North American MV market contracts 11 per cent in Q1 2016

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North American sales of machine vision components and systems fell 11 per cent year-over-year to $546 million in the first quarter of 2016, according to new statistics issued by AIA, the industry’s trade group.

Vision companies including Basler and Cognex have also seen largely static first quarter market figures.

Despite this, record attendance figures at ‘The Vision Show’ in Boston this past May suggests that interest in machine vision and imaging is at an all-time high.

The machine vision components category in the AIA report decreased seven per cent to $79 million in the first quarter of 2016. Individual component categories such as cameras, lighting, optics, and software were down, while sales of imaging boards were flat.

The machine vision systems category also decreased in the first quarter of 2016 to $465 million. Within machine vision systems, sales of application specific machine vision (ASMV) systems decreased 13 per cent to $391 million, while smart cameras contracted by two percent to $75 million.

Despite the declines on a year-over-year basis, the machine vision market in North America saw growth over year-end 2015 levels. More specifically, the components category saw an increase of five per cent in sales compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, while machine vision systems increased by two per cent.

‘Fifty-six per cent of industry experts are expecting things to turn upward for machine vision component markets in the next six months of 2016, 38 per cent believe they will remain flat, and six per cent expect further declines,’ said Alex Shikany, AIA’s director of market analysis. ‘We are in the midst of what appears to be a cyclical downturn for this market. Similar cyclicality was recorded in 2012, for example, which preceded a significant growth year (2013) for the North American vision market.’

‘Despite the market’s cyclicality, interest in vision and imaging is at an all-time high,’ said AIA president Jeff Burnstein. ‘The growing interest in these technologies was apparent at The Vision Show in Boston this past May. The show set new records for attendance, exhibitors, and its corresponding technical conference, and brought in interested users of vision technology from a multitude of industries.’

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