Mike, Sony has now provided a final schedule for the discontinuation of their CCD sensor production. What does this mean for Allied Vision and its customers?
We now have an official list of all sensors to be discontinued as well as their respective schedule. As discussed in our last interview, there will be two categories: One group of sensors will be shipped by Sony until 2020, the other group until 2026. Now I have good news for all our customers: nearly all Allied Vision cameras with Sony CCD sensors (96% of our models) are in the second group. That means that we will be able to source sensors from Sony until 2026 and secure deliveries of cameras until that date and even beyond if needed.
So what are the sensors that will be stopped first and what does that mean for concerned customers?
Out of all CCD sensors from Sony we are using, only two will be discontinued in the first phase (2020): That’s the ICX692 and ICX693. These two sensors are utilized by four Allied Vision camera models:
- Mako G-050 B/C
- Mako G-095 B/C
- Manta G-095 B/C
- Guppy PRO F-095C
Mako G-050 and G-095 have recently been released at the beginning of this year so there is not yet a big customer base for these two camera models yet. These sensors are also used in earlier models, namely the Manta G-095 and Guppy PRO F-095 which are in use by some of our customers.
We will contact our Partners and customers as soon as possible to discuss with them their future needs and either make sure that they can rely on secured camera deliveries or work together on a smooth transition to alternative camera models. We also invite our customers to proactively talk with their Allied Vision sales representative. This applies also to customers using sensors of the later discontinuation group.
Why should Allied Vision customers act now if the sensors are available until 2020 or 2026 respectively?
Sony has committed to ship CCD sensors until 2020 and 2026 respectively. But they will actually stop their wafer production earlier, in 2017. That means that we need to provide Sony with demand forecasts in time for them to produce enough wafers to deliver the sensor quantities needed beyond 2017. We at Allied Vision will do our own forecasts to secure supply of all our customers based on our forecasts, but in particular, our larger OEM customers should help us by expressing their future needs so we can plan more accurately.
Sony’s last time delivery does not mean last time buy. We must place our orders much earlier, which is why we have already established an internal project to prepare a proper planning. In fact, the only way for our customers to have a 100% secure delivery is to place a frame order contract (also known as a blanket order) for future deliveries.
Where can Allied Vision customers find out if their camera model(s) is/are concerned?
We have created a microsite at alliedvision.com/ccd where our customers can find the complete list of all impacted camera models, news updates and FAQs about this topic as well as a simple contact form to contact our sales team either for further guidance if needed, or to discuss usage forecasts for our planning. This microsite is now available for your use.