The worst of the recession is over for machine vision, according to a report published by IMS Research
. The report estimated that the world market enjoyed revenues of nearly US$2.5 billion in 2008 but this was slashed by more than 25 percent in 2009 equating to around $0.5 billion of hardware sales being lost.
“Machine vision suffered more from the downturn in industrial production than industrial automation in general,” said John Morse, author of the report. “However, there were significant differences between geographic regions and industries. There were a few companies interviewed for the report that saw growth in 2009; but the ones that suffered the most were suppliers to manufacturing, particularly to the automotive and machine tool sectors.”
“It's not all bad news,” Morse said. “Most of the industry appears to have survived and many suppliers have seen orders pick up in January 2010. Many are optimistic that growth will be sustained; however, it is most likely that recovery will be steady rather than meteoric. The time when revenues return their 2008 levels is very dependent on the industries served. The very earliest is likely to be 2011, with some sectors unlikely to recover before the end of the report's forecast period in 2013.”