Annual AIA Business Conference draws record attendance

The Automated Imaging Association (AIA), the only North American trade group dedicated to promoting the use of automated image-capture and analysis technologies, which celebrates its fifteenth anniversary in 1999, held its seventh Annual Business Conference in Orlando, FL, last month. The registration count of 186 attendees set a new audience record. Jeffrey A. Burnstein, AIA executive director, said, "In strong years for the machine-vision market, as well as in slower growth years, the business

Annual AIA Business Conference draws record attendance

The Automated Imaging Association (AIA), the only North American trade group dedicated to promoting the use of automated image-capture and analysis technologies, which celebrates its fifteenth anniversary in 1999, held its seventh Annual Business Conference in Orlando, FL, last month. The registration count of 186 attendees set a new audience record. Jeffrey A. Burnstein, AIA executive director, said, "In strong years for the machine-vision market, as well as in slower growth years, the business conference continues to provide unparalleled networking opportunities for executives in this industry. The presentations always offer new insights, and the chance to form new business relationships and expand existing relationships makes the conference invaluable."

Prior to the conference, David L. Dechow, president of Insight Integration Inc. (Lansing, MI) was elected the 1999-2000 president of the AIA. The association, which now has 210 member companies, also elected Brian Doody, vice president of operations at Dalsa Inc. (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), and John Merva, general manager, RSVI Northeast Robotics (Weare, NH), to two-year terms on its board of directors.

During the conference, the 1999 Automated Imaging Achievement Award was presented to Stanley M. Karandanis, chairman of the board of Datacube Inc. (Danvers, MA). He commented, "It gives me no end of joy to see this industry grow and to see all of our friends succeed. I have to look at this industry and its growth and admire them for their innovation. Being awarded this prize humbles me."

The highlight of the conference was the AIA annual report on market issues and opportunities. As he has done for the past six years, Nello Zuech, president of Vision Systems International (Yardley, PA), presented the 1998 Machine-Vision Market Surveys & Interpretations. He said that the total North American machine-vision merchant market totaled $1.252 billion in 1998, an increase of just 1.5% over the total of $1.234 billion in 1997. Compared to the 1997 results, the leading end-user industries were semiconductor at $402.2 million, a drop of 7.7%; electronic at $200.2 million, an increase of 10.1%; miscellaneous at $185.1 million, a rise of 28.9%; food processing at $99.6 million, a uptick of 1.4%; and transportation at $87.6 million, a fall of 5.7%.

Ross Hutchinson, general manager of Mytec Technologies Inc. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), spoke on "Biometrics, An Emerging Technology for Enterprise Security Solutions." He defined a biometric as a unique, measurable characteristic or trait of a human being for automatically recognizing or verifying identity. The benefits of this technology, said Hutchinson, are true authentication and nonrepudiation, high level of security, convenience and ease of use, and the fact that the information cannot be shared with an unauthorized user and cannot be lost, forgotten, or misplaced. His market ranking of the various biometric applications was fingerprinting at 78%, voice recognition at 6%, retina/iris and hand geometry both at 5%, signature at 4%, and signature at 2%.

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