According to industry trade groups AIA and the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), North American sales of machine vision components and systems, which are typically used in conjunction with robots and other automation equipment, exceeded $2.8 billion last year. Not only is that amount a new record for the industry, but it also represented a 9.2% increase over the previous year.
Application-specific machine vision (ASMV) systems led the way, with over $1.9 billion in sales last year — an increase of 7.8%. These systems can help manufacturers with various tasks, such as ensuring all of the machine vision components in use can interface with each other. Smart cameras saw the second-highest level of sales with $466 million — an increase of more than 14%.
Machine vision component markets also set new records last year, with $401 million in total sales. According to the trade groups, this increase was driven primarily by component camera sales, which increased by 16.2%. The remaining categories included:
- Software (8.9%, to $21 million)
- Optics (8.8%, to $44 million)
- Lighting (7.9%, to $77 million)
- Imaging boards (1.5%, to $40 million)
“Vision technologies are becoming smarter and smaller to solve the increasingly complex challenges associated with emerging automation applications, such as AI-driven bin picking, autonomous vehicles, and advanced inspection technologies,” said Alex Shikany, vice president of AIA and business intelligence at A3. “Vision components in everything from cameras to lighting to software must work together seamlessly to provide the visual intelligence that robots and other smart machines require.“
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