23 Apr 2007
A new market study reveals that 2006 was generally a good year for the machine vision and imaging industry, with continued growth expected for 2007.
The report, published by the Automated Imaging Association (AIA), Michigan, shows double-digit growth in revenue in 2006 for cameras and smart cameras, with sales increases of 16.8% and 15.2% respectively. Single-digit growth was recorded for optics, software, and application-specific machine vision systems.
"The figures in our study are 'market' numbers as opposed to 'industry' numbers," Paul Kellett, director of market analysis for AIA told optics.org. "It focuses on all sales occurring in North America, regardless of the national origins of the companies making the sales. However, we do also offer figures for product markets in Europe and elsewhere."
The report provides a breakdown of the machine vision product markets and the market penetration of the different technologies available. "For example, the study shows that nearly 25% of all cameras sold are CMOS," commented Kellett. "Clearly, CMOS cameras have come a long way in machine vision, but are still far away from supplanting CCD technology."
The global nature of the machine vision business is reflected in the report. "North American and European companies have a strong presence in both regions, so products and technologies are not limited to any one region but instead are ubiquitous," said Kellett. "The European and North American markets are also nearly equal in size, with NA representing 26% of the world market and Europe approximately 27.5%. The similarities between the regions are far more prevalent than their differences."
Kellet believes that 2007 through 2011 will continue to show solid growth. "The growing importance of machine vision results from three key underlying trends: expanding core capabilities, declining machine vision product prices, and product miniaturization and integration," he says.
"Machine Vision Markets - 2006 Results and Forecasts to 2011" is published by the Automated Imaging Association, whose member companies come from 26 countries. The study is available for purchase from the Automated Imaging Association web site, at a cost of $1045 for AIA members and $1475 for non-members.