Sales of machine vision components and systems in North America grew 19% in the first quarter of 2018 to $709 million, which represents a new record for quarterly sales, according to new statistics released by the AIA.
In terms of a breakdown of what was sold, total machine vision sales include sales of components and systems. The machine vision components category grew 28% to a new record high of $107 million during Q1, with growth primarily driven by camera sales, which increased 44% to $65 million. Optics (16% to $12 million) and software (9% to $5 million) markets also experienced growth in the first quarter.
Sales of machine vision systems increased 17% to $597 million during the first quarter, with sales of smart cameras climbing 26% to $109 million. Application-specific machine vision systems also grew 16% to $488 million, according to the AIA.
"Our most recent poll of industry experts revealed that 45% of respondents expect the market to increase over the next two quarters, 42% predict stagnation, and 13% are bracing for a decline," said Alex Shikany, Vice President – AIA. "We continue to see demand for vision systems that are smaller, intuitive, cost effective, and complimentary to a more connected automation system. It’s an exciting time to be in this field with the innovation we’re seeing at every turn."
Jeff Burnstein, AIA President, also commented: "Vision technology is being integrated in a growing number of automation applications today because the technology is enabling new ways to solve complex challenges," he said. "Growing global trends such as autonomous vehicles, AI, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) rely heavily on vision and imaging, which bodes well for the future of this industry."
Reflecting such growth in the market was the fact that The Vision Show 2018, which was held April 10-12 in Boston, broke attendance records. More than 2,500 people attended the show, including over 275 participants in the 50+ conference sessions held at the event, while more than 150 exhibitors showcased the latest machine vision technologies and services on the show floor.
Looking forward, the AIA and the Robotics Industries Association (RIA), will once again offer the Collaborative Robots and Advanced Vision event, but have added artificial intelligence into the scope of coverage and the title itself. The Collaborative Robots, Advanced Vision & AI Conference (CRAV.ai) will take place October 24-25, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, CA. >>> View more information on this show here.