Machine vision in the last decade has made significant advancements, its utilization now more widespread throughout a multitude of industries. Major global entities—from the makers of high-powered industrial motors to semiconductor component manufacturers—are now seeing the benefits of fully integrating machine vision with the production floor to achieve higher levels of factory automation. As most manufacturing still operates with legacy equipment, deploying machine vision will further improve not only the quality of products being produced but also the safety and efficiency of manufacturing processes.
Vertical markets for machine vision
The global economic landscape is shifting to one of uncertainty, with the escalating US-China trade war and the growing decline in Germany disrupting three of the world’s largest global manufacturers. While the state of the global economy and the various industrial indexes can serve as useful indicators when forecasting the growth of any market, machine vision, however, poses a different challenge.
In fact, global manufacturing will never cease. Therefore, it is important to consider the vertical markets adopting machine vision when determining where the machine vision market is headed. And beyond forecasts and indexes, the more effective indicators of machine vision momentum will be the pace of further development and implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT), the rate at which artificial intelligence (AI) is integrated with machine vision, and the extent to which digital twins, as well as other numerous disruptive technologies, is being deployed in manufacturing.
But while these are early days with strong potential for the continuous growth of machine vision, the time will come when all manufacturers will have fully implemented the technology. As a result, the machine vision market will transform from that of an adoption market to one of replacement.
Growth trends and prospects
The global market for machine vision in factory automation focuses typically on the independent utilization of various hardware and software elements. However, as applications and processes become more complex, system integration will assume more prominence and importance, synthesizing hardware and software to produce a unique automated solution.
Examples of machine vision solutions expected to become more widespread in the markets of the future include automated optical inspection (AOI), electron microscopy, and optoelectronics (optical tests).
The global market for machine vision market in factory automation reached $4.0 billion in 2018, with revenue this year projected to grow 8% to $4.3 billion. The Asia Pacific will lead among regions, as shown by the chart below.