Machine Vision Trends to Watch in 2018 and Beyond

machine vision trendsMachine vision technology has found its way into applications inside and outside of factory settings, riding a wave of progress in automation technology and growing into a sizable global industry. Quite a bit of future technology will depend on machine vision, and the market will grow accordingly.

In 2017, according to a recent report, the global machine vision market was valued at $7.91 billion1. By 2023, the global market is expected to reach $12.29 billion – a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.61%. This robust growth is caused by a number of broader economic factors.

What’s Driving Long-Term Growth in Machine Vision?

The main drivers of growth in the machine vision market are the need for quality inspection and automation inside factories, growing demand for AI and IoT integrated systems that depend on machine vision, increasing adoption of Industrial 4.0 technology that uses vision to improve the productivity of robotic automation, and government initiatives to support smart factories across the globe.

Machine vision software will be one of the fastest growing segments between 2017 and 2023. The main reason for this is the expected increase in integration of AI into industrial machine vision software to enable deep learning in robotics technology.

PC-based industrial machine vision products, the oldest form of industrial machine vision, will retain a large portion of machine vision market share because of their ease of use and processing power.

What Trends Are Worth Watching Now?

While there are several main factors in the expected long-term growth of the global machine vision market, there are a few trends to keep an eye on now that are changing the way machine vision technology is deployed.

  • Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT): while AI and IoT technology are long-term drivers of growth, the IIoT is connecting production technology with information technology in today’s factories to increase productivity. The IIoT depends on heavily on machine vision to collect the information it needs.
  • Non-Industrial Applications: driverless cars, autonomous farm equipment, drone applications, intelligent traffic systems, guided surgery and other non-industrial uses of machine vision are rapidly growing in popularity, and often call for different functionality in machine vision than industrial applications. These non-industrial uses of machine vision are being deployed today and could be an important part of machine vision growth.
  • Ease of Use: Machine vision systems can often be complex from the user’s perspective. As mentioned above, PC-based machine vision systems will remain popular, despite their age, because of their ease of use. The desire for ease of use may drive further standardization in machine vision products, which could make them even easier to deploy inside and outside of factory settings.

The machine vision market is poised for long-term growth. The IIoT, growing non-industrial applications and ease of use are all helping buoy today’s machine vision market, but there are several other factors effecting long-term market expansion.

1. Industrial Machine Vision Market by Component (Hardware (Camera, Frame Grabber, Optics, Processor), and Software (Deep Learning, and Application Specific)), Product (PC-based, and Smart Camera-based), Application, End-User - Global Forecast to 2023


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