Machine Vision Market in North America Had Record Start to 2015 Ann Arbor, MI - North American sales of machine vision systems and components grew 22 percent in the first quarter of 2015, the market's highest first quarter total in history, according to new statistics issued by AIA, the industry's trade group. Total machine vision sales include sales of machine vision systems and components. The machine vision systems category saw a year over year increase of 24 percent. Machine vision systems include smart cameras and application specific machine vision (ASMV) systems. In the first quarter, smart cameras expanded by 23 percent, while ASMV systems increased 24 percent. Similarly, machine vision components had a strong quarter with 11 percent growth over the first quarter of 2014. The leading product categories within machine vision components in terms of growth were lighting (28 percent), cameras (11 percent), and software (8 percent). "Industry experts remain bullish on machine vision components for the next two quarters," said Alex Shikany, AIA's director of market analysis. "Less so for machine vision systems however, where 55 percent of survey respondents believe the category will be flat, 25 percent expect an increase, and 20 percent expect a decline." "It's great to see the North American machine vision market off to such a strong start in 2015," said AIA President Jeff Burnstein. "We think more and more companies in all industries are recognizing the value that machine vision and imaging systems can have on their overall competitiveness." Burnstein said AIA will focus more attention this fall on reaching companies that can benefit from vision and imaging technologies. He cited two new AIA events in particular, the first Canadian Machine Vision Conference in Ottawa, Oct. 5-7, and the Vision in Life Sciences Conference in San Diego, Nov. 17-19. "These are great events for learning about the technology, meeting the key players, and determining how to successfully apply vision and imaging at your company." AIA also will offer its full Certified Vision Professional-Basic (CVP) training programs at these events. The training will include the following courses: The Fundamentals of Machine Vision, Image Processing Fundamentals, Beginning Lighting for Machine Vision, The Fundamentals of Camera and Image Sensor Technology, and Beginning Optics for Machine Vision. The CVP-Basic certification exam will also be offered at both events, and the training will be structured so attendees can register for the conferences. In addition to its sales tracking report and industry events, AIA will be releasing its 2015 Global Machine Vision Camera Study later this year. The study will be available at a discounted rate to AIA members. CONVENTION NEWS Registration is open for the Association for Advancing Automation Business Forum from Feb. 3-5 at Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resort in Orlando, Fla. More than 500 global leaders from the robotics, machine vision, motion controls, motors and other automation industries are expected to attend. Among the featured speakers are James Kuffner, director, Google Robotics; John Markoff, senior writer, New York Times, and author of the upcoming book Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots; Luke Williams, associate professor of innovation at NYU's Stern School of Business and author of Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business; Robin Murphy, Raytheon Professor of Computer Science and Engineering Faculty Fellow, Texas A&M; Dennis Snow, formerly with the Disney Institute and author of Lessons From the Mouse: A Guide for Applying Disney World's Secrets of Success to Your Organization, Your Career, and Your Life; and Alan Beaulieu, principal, ITR Economics and co-author of the recent book Prosperity in The Age of Decline: How to Lead Your Business and Preserve Wealth Through the Coming Business Cycles. "The A3 Business Forum has become the world's leading annual networking event for automation professionals," said Jeff Burnstein, president of A3. "Attending the forum is a tremendous way to gain business insights that help companies become more successful, as well as networking with potential suppliers, partners and customers." In addition to business presentations, the forum features breakout sessions on specific topics related to technologies impacting the robotics, vision, and motion control and motors industries. "One of the reasons the Forum is always our top rated event of the year is the blend of business and technology issues we cover," said Burnstein. "One of the many topics I'm really looking forward to hearing about focuses on search and rescue robots. The recent DARPA Robotics Challenge really highlighted the advances we're seeing in developing robots to assist in situations such as the Fukushima nuclear disaster." Early bird discounted registration is available through Aug.31. For more information and to register for the Forum visit the A3 Business Forum site. Membership in Robotic Industries Association, AIA - Advancing Vision + Imaging or the Motion Control and Motor Association is required in order to attend the Forum. AIA, the world's largest trade association for vision and imaging, has announced it will host its first Canadian Machine Vision Conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada this fall. The inaugural event will be held Oct. 5-7, 2015 at the National Research Council's downtown Ottawa location. The conference will feature in depth presentations on topics such as cutting-edge machine vision research, emerging machine vision applications, getting started with machine vision, 3D vision, smart cameras & vision sensors, non-visible imaging, vision guided robotics, machine vision software, advances in camera technology and machine vision inspection. The conference will also include tabletop exhibits featuring leading companies showcasing a broad range of machine vision technologies. "We're looking forward to helping Canadian companies gain a better understanding of how vision and imaging technologies can help them become stronger global competitors," said Jeff Burnstein, president of AIA. Attendees of the conference will also have the opportunity to tour the National Research Council's Imaging Laboratories. The tour will include walkthroughs of the NRC's Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre (CPFC), Visualization Room and Imaging Laboratory. AIA will also conduct its Certified Vision Professional - Basic level training and certification program on Oct. 5-6, in conjunction with the event. The training will include the following courses: The Fundamentals of Machine Vision, Image Processing Fundamentals, Beginning Lighting for Machine Vision, The Fundamentals of Camera and Image Sensor Technology, and Beginning Optics for Machine Vision. The CVPBasic certification exam will also be offered, and the training will be scheduled so attendees can also register for the conference. BUSINESS NEWS AICON 3D Systems celebrated its 25th year in business in 2015. Optical, camera-based 3D metrology has become a standard in many industrial areas. Far more than 4,000 of the installed 3D measuring systems worldwide come from AICON 3D Systems. For 25 years now, the company has developed, manufactured and supplied 3D metrology for various applications. AICON is one of the leading global full-range suppliers. "In the first place, we wanted to name our company ICON. That sounded fitting, as the word means 'image' in Greek. Because of trademark issues, it wasn't possible; an image processing company already carried that name. However, we liked the sound of the word. We simply put an A in front: AICON. The sound is the same, and it has an advantage: We are always on top in alphabetic company lists," said Carl-Thomas Schneider and Werner Bösemann. In 1990, they jointly founded the AICON 3D Systems GmbH, initially a spin-off from Volkswagen Research and Technical University Braunschweig. The business incubator "Technologiepark Braunschweig" provided ideal conditions - AICON was growing fast. In 2003, the company moved to their own buildings in the Northwest of Braunschweig. In order to meet the increasing company requirements in metrology, AICON took over the scanner manufacturer Breuckmann in 2012. The joint product portfolio includes innovative solutions for universal applications: portable coordinate measuring machines for universal applications, specialized optical measuring technology for vehicle testing and tube manufacturing, as well as white light scanners for contact-free surface measurement of objects. AICON's list of customers includes renowned automotive manufacturers, companies from aerospace industry and mechanical engineering as well as research facilities and universities. More than 140 employees work for AICON worldwide. Besides the two German sites, the headquarters in Braunschweig and the Scanner Innovation Center in Meersburg on Lake Constance, subsidiaries in China, Korea, Japan and the USA contribute to the success. The managing directors Carl- Thomas Schneider and Werner Bösemann are optimistic: "With new technologies and systems, we will open up new global market fields and continue our course of growth." The G3 Standardization Initiative welcomed the China Machine Vision Union info its ranks. Since November 2009, leading machine vision associations have been cooperating to promote vision standards globally. The China Machine Vision Union has now joined the group, becoming the fifth member. The other members are AIA-Advancing Vision + Imaging, European Machine Vision Association, Japan Industrial Imaging Association, VDMA Machine Vision. Cooperation on vision standards is critical to the expanded use of vision and imaging technologies throughout industry. Standards cut down on development time, investment costs, and also accelerate time-to-market. Jeff Burnstein, president of the AIA said, "Since the start of the G3 standardization initiative, the global vision associations have met on a regular basis, promoting enhanced communication and coordination on standards activities. With the CMVU joining the group, we have an even stronger foundation to keep standards development and promotion focused and effective." 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 335 vision suppliers, system integrators, users, researchers, and consulting firms from 32 countries.
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