ANN ARBOR, MI North American sales of machine vision systems and components grew 22 percent in the first quarter of 2015, the market’s highest first quarter total in history, according to new statistics issued by AIA, the industry’s trade group.

Total machine vision sales include sales of machine vision systems and components. The machine vision systems category saw a year over year increase of 24 percent. Machine vision systems include smart cameras and application specific machine vision (ASMV) systems. In the first quarter, smart cameras expanded by 23 percent, while ASMV systems increased 24 percent.

Similarly, machine vision components had a strong quarter with 11 percent growth over the first quarter of 2014. The leading product categories within machine vision components in terms of growth were lighting (28 percent), cameras (11 percent), and software (8 percent).

“Industry experts remain bullish on machine vision components for the next two quarters,” said Alex Shikany, AIA’s Director of Market Analysis. “Less so for machine vision systems however, where 55 percent of survey respondents believe the category will be flat, 25 percent expect an increase, and 20 percent expect a decline.”

“It’s great to see the North American machine vision market off to such a strong start in 2015,” said AIA President Jeff Burnstein. “We think more and more companies in all industries are recognizing the value that machine vision and imaging systems can have on their overall competitiveness.”

Burnstein said AIA will focus more attention this fall on reaching companies that can benefit from vision and imaging technologies. He cited two new AIA events in particular, the first Canadian Machine Vision Conference in Ottawa, Oct. 5-7, and the Vision in Life Sciences Conference in San Diego, Nov. 17-19.

“These are great events for learning about the technology, meeting the key players, and determining how to successfully apply vision and imaging at your company.”

AIA also will offer its full Certified Vision Professional-Basic (CVP) training programs at these events. The training will include the following courses: The Fundamentals of Machine Vision, Image Processing Fundamentals, Beginning Lighting for Machine Vision, The Fundamentals of Camera and Image Sensor Technology, and Beginning Optics for Machine Vision. The CVP-Basic certification exam will also be offered at both events, and the training will be structured so attendees can register for the conferences.

In addition to its sales tracking report and industry events, AIA will be releasing its 2015 Global Machine Vision Camera Study later this year. The study will be available at a discounted rate to AIA members.