ANN ARBOR, MI — North American sales of machine vision components and systems fell 11 percent year-over-year to $546 million in the first quarter of 2016, according to new statistics issued by AIA, the industry’s trade group.

Total machine vision sales include sales of machine vision components and systems. The machine vision components category decreased seven percent to $79 million in the first quarter of 2016. Individual component categories such as cameras, lighting, optics, and software were down, while sales of imaging boards were flat.

The machine vision systems category also cooled in the first quarter of 2016 to $465 million. Within machine vision systems, sales of application specific machine vision (ASMV) systems decreased 13 percent to $391 million, while smart cameras contracted by two percent to $75 million.

Despite the declines on a year-over-year basis, the machine vision market in North America saw growth over year-end 2015 levels. More specifically, the components category saw an increase of five percent in sales over the fourth quarter of 2015, while machine vision systems increased by two percent.

“Fifty-six percent of industry experts are expecting things to turn upward for machine vision component markets in the next six months of 2016, 38 percent believe they will remain flat, and 6 percent expect further declines,” said Alex Shikany, AIA’s director of market analysis. “We are in the midst of what appears to be a cyclical downturn for this market. Similar cyclicality was recorded in 2012, for example, which preceded a significant growth year (2013) for the North American vision market.”

“Despite the market’s cyclicality, interest in vision and imaging is at an all-time high,” said AIA President Jeff Burnstein. “The growing interest in these technologies was apparent at The Vision Show in Boston this past May. The show set new records for attendance, exhibitors, and its corresponding technical conference, and brought in interested users of vision technology from a multitude of industries.”

On the heels of a successful trade show, AIA expects its fall workshop, the Canadian Machine Vision Conference, to set new records as well. The one day event will be held on Oct. 20 in Vancouver, BC, Canada, at the River Rock Hotel & Casino, and will be preceded by two days of Certified Vision Professional (CVP) Basic level training on Oct. 18 and 19. Registration for the conference and CVP training is now open on AIA’s website.

AIA has also recently announced the release of its new CVP Online Training Center and 2016 Machine Vision Camera Market Study. For the first time, AIA is offering its CVP Basic and Advanced courses online, where Basic level videos are provided for free, and access to the Advanced videos can be purchased via company subscription. AIA’s 2016 Machine Vision Camera Market Study aggregates data directly from leading machine vision camera manufacturers from across the world. The study breaks down the updated global camera data by customer type, region, sensor type, interface, resolution, color, and lighting, among others.

Also included are analyses of pricing, interfaces, industries, and market trends. Both the CVP Online Training Center and the 2016 Machine Vision Camera Market study are available now on AIA’s website.

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