Total machine vision sales include machine vision systems and components. Sales of machine vision systems increased 10% to $509 million in Q1 2017, and within this category, sales of smart cameras jumped 16% to $87 million. Application-specific machine vision systems, meanwhile, grew 8% to $422 million. The components category also grew 8% to $85 million, with each individual category— cameras, lighting, optics, imaging boards, and software—increasing for the year.
This growth is in line with what Alex Shikany, AIA’s Director of Market Analysistold Vision Systems Design at Automate 2017, when he said that he expects 2017 to be a strong year, with an estimate of 3% growth year over year.
"Our most recent survey of industry experts shows that 50% of respondents expect the market to increase over the next six months, 40% predict stagnation, and only 10% are bracing for a decline," said Shikany. "Vision companies continue to explore new applications in a variety of industries adopting the technology. The move toward smart factories utilizing the industrial internet of things is also providing more opportunities for vision today than ever before."
AIA President Jeff Burnstein, added: "The market’s growing interest in vision technology was apparent at our Automate show and conference in Chicago this year," he said. "There were a record number of vision exhibitors at the show who were displaying cutting edge new vision technology. Automate’s educational conference – which included AIA’s Basic and Advanced Certified Vision Professional programs – also drew record attendance."
In addition to the sales of machine vision systems and components growing, North American robotics companies also posted the strongest ever first quarter results on record, according to the Robotic Industries Association. In total, 9,773 robots valued at approximately $516 million were ordered from North American robotics companies during the first quarter of 2017, which represents growth of 32% in units over the same period last year, which held the previous record. Order revenue grew 28% over Q1 of 2016, and robot shipments also reached new heights, with 8,824 robots valued at $494 million shipped to North American customers in the opening quarter of the year. This represents 24% grow in units and 5% in dollars, year over year.
Growth in these both of these markets led to the setting of a new attendance record at Automate 2017, which was held in Chicago from April 3-6. At the event, more than 400 exhibitors displayed their latest technologies and services, while over 20,000 people attended the event, including more than 1,000 participants in the 120+ Automate conference sessions held at the event.
"All of our statistics increased significantly from the last Automate show in 2015," added Burnstein. "Total number of show attendees jumped 37 percent and conference participation grew by over 90 percent compared to 2015. This growth demonstrates that there is an increasing need for an event like Automate that provides practical, real-world solutions for companies currently automating or considering automation."
This fall, the RIA and AIA will hold its first Collaborative Robots & Advanced Vision Conference, which will take place November 15-16 in San Jose, CA, USA. More information on this event will be made available soon.
View more information on the AIA.
Learn more: search the Vision Systems Design Buyer's Guide for companies, new products, press releases, and videos