Machine vision components and systems exhibited lackluster growth in 2007 and will likely do even worse in 2008, according to a new study from the Automated Imaging Association.
Paul Kellett, the association’s research director, reports that the yearly growth of component sales was just 0.5 percent in 2007, while smart cameras posted a 2.1 percent growth and application-specific systems grew just 1.5 percent. His expectations for 2008 are a 1.5 percent decline in growth for components and 0.8 and 0.6 percent growth for the smart cameras and systems, respectively.
Yet despite the poor sales expectations, there have been some bright spots this year from a technology development standpoint. Among them are smaller vision systems that are easier for machine builders to install. There have also been ease-of-use advances related to programming and set up. And there are also new 3D vision systems, which Kellett says represented 14 percent of application specific sales in 2007. These new systems are now tackling high-speed inspection and even machine safety tasks.
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