Sensors, Vision

Machine vision industry growth expected to continue

The machine vision industry is expected to continue growing as investors begin to realize the market's potential and its benefits for manufacturing and other industries.
By AIA May 2, 2019
Courtesy: CFE Media

In 2017, the machine vision industry experienced industry-wide growth, attracting the attention of equity and corporate investors. As a result, a number of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) took place. While this growth has slowed some since then, the machine vision industry is still seeing strong growth and will continue to in the near future.

Buyers, sellers, and investors have averaged at least one deal per month since the middle of 2017. In some months, three or more major transactions have been completed. There are no signs the machine vision industry will see any slowdown in this type of activity.

Most M&A activity in machine vision has involved corporate investors looking to expand their product portfolios, intellectual assets, human capital, geographic reach, or technological and manufacturing capabilities, as well as private equity investors looking to capitalize on promising growth prospects.

Thus far, private equity firms entering the machine vision space have had an eye on buy-and-build strategies, looking to gain a foothold in the industry in addition to capitalizing on its rapid growth.

Machine vision consolidation a clear trend

Amidst all of this market activity, consolidation of machine vision companies has emerged as a clear current and future trend in the industry. Originally, consolidation helped machine vision position itself as an enabling capability in a wide range of markets, and now competitive demands in these same markets is fueling further consolidation.

Oftentimes, consolidation occurs when large international companies realize the value of machine vision and desire to incorporate it into their broader plans for automation. Additionally, end users are continuously desiring more robust machine vision solutions in fewer steps. Buyers of machine vision companies see accelerated growth potential, greater capacity for innovation, and an improved time to market to help meet customer needs and fuel their business’s growth.

The future of the machine vision industry looks bright, with strong funding and M&A activity predicted in the short-term. More and more companies are realizing the value of machine vision and its role in automation.

As large, international corporations continue to add machine vision to their portfolios, consolidation in the industry will continue, as will innovation and growth.

This article originally appeared in Vision Online. AIA is a part of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media, cvavra@cfemedia.com.

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