Machine Vision: Technologies and Global Markets
The global market for machine vision systems by application was worth $8.1 billion in 2006 and will reach upwards of almost $9 billion by 2007. At a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.9%, this market will grow to more than $15 billion by 2012.
Total industrial applications held the highest share of the market through the forecast period. In 2007 they were worth $6.4 billion. By the end of 2012 this sector will grow to $9.3 billion, more than 62% of the total global market.
The combined non-industrial sector had the highest growth rate through the forecast period. By 2012 it will be worth more than $5.7 billion, a CAGR of 17.0%.
Machine vision has been defined by the Machine Vision Association of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the Automated Imaging Association as "the use of devices for optical, noncontact sensing to automatically receive and interpret an image of a real scene to obtain information and/or control machines or processes."
There are specific differences between image analysis, image processing, and machine vision. Image analysis generally refers to equipment that makes quantitative assessments of patterns associated with biological and metallurgical phenomena, whereas image processing generally refers to equipment designed to process and enhance images for ultimate human interpretation.
The instruments used to interpret meteorological and earth resources data are examples. Machine vision involves automatic image interpretation for the purposes of:
- process control
- quality control
- machine control
- robot control
- other functions like traffic control, and crowd and security surveillance
Machine vision is an automated technology in which images are captured and transferred to a computer, and then processed to perform an inspection task and report the results. Machine vision systems have become more powerful while becoming much easier to use. Recent advances in machine vision technology, especially related to smart cameras, have opened the doors to machine vision use for a wider variety of industrial and nonindustrial applications.
From a mere 6% to 8% of the total market for machine vision systems about a decade ago, their share of the nonindustrial segment went to about 20% in 2006 and is expected to be around 35% to 37% in 2012. This is a very impressive increase. The principal objective of this report is to study the impact of such an increase on the use of machine vision systems in the nonindustrial sector, how it affects the technologies involved and how the machine vision industry is tackling this challenge.
Significantly, machine vision involves automatic image interpretation for the purpose of control (as mentioned above: process control, quality control, machine control, and robot control). Distinctions are made between image analysis, image processing, and machine vision. Image analysis generally refers to equipment that makes quantitative assessments of patterns associated with biological and metallurgical phenomena. Image processing generally refers to equipment designed to process and enhance images for ultimate human interpretation. Instruments used to interpret meteorological and earth resources data are examples
SCOPE OF STUDY
This report contains:
- An overview of the machine vision market, including definitions, history and concepts of the industry, technology life cycle, government regulations, and more
- A review of the machine vision market by important technologies, including an overview of machine vision systems, types of technologies, components, and more
- The global market for machine vision by applications, with historical and current data through 2006 with projections and growth rates through 2012
- Detailed analyses of patents
- Profiles of the major machine vision companies.
METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES
Data in this report came from telephone interviews with manufacturers, system integrators and end users as well as from searches of company literature and online sources. Production data from various segments of the industry was obtained from sources with these industries and from balance sheets of a number of companies. Forecasts are based on a variety of factors including technology developments, commercial realities, product/technology lifecycles and regional economic growth factors.
Srinivasa Rajaram is a mechanical engineer with more than 40 years' experience in senior positions in multinational organizations in the fields of weighing, dynamic balancing and machine monitoring. He has designed layouts for these types of products for a number of manufacturing units.
Machine vision, the combination of cameras, lighting and software to capture and analyze moving images, is distinguished from other electronic imaging technologies because it is specifically associated with industrial manufacturing. In the 1980s, machine vision emerged as a means to improve the manufacturing process, and its use has been growing steadily ever since.
The trend towards total quality and recent advances in machine vision technology are working in tandem to open the doors for machine vision in a wider variety of markets and applications. Machine vision systems have been critical in helping meet the growing demand by consumers for high quality, defect-free products.
Manufacturers of all kinds are realizing the benefits of using machine vision in conjunction with automated, high-speed processes to increase productivity, improve product quality, and reduce waste. As the technology continues to develop, the applications for which machine vision can be used will certainly expand as well.