipment. Please tell us a little more about your specific portfolio for the machine vision market.
Hikvision’s background is the world’s leading video surveillance products supplier. The company was established in 2001 by 28 engineers, and till now Hikvision had over 25,000 employees including over 10,000 engineers. With the significant investment in R&D which has led to notable advances on technologies and products, Hikvision achieved record revenue of $6.6B in 2017. Based on the rich experience in the image processing for more than 15 years, Hikvision entered into machine vision area in 2014, focusing on to bring new machine vision components and solutions for industry. Relying on the core technologies of vision we have developed, and the support getting from our strategic partners such as Intel, Sony and On-Semi, Hikvision have made wide machine vision product range, including standard area/line scan camera, smart camera, 3D scanner, vision controller and industrial lens.
In which fields of application are these cameras already in use in the Chinese or other markets?
Our cameras are used in many applications in China, like semi-conductor, PCB industries and etc. The biggest market in China is electronic manufacturing system such as mobile phone production chain, notebook production chain, and all kinds of consumer electronic products. Lots of suppliers of such production lines are using Hikvision cameras to build machines because of camera quality, performance and the great service we provide. Apart from that, our code reading camera and 3D scanner for dimension measurement are also used a lot in logistic industry as of the e-commerce rapidly growing. In Europe, we have worked with like system integrators of robot vision, and universities as well.
How long have you been active in the machine vision market?
As I just said, Hikvision has been working on image processing technology since company established.
Internally, Hikvision started AI research and development in 2005, mainly focusing on computer vision and pattern recognition technologies. In the year of 2013, we set up Hikvision institute and invested more on AI, deep learning and big data development. In the year of 2014, company transferred core engineers from institute and established machine vision department to officially start products development and the business. Because of success in domestic market, we started enter into European market since beginning of 2017.
Are you addressing the embedded vision market too? If yes, in which way?
Actually one of core technologies Hikvision have is embedded system development. Hikvision was one of earliest companies to provide the ANPR solutions which algorithm was embedded at camera end. In the machine vision area, we have developed board level cameras with USB3.0 interface. Hikvision will keep developing embedded vision products as we believe that’s one of technology trends in the future.
Why did you choose MaxxVision for your distributor? Where do you see synergy effects with them?
MaxxVision is the leading distributor and the ideal partner for the German-speaking market. In addition, MaxxVision are experts in marketing and has the excellent know-how to convey the benefits of our products to potential customers. We look forward to a partnership and successful cooperation.
Do you have or do you plan other channels of distribution for the German and/or European market – e.g. through OEMs or system integrators?
Europe is big market but very different with multiple countries with different culture, industries and business. We don’t expect to use same strategy to address all European markets, we will deeply analyze each single country and adopt different sales structure strategy to serve customers.
How will service and support be organized for your German customers?
There are dedicated resource organized for German customers at Hikvision, we work very closely with distribution channel to provide the best service and support, therefore customers can always get in touch with either distribution channel or Hikvision directly. As a global company, Hikvision’s European headquarter is in Amsterdam, but we also have branch office in Frankfurt, it will be much easier for us to organize service for our German customers.
Which new machine vision products can we expect from Hikvision soon? Maybe at the Vision show in Stuttgart already?
As being engineering background company, Hikvision always aim to bring new products with innovative technologies. There will be quite many new products in coming months, such as cameras with new Sony Pregius sensors, 4K/8K line scan with camera link, 43MP CCD high resolution camera, 12MP/25MP with 10GigE, VPU ID reader with deep learning technology. We will show some new products at Control Show on 24th – 27th April.