ANN ARBOR, MI - A new machine vision market 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 first quarter 2010 over weak sales occurring one year earlier in first quarter 2009.

The report, entitled Quarterly Machine Vision Sales Tracking Report, was recently launched by the Automated Imaging Association (AIA), the world’s largest and only global machine vision trade group, with over 285 member companies from 28 countries.

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% on average from 2008.

The new 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,” says 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."

The new report is available to all participating AIA members. In addition to the new report and its annual market study, AIA provides regular reports on the health of the machine vision market and economic trends that impact the industry at “Market Data and Trends,” which is a special section of the Machine Vision Online Web site.