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North American Machine Vision Market Totals $1.5 Billion in 2002


ANN ARBOR, Mich. – May 29, 2003 - A new market study of the machine vision industry estimates the North American machine vision market at $1.5 billion in 2002, a decline of 15% from 2001.  The study forecasts market growth of nearly 12% a year for the next five years as the machine vision industry recovers from the global economic downturn that has hurt capital equipment expenditures for more than two years.

Despite the downturn in 2002, the study found some bright spots for the machine vision industry.  The number of vision systems sold into the North American food, container and pharmaceutical/medical device industries increased.  And, the decline in units sold into industries such as automotive, plastics, fabricated metals, and wood were slight in comparison to the 42% drop in the semiconductor industry and 29% decline in the electronics industry.

‘‘The machine vision industry has been hit hard by the cutback in capital spending by manufacturing companies in the United States and throughout the world,’‘ said Jeffrey A.Burnstein, Executive Director of the Automated Imaging Association (AIA), the trade group that published the study.  ‘‘The slowdown in the semiconductor and electronics industries the two largest customers for machine vision, has been a particularly tough blow, but we’re optimistic that a recovery is on the horizon, as the forecast for the next five years suggests.’‘

The study also contains in-depth data on the machine vision markets in Europe and Japan.  It concludes that the total world market in 2002 was $5.3 billion, a decline of about four percent from 2001. The Japanese market was the largest in 2002, at  $1.9 billion, while the European market totaled about $1.3 billion, just behind the $1.5 billion in North America.

‘‘Machine vision technology is becoming more powerful and less expensive, making it suitable for a wider range of applications than ever before, which is why it has such impressive use throughout the world,’‘ Burnstein said.   ‘‘From inspecting semiconductor chips, to verifying the accuracy of a pharmaceutical label, to guiding a robot in an automotive plant, machine vision has proven its value.   That’s why we believe that when the global economy grows stronger, the machine vision industry will resume its healthy growth.’‘

The annual AIA study contains more than 300 pages of data on the global machine vision market.  Nello Zuech, President, Vision System International and one of the industry’s leading consultants for more than two decades, conducted the research and wrote the report. 

The study, which is titled ‘‘The Machine Vision Market:  2002 Results and Forecasts to 2007’‘ is available for purchase for $795 ($395 to AIA Members). 

Founded in 1984, AIA is the only trade group in North America dedicated exclusively to promoting machine vision.  Its 200 member companies include leading machine vision suppliers, system integrators, end users, OEMs, research groups and consulting firms from throughout the world.

In addition to the annual market study, AIA is best-known for Machine Vision Online (www.machinevisiononline.org), the world’s leading machine vision resource on the Internet; The Vision Show and Conference and the International Robots & Vision Show and Conference, North America’s leading machine vision events; and the annual AIA Business Conference, the industry’s premier networking event.

To order a study, or for more information on AIA and its activities, contact the association on the web at www.machinevisiononline.org or by phone at 734/994-6088.

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