ANN ARBOR, MI-A new machine vision market report from the Automated Imaging Association (AIA) entitled Quarterly Machine Vision Sales Tracking Report shows that machine vision sales of components and systems in North America have clearly entered a recovery phase: overall machine vision sales increased by 34.4% in the first quarter of 2010 over weak sales occurring one year earlier in Q1 2009.

The findings of the new report are especially encouraging when compared to the results of AIA's annual market study, Machine Vision Markets - 2009 Results and Forecasts to 2014, which found that machine vision sales in 2009 declined by 29.2 percent on average from 2008.

AIA says the report also showed that improvement occurred across all major machine vision supplier markets, including cameras, lighting, optics, imaging boards, software, application-specific machine vision systems and smart cameras. As a whole, major vision component sales increased 57.2% while machine vision system sales rose by 31.3%.

In addition to determining sales results, the new report also summarizes industry expectations about sales growth for the next six months compared to the present. The report found that participating companies were nearly equally split between those that expected sales to increase during the next two quarters and those that believe sales will remain more or less equal in volume to first quarter 2010 sales.

"The results of the new report leave little doubt that machine vision sales have entered a period of recovery, however, it must be recognized that the robust rates of growth for machine vision product markets also reflect severely depressed sales in 2009," said Paul Kellett, AIA's Director of Market Analysis. "Based on industry expectations, market growth over 2009 levels will probably continue to occur in 2010 even if growth over first quarter 2010 levels fails to materialize," Kellett added.

Founded in 1984, AIA was organized specifically to promote the understanding and use of image capture and analysis technology and now represents over 285 machine vision suppliers, system integrators, users, researchers, and consulting firms from 28 countries.