North American machine vision market closing in on record year

During the first nine months of 2014, total sales of machine vision components and systems increased 12% from the previous year to $1.65 billion, which represents the best nine month start by the market since the AIA began tracking results five years ago.

During the first nine months of 2014, total sales of machine vision components and systems increased 12% from the previous year to $1.65 billion, which represents the best nine month start by the market since the AIA began tracking results five years ago.

"The sustained growth of the machine vision market in North America this year is very promising," said AIA President Jeff Burnstein. "We continue to see interest for machine vision products growing outside the factory in industries like life sciences and security, which is great for the long term health of this market."

Total sales include sales of machine vision components and systems. Sales of machine vision components are up 18% to $230 million through October, while systems are up 12% to $1.42 billion. The third quarter of 2014, in particular, was strong for machine vision systems, having seen a 19% growth rate. With the exception of lighting and imaging boards, each component and system category increased in Q3 as well, including smart cameras (44%), optics (16%), software (14%), and application-specific machine vision systems (14%).

"Despite the tempered expectations of AIA membership after the strong first half of the year, the market continued to grow in the third quarter," added Alex Shikany, AIA’s Director of Market Analysis. "Our most recent survey shows that AIA members expect machine vision components to increase and systems to remain flat in the next six months."

Shikany told Vision Systems Design that a strong manufacturing industry, better price points, and increased interest in machine vision helped the market to grow.

"Manufacturing in North America has been auspiciously strong in 2014. This, coupled with the growing affordability of vision systems has led to increased investment in automation from a wide variety of companies in many different industries," he said.

He added, "Today, vision systems make sense not only for large manufacturers, but also small and medium size companies in a variety of trades. Interest in vision systems, as well as robotics and motion control products, is at an all-time high in today’s market, and that is a promising signal moving forward."

View the AIA press release.

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