6660b272267ff727245ca641 Mark Williamson

VDMA anticipates shift in vision trends

June 5, 2024
CEO Mark Williamson foresees uptick in global industrial demand in late 2024

For more than a decade, the European machine vision industry has reported steady growth, with turnover increasing by an average of 9% annually between 2012 and 2022, according to Europe's Machinery and Equipment Manufacturers Association (VDMA). Despite a temporary setback in 2020—negative 4%—due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry rebounded strongly in 2021—positive 17%—and 2022—positive 11%.

"The European machine vision industry has demonstrated exceptional growth over the last decade and remains a very attractive industry." said Mark Williamson, chairman of the board of the VDMA Machine Vision division during the Vision/VDMA CEO Roundtable. "Unfortunately, due to the current economic and geopolitical situation we were unable to repeat this in 2023 and, while we are starting to see improvements, it’s unlikely to see growth until late 2024.”

Based on the latest VDMA statistics, the European machine vision industry experienced a 7% decrease in sales during 2023. For this year, VDMA Machine Vision anticipates a continued downturn, projecting a further 3% decline in sales for the current year.

Despite short-term challenges, the longer-term outlook for machine vision remains positive. As a key technology in the global automation race, machine vision finds applications not only in traditional industrial sectors but also in non-manufacturing industries.

With the emergence of AI technologies and approaches, the market potential for image processing continues to grow, with VDMA Machine Vision anticipating a shift in trends by the fourth quarter of 2024.

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