The annual market study from the Automated Imaging Association (AIA; Ann Arbor, MI, USA) says overall machine vision sales should increase by 2.6-4.6% in 2010, depending upon the extent of the current economic recovery and the rate of change in industrial production. This follows upon a 29.2% decline experienced in 2009. The study is titled Machine Vision Markets – 2010 Results and Forecasts to 2014.
The findings are based on actual 2009 results and organized primarily around the major machine vision product markets: optics, lighting, cameras, imaging boards, software, smart cameras and application-specific machine vision systems. While the study predominantly focuses on North American markets, it also provides worldwide and regional estimates.
According to the AIA, the trend line that underlies machine vision sales is linear and positive and will remain as such because of machine vision’s value proposition, which affords manufacturers greater cost efficiencies in production and increased product quality. A rapid, V-shaped machine vision recovery with sales returning to their historical trend line in 2010 is not foreseen, given the likelihood of a tentative and weak recovery in the overall economy.
Because the specific pattern of the economic recovery is not knowable in advance, the study provides different recovery scenarios and compares predicted sales to sales based on an extrapolated, historical trend line. And given the importance of the economy to the performance of machine vision product markets, the study dedicates a chapter to an analysis of the recession and forecasts of economic growth, industrial production, and the performance of industry sectors such as the automotive, semiconductor, and pharmaceutical industries.
“Particularly in these challenging times, where uncertainty surrounds the extent and durability of the economic recovery, machine vision companies need to base their product-development and sales strategies on the most accurate view of the marketplace possible,” said Paul Kellett, AIA’s Director of Market Analysis. “To satisfy this need, the study analyzes sales by product feature, identifying the best-selling feature configurations by product market and key trends that suggest the direction of evolving customer preferences.
“Our goal is to provide essential and actionable information that machine vision companies can apply directly to sales strategies and tactics. Purchasers will gain a clear sense of the industry’s health, emerging product and application trends, and changes in the marketplace,” Kellett asserted.
Consisting of 13 chapters, 183 pages, and 145 data exhibits, the study estimates market size and growth, focuses on market trends, market characteristics, sales by product feature and new market opportunities outside of manufacturing. The study is available to AIA members for $850; the non-AIA member price is $1,200.
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