ANN ARBOR — Total machine vision sales in North America are down four percent year over year for the first nine months of 2012, according to new statistics from AIA, the industry’s Ann Arbor-based trade group.

The decrease in total machine vision sales resulted primarily from the weakening of machine vision system sales through September 2012, which fell five percent. Despite the overall decline, certain machine vision components have enjoyed positive year-over-year growth through the first nine months of 2012: imaging boards, up 11 percent, lighting, up 7 percent, and cameras, up 1 percent.

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“We are disappointed but not surprised to see a decline through September,” said AIA president Jeff Burnstein. “Machine vision has typically tracked with the performance of manufacturing, which in four out of the last six months has contracted. Hopefully a resolution to the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ will bring expansion back to manufacturing, as companies feel more comfortable spending on automation.”

Added Alex Shikany, AIA’s director of market analysis, added “While the first nine months of 2012 are down for machine vision thus far, industry experts are optimistic for the future. Recently, when surveyed about where the market was heading in the next six months, the majority of the experts believe sales will increase (49%) or stay flat (49%). Only 2 percent expect an overall decrease in performance of machine vision sales.” 

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AIA will report year end 2012 statistics at the 21st annual AIA Business Conference in Orlando, Feb. 20-22.

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 recently prepared a comprehensive Machine Vision Camera Market Study available at a discounted rate to AIA members.  AIA also prepares studies on special topics, such as its soon-to-be-released study on Additive Manufacturing and Automation, which it makes available to all AIA members free of charge on its website, Vision Online.

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 320 vision suppliers, system integrators, users, researchers, and consulting firms from 32 countries. AIA is best known for The Vision Show; vision and imaging standards such as GigE Vision, Camera Link, Camera Link HS and USB3 Vision; the Automate Show (Jan. 21-24 in Chicago); the annual AIA Business Conference (Feb. 20-22); the annual AIA Networking Reception at Vision in Stuttgart, Germany (Sept. 25); the Certified Vision Professional program; AIA Certified System Integrator company program; and Vision Online (, the world’s leading online resource for vision information.

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