North American machine vision orders have slowed during the first quarter of 2019.
According to statistics from the AIA, the industry’s trade group part of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), there’s been a 4.5 % decline in sales over same period in 2018, down to $674m.
Sales of MV components were down 12.6% to $93m and sales of MV systems down 3.1% to $579m.
“Based on what we were hearing from our member companies at the end of last year and into the new year, we expected the statistics to reflect fewer sales for the quarter,” said Alex Shikany, vice president of membership and business intelligence at A3. “The semiconductor industry, which is a leading indicator for machine vision, showed signs of contraction at the end of last year, which led us to believe lower sales figures might’ve been ahead to begin 2019.
“Fortunately, machine vision technologies are still becoming smarter and smaller to fit within in-demand automation applications such as AI-driven bin picking, autonomous vehicles, and advanced inspection technologies, which is a positive indicator for the future health of this industry.”
Mixed expectations predicted for future MV sales
As for the future, according to AIA’s latest survey of industry experts, 41% believe machine vision component sales in total will increase, 39% believe they will remain flat and 21% are bracing for further declines.
There is more consensus for machine vision systems markets with 71% of respondents expecting flat performance, 23% expecting increases and only 6% bracing for declines. Overall, two-thirds (66%) of respondents believe the overall machine vision market in North America will remain flat in the next six months.