ANN ARBOR — Machine vision sales in North America rose 15 percent through the first three quarters of 2011, according to new statistics from the Automated Imaging Association, the industry’s Ann Arbor-based trade group.

After a strong first half, sales fell 2 percent in the third quarter compared with the same period in 2010.

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“After six consecutive quarters of growth, the third quarter results indicate that we may be in for slower growth in the near term,” said Jeff Burnstein, president of AIA. Industry executives appear to agree, as the AIA report shows a majority of reporting companies (54 percent) expect sales to stay at current levels for the next six months. Thirty-four percent expect a decrease, while only 14 percent expect an increase, Burnstein said.

Added Paul Kellett, AIA’s Director of Market Analysis: “The modest slowdown in machine vision sales in the third quarter would appear to follow the performance of the manufacturing sector, which has lost some steam as of late. A near-term uptick in the expansion of manufacturing sector, however, would most likely resound to the benefit of machine vision companies.”   AIA will provide further updates on the machine vision market at the upcoming AIA Business Conference in Orlando, Jan. 18-20. A panel of industry leaders from North and South America will participate in a session focused on the outlook for the coming year.

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AIA’s Quarterly Machine Vision Sales Tracking Report is available free of charge to all AIA members participating in AIA’s sales data program. In addition to its sales tracking report, AIA prepares market opportunity studies, which it makes available to all AIA members free of charge.

Founded in 1984 to advance the understanding and use of imaging and vision technologies and to drive global expansion and growth through education and promotion, AIA now represents over 315 machine vision suppliers, system integrators, users, researchers, and consulting firms from 30 countries.

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For more information on AIA, visit or contact AIA headquarters at (734) 994-6088.