Prior to the VISION show, the health of the global machine vision market was a topic that had I been covering for a number of months that I found particularly interesting. For obvious reasons, sales of machine vision systems, components, cameras, integration services, software, and other imaging solutions, are all quite important to everyone within the industry.
With this in mind, I decided to bring it up to each and every person I sat down with at the show (there were plenty.) Prior to my first meeting, however, I had the chance to see Anne Wendel, VDMA machine vision, provide an overview of the German and European machine vision markets during the first Industrial Vision Days presentation. During this session, she provided data which indicates that the industry, at least in this portion of the world, is on the rise.
Last year, the VDMA reported that the German machine vision industry grew more than 6% to an annual sales figure of $1.61 billion. In 2014, a minimum of a 10% growth to $1.77 billion in sales is expected, while even further growth for 2015 is anticipated, according to Wendel. Growth in 2014 can be attributed to an increase in foreign order incomes in Germany, as well as an increased demand for embedded vision , an increased use in robotics, and a rising demand for non-industrial applications such as intelligent transportation systems, medical imaging, logistics, and security and surveillance. In addition, further applications will emerge due to such factors as continued/expanded use in Asia, a rise in 3D technologies, improved computer performance, simplification, and the standardization of components.
Another presentation I was able to see, which came somewhere in the middle of all of my show interviews, was the 2014 North American Vision Market Update from Alex Shikany, AIA Director, Market Analysis. During this, Shikany explained that in 2014, the market will grow approximately 8% due to a number of reasons. These include an improving U.S. economy, lower unemployment numbers, and an improvement in the manufacturing industry, of which automation is a strong trend and focus area. In addition, statistics from the Robotics Industry Association indicate that the robotics industry is booming, which in turn will provide a boost in machine vision sales.
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