Extending the portfolio in the machine vision area
Matrix Vision and its product portfolio enhance the Balluff Group in an area that has so far played a relatively minor role: camera-based sensor systems or machine vision as it is known in the business. Founded in 1986 the company and its 100 employees is specialized in the development and marketing of frame grabbers, standard industrial cameras, video sensors, embedded systems and software in the area of industrial image processing. "Matrix Vision has been a successful development partner to us for the past four years," remarks Hermle. "One of our two camera-based product lines is from Matrix Vision. As a result, we already know that we are well-suited to one another and our product lines are optimally matched." Software also enjoys a high status at Matrix Vision: Around 30 of its 100 employees are mainly engaged in image processing in the industrial sector. As Hermle explains: "Matrix Vision lets us extend both our product portfolio in the area of camera-based sensor systems and our software development capacities.”
It is an opinion shared by Uwe Furtner, technical managing director of Matrix Vision: "Balluff is an excellent match for us. We have gotten to know each other very well through many years of cooperation in our development partnership, and our product portfolios do not overlap, but rather complement each other perfectly." Furtner also identifies the great potential for Matrix Vision within the Balluff Group in terms of sales and services for customers. "Many of our customers have production sites worldwide and expect local support from their suppliers. At some point Matrix Vision would have run into difficulties on that score, simply due to our size, but with the worldwide service, sales and logistics network that Balluff brings we now have access to a whole different set of possibilities."
In 2016 Balluff increased its revenues by 3.3 per cent to EUR 378 million (previous year: EUR 366 million) and began the first half of 2017 very promisingly with revenues up 21.8 per cent. Including the new acquisitions Balluff employs 3,550 people at 37 sites worldwide. While Balluff acquired 100 per cent ownership of iss innovative software services, 25 per cent of Matrix Vision's shares remain in the ownership of the previous shareholders. With over 300 developers engaged in sensor systems, identification and network solutions for industrial automation worldwide, continuous innovation at Balluff has always been held in high regard, reflected by the fact that in 2016, 13.7 per cent of revenue was invested in research and development.