Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Where is the North American machine vision market going?

An AIA press release published by Detroit’s CBS affiliate says machine vision sales grew 6% in the second quarter of 2013. Coming off of the somewhat surprising dip in 2012, that’s good news, but the actual numbers left me scratching my head.

In Q2 we machine vision users spent more on smart cameras and application-specific machine vision but less on lighting, optics and “imaging boards”. What’s missing though is any reference to the numbers of units moved. And given that LED prices have been declining for years, perhaps we’re actually buying more lighting than ever, but the price per light is lower.

Then consider this quote from the AIA’s Alex Shikany: “69 percent of industry experts believe we will see an increase in sales over the next six months. On the other hand, 73 percent of experts believe machine vision systems will remain flat over the same time period.”

Does that make any sense to you? Is a typo perhaps lurking somewhere in that quote?

Bottom line: business is good. Not great, but most players in the North American machine vision industry are doing okay.

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