Sony Industrial CCD Cameras, A Hot Market

11 Jun

I’m stepping a little outside my normal blogging today to comment on Sony Corporation and the market opportunity for industrial vision system products.  Sony has been in this market for decades.  As one of the first innovator, they developed CCD technology for solid state cameras,  and still remains the leading manufacturer for these devices.

Sony XC-ST50 Industrial Camera

They have become a commodity in the hot tech market of robotic vision systems and industrial robot manufacturing, a global market expected to reach $5 billion by 2018.  Low cost solid state cameras have grown alongside computer technology, a pairing made in heaven.  They have enabled the development of smart robot systems to aid in manufacturing and quality control.  Not only has the technology reduced labor costs, it has greatly increased productivity since quality control and inspection can be accomplished at blazing speeds compared to manual inspection.

Ninety percent of the Sony professional or industrial product line can be viewed at Sony’s B2B website

Sony’s sales channel uses an exclusive dealer network.  Having a Sony sales contract is considered gold in the industry and worth millions in annual sales to even the smallest company.  But those contracts are hard to secure and come with some pretty heavy handed restrictions and performance requirements.

There are just a handful of tier 1 Sony dealers in North America, but there are far more tier 2 and 3, i.e. resellers who by through Sony dealers and sell to the end user.  Companies like Industrial Camera Sales and Service can create a very good business of processing customer orders online and drop shipping direct from the Sony dealer, never having to touch inventory.  One of the most popular lines, and best seller, is the Sony XC camera line.  Models such as the Sony XC-ST50 and XC-ST51 are staples in the machine vision industry and are sold as true commodities, i.e. based on price and availability.

As digital imaging products decrease in price and increase in performance, more applications are appearing which previous were cost prohibitive.  For example, rear view cameras for motor vehciles are quickly becoming stand equipment in many mid and high end models.

We can expect to see this trend continue for the foreseeable future.


Yes.. there are still pirates. But they call themselves financial institutions

25 Nov

Did you know that John Dillinger is still alive ?  Yep.. he’s alive and well, but instead of robbing banks, he now works for them and is robbing the consumer.  Of course, they’d never admit to that, but how else do you explain the rapid rise of payday loans and cash advance online services ?

These services can legally fleece you with APR rates of 300%, 400%, even 1000% and they do it while claiming to Cash Advance Onlineprovide a valuable service.  Need emergency cash ?  They are waiting in line to help you out… just be prepared to pay for the privilege.

This is how a payday loan works.  If you go to a local branch, you’ll take proof of employment ( usually three pay check stubs ), your checkbook, and your drivers license.  Write them a check for up to $1,500 plus a service fee which can be $50, $100, $200, or more, depending on their terms and length of the loan, but usually the loan is fixed for 14 days, or until your next payday.

So let’s say you have written a check for $1,200.  They agree to hold the check until your next payday and deposit $1,000 in your checking account the next day.  When payday rolls around, they redeem your check for $1,200.  It sounds all clean and simple, you might even be giddy… except not only have you just spent your pay check before you even received it, you also gave them $200 for the privilege… that’s 20% for a two week loan, or an effective APR of 520% !  Seriously, you better have needed that loan pretty badly cuz you just paid a lot for it.
There are other alternatives for emergency loans.  Join a credit union if you do not already belong to one.  They will often provide short term loans with installment plans at WAY better rates.  Or look into a cash advance on your credit card.  I’m not talking about an ATM, call your credit card company and ask if they can arrange an advance with 4-12 week terms to pay it back.

If your emergency need is for bill payment and you don’t have the credit available on cards, call your creditors and ask for a delay in payment.  Most will work with you.

I’ve written more on this subject on a website I just launched.  Visit  I’ve included more alternatives to cash advance loans, and even included some links so you can read what the Better Business Bureau and Federal Trade Commission has to say about your rights as a borrower.

Good Luck.