For 2018, the German Engineering Association (VDMA) reported stagnation in industrial imaging for the first time in many years. However, after sales increased by 260 percent within ten years, German providers were able to repeat their record result of EUR 2.6 billion from the previous year. This was to be expected after 17.5 percent growth in the previous year, said the VDMA. The association also stated that sentiment in the industry remains good. Basically, the growth trend will continue, as imaging is a key component in the worldwide automation race.
As opposed to the German association, the China Machine Vision Union (CMVU) reported considerable growth for 2018. According to the association, the Chinese market grew by more than a fifth compared to the previous year. The CMVU reported total sales of EUR 1.1 billion. The association expects to see annual growth rates of 23.5 percent over the next three years. If this growth eventuates, sales revenue would increase to EUR 2 billion by 2021.
The European Machine Vision Association (EMVA) also reported strong growth for 2018. The European machine vision industry has grown by 9.5 percent compared to the previous year. Despite the economic slowdown and increasing tensions in world trade, the mood remains cautiously optimistic. There is also good reason for this if we look at market development in the U.S.: According to the Automated Imaging Association (AIA), in 2018 sales increased by 9.2 percent to USD 2.87 billion. However, after six strong years of growth, the AIA expects to see some “normalization.”
Various international studies confirm the continuing high growth expectations on the market, even if they work with very different figures in some cases. For example, U.S. market researchers from Verified Market Research estimate the volume of the global machine vision market at USD 7.96 billion for 2017. With average rates of 7.4 percent, it will grow to USD 14.1 billion by 2025. In a market study, Grand View Research also predicts similarly high growth rates of 7.7 percent. However, the authors estimate the market volume in 2017 at USD 9.95 billion. Accordingly, they also estimate total global sales in industrial imaging at USD 18.24 billion in 2025, which is much higher than the market researchers at Verified Market Research. A third study from MarketsandMarkets™ investigates the period from 2016 to 2023. Here, the global market for machine vision solutions in 2017 is estimated at USD 7.91 billion. With annual rates of 7.61 percent, it will grow to a volume of USD 12.29 billion by 2023.
Although the absolute figures differ, the market researchers are in agreement with regard to their growth forecasts. The prospects are good for the imaging industry and it is expected that the market will grow at average annual rates of 7.5 percent until 2025.