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North American Machine Vision Market Contracts in First Nine Months of 2016

POSTED 12/06/2016

Third Quarter Shows Improvement, Indicating Growth Ahead

Ann Arbor, Michigan – North American sales of machine vision systems and components fell three percent to $1.70 billion through September, according to new statistics issued by AIA, the industry’s trade group.

Total machine vision sales include sales of machine vision systems and components. The machine vision systems category saw a year over year decrease of three percent to $1.45 billion in the first nine months of 2016. Machine vision systems include smart cameras and application specific machine vision (ASMV) systems. Sales of smart cameras increased by 10% to $243 million, while ASMV systems contracted six percent to $1.21 billion in the first nine months of the year.

Similarly, machine vision component markets experienced a mild decrease of two percent to $237 million in total. All product categories, namely cameras, lighting, optics, imaging boards, and software decreased compared to the same period last year.

“The performance of this market year to date was impacted most heavily from a cyclical downturn in the first two quarters of the year,” said Alex Shikany, AIA’s Director of Market Analysis. “The cyclicality was influenced by a number factors, one of which was a soft global semiconductor market. The good news looking forward is that according to the Semiconductor Industry Association, the global semiconductor market just posted its highest-ever monthly sales figure in September. The machine vision market in North America improved as well in that timeframe.”

Despite the market’s contraction, there was a notable increase in third quarter performance. The growth came from multiple areas within both machine vision components and systems. Cameras (3%), Lighting (5%), Software (5%), and Smart Cameras (24%) were the most notable growth markets when compared to the third quarter of 2015. In total, sales for machine vision components and systems in North America increased by seven percent to $574 million in the third quarter.

“Vision and imaging technology is a key player in a variety of automation solutions today,” said Jeff Burnstein, President of AIA. “More companies are interested in vision and automation in today’s market than ever before. Growing global trends such as autonomous vehicles, vision guided robotics, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) rely heavily on vision and imaging, which bodes well for the future of this industry.”

AIA sees the rising interest in vision and imaging reflected in the growth of its membership and networking events. In November, AIA reached a new membership milestone with 356 member companies from across the globe. The trade group also concluded its second Canadian Machine Vision Conference this past October in Vancouver, Canada. The successful event drew users, OEMs, integrators, and manufacturers together to network and learn about the latest trends in vision and imaging. AIA also taught its Certified Vision Professional Basic level courses prior to the conference.

The growing applications for vision and imaging solutions will be on display at the upcoming Automate 2017 trade show in Chicago. “With four months to go, the exhibit floor at Automate 2017 is already over 20% larger than our final 2015 event,” Burnstein said. “Small and medium sized companies, many of whom are just now beginning to explore vision and automation, make up the core of the Automate 2017 attendee base. This event is designed to showcase the latest and greatest automation solutions, and we are excited for a record event in 2017.” Automate, North America’s largest automation show, will be held at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL, USA from April 3-6, 2017. The exhibition is free to attend, and registration is now open on the Automate 2017 website.

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 350 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 AIA Business Conference (January 18-20, 2017 in Orlando); the Certified Vision Professional program; the AIA Certified System Integrator program; and Vision Online, the world’s leading online resource for vision information. AIA is part of the Association for Advancing Automation. For more information on AIA, visit Vision Online 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 some 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 - RIA - AIA - MCMA