Third quarter North American vision sales contract 11 per cent

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Sales of machine vision in North America have contracted by 11 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2015, according to statistics from the AIA. Despite the decline, the market grew six per cent for the first nine months of the year to a record $1.8 billion.

Alex Shikany, AIA’s director of market analysis, commented: ‘Experts in the industry continue to be optimistic for growth in machine vision cameras, software, and imaging boards in the next six months. They are not as optimistic about machine vision system markets, however, as the majority expect them to remain flat in the next two quarters.’

Application specific machine vision (ASMV) systems increased eight per cent to $1.3 billion in the first nine months of 2015, while smart cameras declined by one per cent to $220.6 million. Machine vision component markets have grown this year by five per cent to $164.7 million in total.

The decrease in third quarter performance was due mainly to a contraction in sales of machine vision systems. The systems category saw a 13 per cent decrease in sales from the third quarter of 2014, its first year-on-year decrease since the fourth quarter of 2012.

‘We saw indications in the second quarter of 2015 that a cyclical downturn was coming,’ Shikany said. ‘After reaching record high levels at the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015, two of the largest categories we measure, ASMV systems and smart cameras have declined substantially. AIA has seen cyclical downturns similar to this in the third quarter of 2011 and the fourth quarter of 2013.’

‘We are encouraged to see the record year to date performance in 2015 for machine vision sales in North America, but recognise the market’s cyclicality,’ said AIA president Jeff Burnstein. ‘Despite the market cooling in the third quarter, we continue to see more companies than ever before interested in applying machine vision to their operations.’

The AIA continues to see strong interest in its Certified Vision Professional (CVP) training programme and has added an additional hall to its flagship trade show, The Vision Show, which will take place on 3-5 May 2016 in Boston, USA.

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