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Vision firms battle with soaring bookings

Vision firms continue to post record revenue figures, as machine vision remains in high demand.

Stemmer Imaging's takings in the first nine months of the year were €99.5 million, up 28.6 per cent year-on-year, and up 12.2 per cent compared to 2019. Basler's billings are up 27 per cent over the first nine months, while Cognex posted $285 million for the third quarter, an increase of 13 per cent from Q3-20 and 6 per cent from Q2-21.

But it's order figures that demonstrate the level of demand for machine vision products. Basler's bookings are up 85 per cent over the first nine months, with Q3 bookings up 137 per cent over the same period last year.

Basler's chief financial officer, Hardy Mehl, said in Basler's quarterly update: 'There's a very strong order momentum.'

Mehl said that in previous years bookings tend to slow down but this year have remained high – bookings for Q3 were €85 million, the same as in Q2.

Stemmer Imaging's order intake for the first nine months reached €121.2 million, up 49.1 per cent year-on-year and 39.2 per cent year-on-year in 2019.

Mehl added that Basler is seeing a large difference between bookings and billings. 'We are piling up backlog,' he said. While Q3 bookings were €85 million, billings were €49 million, which has slowed from Q2 at €61 million.

'The revenue has slowed down from Q2 and the only reason for that is the shortage in semiconductor component supply,' Mehl said. He said Basler is ready to produce more, but supply chains don't allow this at the moment, and that the situation will remain for the foreseeable future.

Robert J. Willett, CEO of Cognex, said in a statement: 'In regard to supply, we believe we have been managing global chip shortages relatively well so far. However, the constraints are beginning to hold back revenue growth and drive cost increases more noticeably. Demand from customers is high and meeting their needs remains our top priority as we work through this situation.'


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