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Machine Vision Market on the Upswing

First quarter North American vision sales rose by 34 percent over depressed 2009 levels, indicating the market has “clearly entered a recovery phase,” trade group says.

A new machine vision market report shows that machine vision sales of components and systems in North America have clearly entered a recovery phase, says the Automated Imaging Association (AIA, an industry trade group based in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“Machine-vision financial transactions”—the sum of component and system sales—totaled $410.6 million in North America during the first quarter of 2010, up by 34.4 percent from the $305.5 million recorded during the 2009 first quarter, says Paul Kellett, AIA director of market analysis.    

The report, titled “Quarterly Machine Vision Sales Tracking Report,” was recently launched by the AIA. The findings of the new report are especially encouraging when compared to the results of AIA’s annual market study, “Machine Vision Markets—2009 Results and Forecasts to 2014,” the AIA said in a July 19 press release. That report found that machine vision sales in 2009 declined by 29.2 percent on average from 2008. Annual 2009 total machine vision financial transactions were about $1.1 billion, Kellett told Automation World, compared to nearly $1.6 billion in 2008.

Across the board

The new report also showed that improvement occurred across all major machine vision supplier markets, including cameras, lighting, optics, imaging boards, software, application-specific machine vision systems and smart cameras. As a whole, major vision component sales increased by 57.2 percent, while machine vision system sales rose by 31.3 percent.

In addition to determining sales results, the new report also summarizes industry expectations about sales growth for the next six months compared to the present. The report found that participating companies were nearly equally split between those that expected sales to increase during the next two quarters and those that believe sales will remain more or less equal in volume to first quarter 2010 sales.

More to come

“The results of the new report leave little doubt that machine vision sales have entered a period of recovery. However, it must be recognized that the robust rates of growth for machine vision product markets also reflect severely depressed sales in 2009,” Kellett noted. “Based on industry expectations, market growth over 2009 levels will probably continue to occur in 2010 even if growth over first quarter 2010 levels fails to materialize,” Kellett added.

The AIA represents more than 285 member companies from 28 countries. The new report is available to all participating AIA members.  

Automated Imaging Association

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