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A3 Business Forum 2019

The great and the good of the vision and imaging, robotics, motion control and motor industries gathered in Florida in mid-January to attend the annual A3 Business Forum.

Over 650 international attendees from suppliers, distributors, integrators, educators, end-users and others in the automation related ecosystem swarmed the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Hotel on January 14-16.

These professionals, representing the robotics, vision, motion control and motor industries were attending the A3 Business Forum, an annual event presented by the Association for Advancing Automation (A3) a trade association governing four daughter associations, RIA, AIA, MCMA and A3 Mexico each focused on progressing the usage and education of automation.

Valuable Insight

The event is strictly available to members of any of the four associations and provides valuable insight of the robotics and automation industry through presentations covering forecasts and predictions for upcoming trends as well as important trade data.

Highlights included keynote presentations on The Human Exploration of Mars from Dr Anita Sengupta, University of Southern California and Aerospace Experience Technologies; a Global 2019 Economic Outlook & Forecast presented by Alan Beaulieu, ITR Economics; an entertaining talk by Dr Dennis Hong from RoMeLa (Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory) of the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department of UCLA entitled Do Robots Need to Look Human. There was also a panel on the future of Artificial Intelligence among many other interesting talks.

Alex Shikany, Vice President of AIA, provided an update on the automation market. For traditional machine vision technologies, areas like life sciences, consumer electronics manufacturing, and agriculture are expanding.

Imaging technology as a whole is being incorporated into a variety of new products, from autonomous vehicles and drones to smart phones and VR headsets.


That said, some economic indicators like industrial production, semiconductor market forecasts, and manufacturing PMI are softening, which will likely bring low single-digit growth numbers for the machine vision market in 2019. Longer term, the industry will continue to grow rapidly.

The overall trend is toward “smart systems,” either in the factory or in our homes. Smart systems need good data inputs to operate, and imaging technology is one of the primary ways they can get it.

MVPro Magazine’s publisher Alex Sullivan was one of 650 industry figures who attended: “It was great event and good to meet so many industry leaders and decision makers from around the world of vision, robotics and automation

“As always, it was good mix of business and social networking.

“And as publishers of both MVPro and RoboPro Magazines, it’s great to see both industries merging and intertwining together so closely.”

“It ’s great to see both industries merging and interviewing together so closely.”

The next A3 Business Form takes place between Monday, January 13-15, 2020, once again at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, Orlando, Florida, US.

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