ANN ARBOR, MI — AIA, the world’s largest vision and imaging trade group, announced that its membership has reached a record high of 350 companies from 32 different nations.

“Since AIA was founded 32 years ago we have seen remarkable growth in the vision industry, our trade association, and member companies,” said Jeff Burnstein, president of AIA. “Originally, AIA represented companies who focused on factory automation applications of machine vision. Today the technology has expanded into applications such as medical imaging, biometrics, security, entertainment, autonomous vehicles, robotics, drones, and many more. As the industry’s largest global trade association, we are driven by the opportunities these new markets represent for our members, potential vision users, and those just beginning to learn about the technology.”

AIA plays a role in helping to grow the global marketplace by providing industry-leading education and promoting vision throughout the world. Among AIA’s key activities are trade shows and educational conferences in North America, networking events in Europe and Asia, and Vision Online.

Earlier this year AIA’s flagship trade show, The Vision Show, set new exhibition and attendance records. The Vision Conference, which ran concurrently with the exhibition, provided in-depth educational presentations on key industry issues and developments.

“Interest in vision and imaging technology is at an all-time high, which is reflected in AIA’s new membership milestone,” said Marc Marini, AIA chairman and director of R&D for National Instruments. “In the years ahead, vision will continue to play an important role in advancing industries both inside and outside the factory. AIA is proud to facilitate the growth of this dynamic industry by developing global standards, offering new networking events, and promoting industry leading education to advance the use of vision and imaging worldwide.”

AIA and its parent group the Association for Advancing Automation are also seeing the growing demand for vision, imaging, and automation in events like the upcoming Automate 2017 trade show. “With five months to go, the exhibit floor at Automate 2017 is already over 20 percent larger than our final 2015 event,” Burnstein said. “This growth is attributed to the fact that leading vision and automation companies are reaching out to small and medium sized customers. These companies, many of whom are just now beginning to explore automation, make up the core of the Automate 2017 attendee base.”

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