Machine vision trumps Chicago Cubs

My newspaper/Web browsing usually starts with sports pages, then goes to business. First I get a base in stability, seeing that the Chicago Cubs are muddling along with the depressing mediocrity they’ve provided since the 1908 World Series.

This week, I got a nice contrast in the business pages. First quarter data from the Automated Imaging Association said machine vision sales were up 34 percent, while the Robotic Industries Association saw a rise of 16 percent in units and 30 percent in revenues.

It’s pretty reassuring to see that the manufacturing world is making investments in machine vision and robotics. These 20-30 percent upticks are pretty much in line with recent board and semiconductor data from IPC and SEMI, respectively. All these groups caution that the comparisons are based on depressed 2009 markets.

The AIA report was cautiously optimistic about the future — there’s no mention of 2009’s most-used word, decline. Roughly half the participating companies expected sales to increase during the next two quarters, with about half predicting sales for the next six months will remain more or less static.

Many people might be pretty tired of “cautiously optimistic.” Rightfully so. But cautious optimism sure beats the “depressingly pessimistic” watchword of 2009 business pages and the past 102 years of Chicago Cubs prospects.

One Comment

  1. Posted August 13, 2010 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Terry, anyone can have a bad century now and then. But thank goodness manufacturing looks good.

    But what if the Cubbies also looked good? What if they actually won? Our entire identity as Cub fans would be destroyed, our very essence for generations of my family. And yet, somehow I think we’d learn to cope with winning, alien as it now seems.

    Also, please check out my blog, where I mention your blog: http://www.qcircuits.com/blog

    Best, Merry


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