North American market grows 10 per cent in first quarter

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North American sales of machine vision systems and components have increased 10 per cent year-on-year to $597 million in the first quarter of 2017, according to statistics from AIA, the industry’s trade group.

American machine vision firm Cognex also reported growth in revenue in the first quarter of 2017, which reached $134,942, an increase of 40 per cent from Q1 2016 and 4 per cent from Q4 2016.

In North America as a whole, the machine vision systems category increased 10 per cent to $509 million in the first quarter of 2017. Within machine vision systems, sales of smart cameras climbed 16 per cent to $87 million, while application specific machine vision (ASMV) systems grew eight per cent to $422 million.

The machine vision components category also grew eight per cent in Q1 2017 to $85 million. Every individual component category, including cameras, lighting, optics, imaging boards, and software, increased to begin the year.

‘Our most recent survey of industry experts shows that 50 per cent of respondents expect the market to increase over the next six months, 40 per cent predict stagnation, and only 10 per cent are bracing for a decline,’ said Alex Shikany, AIA’s director of market analysis. ‘Vision companies continue to explore new applications in a variety of industries adopting the technology. The move toward smart factories utilising the industrial internet of things is also providing more opportunities for vision today than ever before.’

The market’s growing interest in vision technology was apparent at the AIA’s Automate show and conference in Chicago earlier this year. The number of attendees reached 20,000, an increase of 37 per cent compared to the 2015 event, while conference participation grew by 90 per cent.

Cognex’s revenue grew year-on-year in all major geographic regions, led by China and the rest of Asia. From an industry perspective, the largest contributions came from consumer electronics and automotive.

Flir Systems' first quarter 2017 revenue was $406.8 million, up 7 per cent over first quarter 2016 revenue.

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