North American sales of machine vision components and systems increased 19% year over year to $709 million in the first quarter of 2018, setting a new all-time record for quarterly sales, according to new statistics issued by AIA, the industry’s trade group.
Total machine vision sales includes sales of components and systems. The machine vision components category grew 28% to a new record high of $107 million during the first quarter. The growth in components was primarily driven by camera sales, which increased 44% to $65 million. Optics (16% to $12 million) and software (nine percent to $5 million) markets also experienced growth in the first quarter.
The machine vision systems category increased 17% to $597 million in the first quarter of 2018. Within the systems category, sales of smart cameras climbed 26% to $109 million, while application specific machine vision (ASMV) systems grew 16% to $488 million.
“Our most recent poll of industry experts revealed that 45% of respondents expect the market to increase over the next two quarters, 42% predict stagnation, and 13% are bracing for a decline,” said Alex Shikany, Vice President – AIA. “We continue to see demand for vision systems that are smaller, intuitive, cost effective, and complimentary to a more connected automation system. It’s an exciting time to be in this field with the innovation we’re seeing at every turn.”
“Vision technology is being integrated in a growing number of automation applications today because the technology is enabling new ways to solve complex challenges.” said AIA President Jeff Burnstein. “Growing global trends such as autonomous vehicles, AI, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) rely heavily on vision and imaging, which bodes well for the future of this industry.”