.::APHESA SPRL - imaging, electronics and software consulting::.

Why technical training is important

During my professional career i very often met customers to help them design-in our products or to negotiate product specifications. I also worked with a lot of sales people to help them convince a customer to try our product or make sure they address the right markets and applications for our products.

One of the things i often noticed is the lack of understanding of the product because of the limited knowledge about the technology. Not knowing enough about a technology limits the capability to make the best use of a product or to fit it into the right application or market. Very often people requested us information about a product that was not the right fit for their project because of their limited understanding. And often bad product selection causes a bad final product.

Several examples:

  • a customer asked us to design a color camera but failed to tell us enough about their confidential project, being certain that they had specified the right camera for their application. Unfortunately it turned out, too late into the project development, that the right solution for their application was a variable color light source and a monochrome image sensor; unfortunately they had specified a white LED light source and a color sensor. They did not know that it was possible to make color with a monochrome sensor.
  • another customer requested a custom image sensor with multiple features inside the sensor, which made the pixel very complex and caused a lot of design trade-offs. In the end, all features worked but the SNR of the sensor was not very high and the customer complained that the sensor was low performing compared to competitor's sensors. None of the competitor's sensors has all those features requested by the customer, but he failed to tell us that SNR was the most important feature for his application as he did not really know about sensor design or even about image SNR.
  • a customer requested us to design a camera for a specific application with a specific embedded image processing algorithm. Later he asked for additional features to be embedded into the camera but these features required a larger FPGA and more memory. A full redesign of the processing board was quoted, even though we had foreseen additional resources in the first design, we were not expecting such a major new feature to be necessary.
  • we had several cameras to be measured according to the EMVA1288 standard that do not follow the minimum requirements of EMVA1288 but we could only find out when trying to measure the cameras as the customers always tell us that the camera is fully typical, like any other industrial camera. We waste time, do not provide the measurement results to the customers and they don't understand why they receive an invoice for our work.

Knowledge is important in order to take the right decisions or to provide the right information and to avoid pitfalls. It is important for designers, project managers, sales, marketing and strategy managers.

Since several years i have been teaching about image sensors, imaging and camera technology and i wrote books. The feedback on these training sessions and books has always been very good. We started doing this for our customers, before agreeing on or negotiating a specification, it has proven that the training helps the customer and us drive the negotiation towards a better and more appropriate specification for the product and also reduced the time required to agree on the specification. It also helped the customers understand the cost drivers in a custom design or another engineering project.

In 2015, i decided to extend these courses to more topics and started giving course more intensively, with an audience of more than 70 people in 2015 and always an excellent feedback. Some of the attendees could immediately start using the new information in their work. We now run these courses as a business and not only as part of the spec negotiation or equipment training with customers.

I now give a very popular 2.5 days training about image sensors, cameras and imaging technology regularly, with already more than 25 people subscribed in 2016. I also offer this training to custom image sensor design companies who face difficult discussions with their customers due to a lack of knowledge from one side. We also train new engineers or refresh the knowledge of experienced engineers in various companies.

Knowing is the first step to reaching your goals.

The next courses are scheduled in Singapore, Boston and Brussels in April and May. More information is available from our website.

 
 

About us

Aphesa develops custom cameras and custom electronics including FPGA code and embedded software. We also provide EMVA1288 test equipment and test services as well as consulting and training in machine vision and imaging technologies. Aphesa works in several markets including industrial, medical, oil&gas and security.