“We are here to teach machines to see and to think”, Dr. Andreas Franz says over the first cup of Espresso. “This is our vision and we get a step closer each day.”
When he enters FRAMOS in the morning, Franz will be able to look back on an impressive development. In 1981, with this thought, his father Bernd Franz founded FRAMOS, the image processing specialist of today. Initially focusing on the distribution of sensors, and supported by a strong partnership with SONY, the company was developed in the 1980s to become a respected expert in industrial image processing. Even today, the industry still speaks about the CCD forums organized by FRAMOS: In the 1990s, the most prestigious imaging experts met and discussed the latest technological developments and innovations. What was not foreseeable at that time was the decisive role image processing would play for Industry 4.0 and for technological digitization.
With the continuous expansion of the portfolio involving strong partners from the fields of sensor, optics, cameras, and complementary accessories, as well as expansion in European countries, Franz Senior has laid the foundation stone for the present development of FRAMOS from a purely sales company to the fully integrated technology partner for image processing. Since 2008, Dr. Andreas Franz has lead the company, with a clear service concept focusing on the strategic orientation of the business.
“With services from purchasing through technological advice and development support up to warehousing and support, FRAMOS can assist customers as a partner along the entire supply chain from development to production. The ideal application solution for the customer on the basis of finding a manufacturer-independent advisory service is essential for us during each step of the project.”
For this customer focus and his vision of seeing and thinking machines, Andreas Franz is working with the methods of start-ups. And the mischievous smile of the young boy who pursues consequently his dreams. For the implementation of his objectives, with McKinsey education and his own early experience as a businessman, the entrepreneur has put the parent company on a new footing. From a patriarchic lead family owned company to a global specialist with an agile leadership culture: an equal management team directs the individual business and country units in the areas of sensors, cameras, imaging systems and engineering, and specifies together how customer needs and strategic orientations will be implemented within the organization. The decision of FRAMOS as a global image processing partner to develop itself from the sensor to the system has brought many structural changes in recent years.
FRAMOS North America has become a mainstay of the company; further expansion to Asia is tangible and already active with a strong partner network. From a small team of developers which took care of customer-specific requirements, a separate department of imaging systems has been formed, which, by now, has its own products on the market and OEM solutions such as the volume light grid VLG or the optical 3D tracking system OTS. Thus, with many years of experience and innovative thinking, FRAMOS has positioned itself as an innovation partner that takes new directions in image processing, and for the customers.
People are the most important building block for this success, according to Andreas Franz. Within the last decade, FRAMOS has grown from 10 to 100 employees. Thus, cultural diversity and interdisciplinary teams ensure more and more new challenges and personal growth. The different specialists have one thing in common: enthusiasm for the topic of image processing. The driving force that emanated from the former niche sector, has now arrived in the overall industry and technology market. Image processing is the eye of the smart factory and automation, and makes an important contribution to technological development and networking in medicine, mobility and the digitization of modern society. Whether self-thinking robotic colleagues, autonomous vehicle concepts or automated production processes with intelligent control mechanisms – image processing combines speed with smart selectivity, and non-contact investigation constantly gains new fields of application through efficient systems. Dr. Andreas Franz’ vision to teach machines to see and to think is nearly reality and promotes industrial and technological growth with the penetration of other markets and fields of application. With 35 years of experience, focus on customers and a solution-oriented approach, FRAMOS supports image processing as a global partner for all services related to every aspect of the purchasing, development, consultation, support and logistics.
So, Dr. Andreas Franz is looking forward to future developments: “With deep-learning algorithms, networking in the cloud and new collaboration approaches between human, machine and systems, the magic is actually in image processing, as it is in the processing of the underlying software and the intelligent use of data. There is still huge potential, and we are happy, as a full-service provider, to further develop our expertise for and with our customers.”