The global 3C electronics industry is moving to developing countries, and the characteristics of high precision and rapid replacement boost the iteration of machine vision technology. In 2021, the revenue of China's electronic information manufacturing industry increased by 14.7% year-on-year, gradually becoming the world's largest electronic information products manufacturing base. Due to the small size of components in the consumer electronics industry, high detection requirements, natural suitable for machine vision system landing, its high precision requirements also reverse promote the innovation of machine vision technology. In addition, the consumer electronics industry has a short product life cycle and fast replacement, so manufacturing enterprises need to frequently replace production line equipment, which further increases the demand for machine vision industry. According to CMVU statistics, China's machine vision sales in 3C electronics grew by up to 34% from 2019 to 2021. The penetration rate of machine vision in 3C electronics industry is expected to continue to increase.
China's electronic information manufacturing industry revenue growth year-on-year （2017-2021）Chart 1
Sales Growth of Machine Vision Consumer Electronics Applications in China (2019-2021) Chart 2
Smart cars are evolving into "big electronics". In the field of automobile manufacturing, parts detection, assembly verification detection, glue detection and so on are inseparable from machine vision technology. The electric and intelligent automobile industry will promote the evolution of automobiles to "large electronic products", and the industry will enhance the demand for equipment with machine vision inspection technology. In 2021, the sales volume of new energy vehicles in China increased by 157.6% year-on-year to 3.521 million units, and the scale of the auto industry with machine vision has exceeded 1 billion yuan in the same period.
New Energy Vehicle Sales in China (2017-2021) Chart 1
China Machine Vision Automotive Industry Application Sales Data (2019-2021) Chart 2
Lithium battery technology is complex, and machine vision application scenarios are rich. Machine vision is mainly used in coating correction, size measurement, surface defect detection, size measurement, winding alignment and other links. It is mainly used in the folding of bare electrode ears, the cutting debris of electrode ears, the welding quality inspection of electrode ears, the top cover of the shell and the sealing nail, and the appearance inspection, size measurement, adhesive positioning and so on. Modules and PACK segments are mainly used for bottom blue glue, BUSBAR weld, side weld, module full size and PACK inspection, etc.
Application examples of machine vision technology in lithium battery manufacturing
The booming development of new energy vehicles has driven the machine vision of the lithium industry to a blowout situation. China's production of lithium batteries reached 23.26 billion in 2021, up 23.4 percent year on year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. According to incomplete statistics of GGII, in 2021, China's power battery investment and expansion projects 63 (including the raised projects), the total investment (including the proposed investment) exceeded 621.8 billion yuan, and the long-term planned new capacity has exceeded 2.5TWh. The rapid increase of lithium capacity has driven the rapid development of machine vision, with the market size reaching 1.77 billion yuan in 2021 and a CAGR of up to 110% from 2019 to 2021.
Lithium ion Battery Production in China (2017-2021) Chart1
Machine Vision Lithium Battery Application Sales Growth in China (2019-2021) Chart2
The rapid development of photovoltaic industry brings the explosion of machine vision inspection demand. The production of photovoltaic cell sheet may produce debris, cell sheet hidden crack, surface contamination, poor electrode and other defects. From 2018 to 2021, the output of solar cells in China grew at a CAGR of 35%, with a year-on-year growth rate of 42% in 2021. The industry ushered in an accelerated growth period. During the same period, the PV industry application scale of machine vision rapidly increased from 260 million yuan in 2019 to 650 million yuan in 2021. CAGR of 58%.
Solar Cell Production in China (2017-2021) Chart1
China Machine Vision PV Industry Application Sales Growth Rate (2019-2021) Chart2
The application direction of machine vision includes industrial level and consumer level, and the industrial boundary tends to be blurred. According to data from the Machine Vision Alliance (CMVU), the fields of security and monitoring, logistics sorting and intelligent transportation for consumer machine vision accounted for only 17.0%, but the share increased year by year. With the commercial landing of AI and 5G technology, machine vision combined with 3D reconstruction, motion/expression capture, rendering and other technologies can realize the reduction of face, expression, action and clothing, and construct a simulated realistic character image. In addition, face recognition, motion recognition, object tracking and other technologies can be used to simulate human visual ability. Therefore, machine vision in film and television, games, live broadcasting, cultural tourism and other fields there is room to play its part. （Caitong Securities Research Institute）