The machine vision inspection business is looking up.
AIA of Ann Arbor, Mich., reports that North American sales of machine vision systems and components hit $597 million in the first quarter of 2017, a 10 percent gain on the first quarter of last year.
AIA is part of the Association for Advancing Automation in Ann Arbor, Mich., the umbrella group that also includes the Robotic Industries Association and the Motion Control & Motor Association.
According to AIA, the bulk of those sales were in the machine vision category, which saw sales of $509 million in the first quarter, which also was a 10 percent increase from the year-earlier period. Within that broad category, sales of smart cameras rose 16 percent, to $87 million, while application-specific machine vision systems grew 8 percent, to $422 million.
The components category grew by 8 percent in the first quarter, to $85 million.
“Our most recent survey of industry experts shows that 50 percent of respondents expect the market to increase over the next six months, 40 percent predict stagnation and only 10 percent are bracing for a decline,” said Alex Shikany, AIA's director of market analysis.
Shikany said macro forces are promoting vision systems. “The move toward smart factories utilizing the industrial Internet of Things is also providing more opportunities for vision today than ever before,” he said.
AIA reports record attendance of more than 20,000 for the Automate 2017 show and conference held in Chicago April 3-6.