Machine vision market in North America sets new record in 2015

March 1, 2016
Sales of machine vision components and systems in North America grew to $2.3 billion in 2015, the highest annual total on record, according to new figures released by the AIA. 

Sales of machine vision components and systems in North America grew to $2.3 billion in 2015, the highest annual total on record, according to new figures released by the AIA.

Total machine vision sales figures, which grew less than 1%, includes the sales of machine vision components and machine vision systems.

Machine vision components sales grew 4% to $316 million 2015. This includes were lighting (16% growth), imaging boards (10%), and software (4%). Sales of machine vision systems in 2015 was flat at $2 billion, with application specific machine vision systems growing by 1% to $1.7 billion, and smart cameras contracting by 4% to $289 million.

A cyclical downturn, which the AIA noted in a previous report as being common in the industry, saw sales slow in the fourth quarter mainly due to a decrease in sales of machine vision systems. The systems category saw a 17% decrease in sales in Q4, which was the second quarter in a row that saw the line move downward. When combined with the flat growth of machine vision components, total North American sales for machine vision decreased by 15% in the fourth quarter of 2015.

"Fifty-nine percent of industry experts are expecting things to turn upward for machine vision component markets in the first six months of 2016, 39% believe they will remain flat, and three percent expect further declines," said Alex Shikany, AIA’s Director of Market Analysis. "For machine vision systems, 56% of survey respondents believe the category will remain flat, 32% expect an increase, and 12% expect a decline."

AIA President Jeff Burnstein also commented: "Interest in vision and imaging technology is at an all-time high today," he said "We continue to see new and exciting applications emerge for vision in all aspects of automation. Imaging technology is being used more and more outside the factory as well, with growth in areas like life sciences and unmanned aerial vehicles. It is an exciting time to be involved in this industry."

The AIA expects its flagship trade show, The Vision Show, to draw record attendance on May 3-5, 2016 in Boston, MA, USA. This year, the show will feature an additional hall, devoted to vision technologies being used in growing applications such as collaborative robotics, life sciences, and a pavilion highlighting leading vision research. Additionally, the Robotics Industries Association (RIA) is hosting its International Collaborative Robots Workshop in conjunction with this show on May 3-4, 2016 in Boston.

View more information on the AIA.
View more information on the RIA.

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About the Author

James Carroll

Former VSD Editor James Carroll joined the team 2013.  Carroll covered machine vision and imaging from numerous angles, including application stories, industry news, market updates, and new products. In addition to writing and editing articles, Carroll managed the Innovators Awards program and webcasts.

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