European Machine Vision Industry Up 16% in 2014


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In 2014, the European machine vision industry broke all records. According to VDMA Machine Vision's latest market survey, the sector turnover grew by 16% in 2014.

"For 2015, companies expect further growth of 11%," said Olaf Munkelt, Chairman of the Board of VDMA Machine Vision and Managing Director of MVTec Software GmbH.

Strong increase of sales outside Europe

Sales outside of Europe grew by 20%. North America (14% share of total sales, 21% more than in 2013) and Asia (20% share of total sales and 19% more than in 2013) were the driving force behind growth. China (7% of total sales, 13% more than in 2013) was again the third biggest market for European machine vision companies. The overall export share of European Machine Vision suppliers was 37%.

In 2014, sales in almost all European countries recovered and total turnover in Europe grew by 14%. Germany was again by far the largest market for European machine vision companies with a share of almost 34% of the total sales and an increase of turnover of more than 12%.

Strong demand

Looking at the customer industries, the total manufacturing sectors accounted for almost 76% of the total turnover of European machine vision and sales grew by 16% in comparison with the previous year. In 2014, the automotive industry was again the biggest customer for European machine vision with a share of 21% of total turnover and +17% turnover growth. It was followed by the electronics and electrical industry including semiconductors (14.6%), the food and beverage industry (6.5%) and metal industry (5.7%).

Record camera turnover

In 2014, machine vision systems grew again faster than the components business in Europe. The turnover of machine vision systems rose by 19% in 2014, components by 14%. The largest product category within the components, cameras, increased sales by 14.5% reaching the record level of over € 411 million (reported volume).

Machine vision in Germany

The German machine vision industry increased its turnover by 16% in 2014 reaching the mark of € 1.9 billion. The growth impetus came mostly from exports: While domestic turnover grew by 12%, exports from Germany went up by 19% in 2014. The export share rose from 57% to a new all-time high of 59%. For 2015, the German machine vision suppliers expect to expand their sales volume by 10% exceeding a sector turnover of over € 2 billion.

About the VDMA Machine Market Survey

The VDMA Machine Vision Market Survey is conducted on an annual basis and is open to all European machine vision companies. It is based on reports directly received from companies. The companies involved are both European players producing in Europe as well as foreign businesses selling imported products from their European operations. Altogether, 175 companies were surveyed of which 115 companies are located in Germany. In 2014, the number of other participating European machine vision industry suppliers (outside of Germany) increased to 60 companies (up from 48 companies in 2013). These companies came from Austria, Benelux, Denmark, Finland, France, Israel, Italy, Poland, Russia, Sweden and UK.

Although the reported volume of almost 1.4 billion € is relatively high and participating companies can be considered representative, statistically the basis is too low to estimate the entire turnover of the European market. While it is not possible to provide a reliable estimate for the European turnover of the machine vision industry it is possible for the German market. The turnover of the German machine vision industry reached a new record high of € 1.9 billion € in 2014 and is estimated to account for at least approximately 40% of the total European market.

About VDMA Machine Vision

The VDMA represents over 3,100 mainly small and medium size member companies in the engineering industry, making it one of the largest and most important industrial associations in Europe. As a part of the VDMA Robotics + Automation Association, VDMA Machine Vision unites more than 110 members: companies offering machine vision systems and components. The objective of this industry-driven platform is to support the machine vision sector through a wide spectrum of activities and services. Current activities include statistics and the annual VDMA Machine Vision Market Survey, marketing services, public relations, trade fair policy, future radar, networking events and conferences. To find out more about VDMA Machine Vision, click here.

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