Machine Design

Future Looks Good for Attendees of Vision East

Exhibitors and attendees of the Vision East Show taking place May 4 to 6 at the Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Mass., should be encouraged about the health of the machine-vision (MV) industry, according to a study by the Automated Imaging Association (AIA).

Despite a sluggish U.S. economy, MV sales are expected to bounce back. In North America, sales of MV components reached almost $206 million last year, and MV systems (including smart cameras) hit $1.35 billion. The total world MV components market reached about $684 million last year. Asia-Pacific is expected to grow faster than Europe and North America, overtaking Europe in 2009 with a global marketshare of 32.4%.

“While the machine-vision industry is largely global in scope, most analyses have focused on sales performance within a single geographic region. This ignores the overall profitability of MV companies . . .,” says AIA Director Paul Kellett in The Health of the Machine Vision Industry.

Trends in the MV industry include more noncontract measurements (e.g., via robots instead of CMM); a need for higher resolution, higher bandwidth and speeds for analyzing an increasing amount of data; and more-sophisticated applications.

The AIA study addresses this shortcoming with financial ratio and stock-market performance analyses of 28 of the world’s largest publicly traded MV companies over a three-year period.

The analysis of stock-market performance tracks the MV industry through composite stock prices, comparison of fluctuations of a company’s share prices with MV industry indices, and comparison of stock-market composites with MV industry indices. Stock market indices used in the study are the Nasdaq composite, the TSX composite, and the DAX.

To better assess the financial health of the MV industry, says Kellett, it is useful to first consider the health of the global economy. The change in annual, real GDP (gross domestic product) for some major national economies and regions indicates healthy economic growth in Asia, improvement in Europe, and weakening in North America. The International Monetary Fund expects total global GDP growth of 5.2% for 2007 and 4.8% this year due in part to China’s booming economy.

For show details and registration, visit

Many exhibitors use The Vision Show as a platform to introduce new products and technologies.

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