2018 AIA statistics show nearly 10 percent growth over 2017, with $2.874 billion in sales
North American sales of machine vision components and systems that provide vision intelligence to robots and other machines reached $2.874 billion in 2018, an increase of 9.2 percent over 2017 and a new record for the market. According to statistics from the AIA, the industry trade group and part of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), application-specific machine vision (ASMV) systems led the growth with $1.998 billion in sales in 2018, an increase of 7.8 percent over 2017, followed by smart cameras with $466 million, an increase of 14.2 percent.
Machine vision component markets also set new records in 2018 with $401 million in total sales representing 11.7 percent growth. This increase was driven primarily by component camera sales, which increased 16.2 percent to $219 million, followed by software (8.9 percent to $21 million), optics (8.8 percent to $44 million), lighting (7.9 percent to $77 million) and imaging boards (1.5 percent to $40 million).
“Vision technologies are becoming smarter and smaller to solve the increasingly complex challenges associated with emerging automation applications such as AI-driven bin picking, autonomous vehicles, and advanced inspection technologies,” said Alex Shikany, vice president of AIA and business intelligence at A3. “Vision components in everything from cameras to lighting to software must work together seamlessly to provide the visual intelligence that robots and other smart machines require to do their jobs. We’re excited to see what new innovations are created in the months and years ahead to make this data collection even simpler and more intuitive.”
The Expected Future of Machine Vision
According to AIA’s latest survey of industry experts, 80 percent of respondents believe that sales of machine vision components will remain flat or decrease in the next six months. Similarly, 62 percent believe machine vision systems markets will plateau or decrease in the next two quarters. According to Shikany, this predicted stagnation might come from a “slight softening of the manufacturing sector seen in the last quarter of 2018, which showed the PMI dipping to the low 50s and the semiconductor market decreasing.” The results are also a reflection of experts’ belief that this market is due for a normalization of growth, having posted six straight years of expansion.
About AIA | AIA was established in 1984 to advance the understanding and use of imaging and vision technologies and to drive global expansion and growth through education and promotion. Today, AIA continues its mission and represents some 380 vision suppliers, system integrators, users, researchers, and consulting firms from 32 countries. For more information, visit www.visiononline.org
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, Motion Control & Motor Association (MCMA), and A3 Mexico. RIA, AIA, MCMA and A3 Mexico combined represent more than 1,200 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 A3.