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New Record Set By North American Machine Vision Market in 2016

POSTED 03/09/2017

Ann Arbor, Michigan – North American sales of machine vision components and systems grew to $2.3 billion in 2016, its highest annual total on record, according to new statistics issued by AIA, the industry’s trade group.

Total machine vision sales, which grew by one half of one percent, include sales of machine vision components and systems. The machine vision components category saw growth of one percent to $320 million in 2016. The leading growth categories for machine vision components in 2016 were cameras (three percent), lighting (one percent), and software (one percent).

The machine vision systems category was flat in 2016 at $2.0 billion. Within machine vision systems, sales of smart cameras increased 13% to $326 million, while sales of application specific machine vision systems (ASMV) contracted by two percent to $1.6 billion.

The machine vision market in North America performed particularly well in the fourth quarter of the year, driven largely by increasing sales in three major product markets, smart cameras, component cameras, and ASMV systems. More specifically, the smart camera market saw a 20% increase over the fourth quarter of 2015, marking its third consecutive quarter of year over year expansion. Similarly, component cameras and ASMV systems each grew by 17% over fourth quarter 2015.

“Forty-seven percent of industry experts are expecting the market to continue its growth in the first half of 2017, 43% believe sales will remain flat, and 10% percent expect a contraction,” said Alex Shikany, AIA’s Director of Market Analysis. “Regarding the largest category, machine vision systems, 46% of survey respondents believe the category will increase, 44% expect stagnation, and 10% expect a decline. Stronger optimism is present regarding vision component markets, where 57% think sales will increase, 36% are expecting sales to be flat, and only seven percent expect declines.”

“Vision and imaging technology is playing a key role in the next wave of industrial evolution,” said AIA President Jeff Burnstein. “In today’s world of connected manufacturing, the industrial internet of things, and cloud-based computing, vision technology is providing critical data to these advanced automation systems and driving productivity up for manufacturers of all sizes across the globe.”

Burnstein noted that the AIA and its parent group, the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), are seeing the impacts of the growth in demand for vision and other automation in events like the upcoming Automate 2017 trade show. “With four weeks to go, the exhibit floor at Automate 2017 is over 40% larger than our 2015 event,” he said. “This growth is attributed to the fact that leading automation companies are reaching out to small and medium sized customers, many of whom are just now beginning to explore automation.”

Automate, North America’s largest automation show, will be held at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL, USA from April 3-6, 2017. The show is free to attend, and registration is now open on the Automate 2017 website. “Automate attendees come from a wide range of industries to see in person how the latest automation technologies can benefit their operations,” Burnstein said. “They bring specific problems and are looking for real solutions in order to remain competitive in today’s global marketplace. Automate is where these critical business decisions can be made.”

About AIA
Founded in 1984 to advance the understanding and use of imaging and vision technologies and to drive global expansion and growth through education and promotion, AIA now represents 360 vision suppliers, system integrators, users, researchers, and consulting firms from 32 countries. AIA is best known for The Vision Show (April 10-12, 2018 in Boston); vision and imaging standards such as GigE Vision®, Camera Link®, Camera Link HS™ and USB3 Vision™; the Automate Show (April 3-6, 2017 in Chicago); the annual A3 Business Forum (January 17-19, 2018 in Orlando); the Certified Vision Professional program, now available online; AIA Certified System Integrator program; and Vision Online (www.visiononline.org), the world’s leading online resource for vision information. AIA is part of the Association for Advancing Automation. For more information on AIA, visit www.VisionOnline.org or contact AIA Headquarters at (734) 994-6088.

About Association for Advancing Automation (A3)
The Association for Advancing Automation is the global advocate for the benefits of automating. A3 promotes automation technologies and ideas that transform the way business is done. A3 is the umbrella group for Robotic Industries Association (RIA), AIA - Advancing Vision + Imaging, and the Motion Control & Motor Association (MCMA). RIA, AIA, and MCMA combined represent over 1,000 automation manufacturers, component suppliers, system integrators, end users, research groups and consulting firms from throughout the world that drive automation forward.

For more information, visit the following websites: A3 - www.A3automate.org; RIA - www.robotics.org; AIA - www.visiononline.org; MCMA - www.motioncontrolonline.org.

Company Contact
Bob Doyle, Director, Communications
Tel: 734-994-6088