AIA, the global industry trade group for vision and imaging companies, recently unveiled its Vision for the Future-a new brand identity emphasizing AIA's commitment to advancing vision and imaging technology worldwide. The new brand identity premiered at the 20th Annual AIA Business Conference in Orlando on January 18, 2012.
"We've spent the last 18 months developing our vision of where AIA, our members, and the vision and imaging industry as a whole are headed in the future," said Jeff Burnstein, AIA's President. "A key component of this effort was getting input from our members in focus groups and through in-depth surveys, as well as one-one-one conversations. We see the technology extending to every corner of the globe and into every industry, well beyond the confines of the factory. So, we refocused our priorities, invested in new activities and staff resources, and changed our name from the Automated Imaging Association to just AIA, adding a tagline that clearly states our mission: ‘Advancing Vision + Imaging'," Burnstein explained.
"We also have changed the name of our industry-leading website from Machine Vision Online to Vision Online, in recognition of the fact that vision is used in entertainment, medical imaging, warehousing, retail many other industries where the word ‘machine' may be too narrow of a description."
Burnstein stressed that the new name for the association, new tagline, and new website name are far more than just cosmetic changes.
"With this new branding initiative, AIA plans to reinforce its position as a strong, forward-thinking advocate for the companies that manufacture, integrate and use vision and imaging technology in established and emerging markets worldwide. AIA currently represents some 320 members from 30 nations and expects to attract many new members as well as customers for vision as a result of our expanded efforts to help create our vision for the future," he said.
AIA's mission is to advance the understanding and use of vision and imaging technologies, driving the industry's global expansion and growth through education and promotion. "We take global expansion very seriously, which is why we've recently strengthened our relationships with vision associations in Europe, Japan, China, Korea and India. And, we'll be expanding our educational and promotional programs in North America and abroad as we strive to reach new users for vision and imaging technology," Burnstein said.
Burnstein cited several key AIA activities as core to its mission, such as standards development. "Standards make vision easier to use and AIA is working diligently to help develop and promote global standards such as Camera Link® and Camera Link HSTM, GigE Vision®, and USB3 VisionTM. We work very closely with the European Machine Vision Association (EMVA) and the Japan Industrial Imaging Association (JIIA) on global standards development," he noted.
Trade shows and conferences, such as The Vision Show (May 8-10, 2012, Boston, Massachusetts, USA) and Automate 2013 (January 21-24, 2013, Chicago, Illinois, USA) are also important for reaching new customers. "Many companies, especially small and medium-sized companies, aren't aware of the benefits of vision and imaging and aren't sure where to turn to find leading product suppliers or system integrators. They also need practical training. These leading industry events play a critical role in reaching new customers and making sure they gain information that can be put to immediate use at their companies. We're also very active at leading events outside of North America, such as Automatica in Munich, VISION in Stuttgart, Germany, and the ITE events in Yokohama, Japan, as well as Vision China and the Korea Vision Show," Burnstein said.
The annual AIA Business Conference, where the new brand identity was announced, brings key vision and imaging industry executives together for insightful talks, relevant panel discussions and outstanding networking. AIA collocates this conference with the Robotics Industry Forum and the Motion Control Association Business Conference, sponsored by its sister organizations Robotic Industries Association (RIA) and the Motion Control Association (MCA).
"We bring together some 350 industry leaders from around the world," Burnstein said. "These technologies are often used together in an automated system, so having AIA members meet with RIA and MCA members creates many new business opportunities."
Another very important new AIA initiative is certification. In 2010 AIA launched its Certified Vision Professional (CVP) program at the Basic Level. In 2011 the program was expanded to include the Advanced Level. In 2012 AIA will launch a program designed to certify system integrator companies. Additionally, Basic Level programs will be offered as in-house training and online so that interested companies don't have to wait for events such as The Vision Show and Automate 2013 to get their key people trained.
"Certification training can help companies raise the skill level of their key employees and help users determine which companies should be considered for future projects. We hope the result will be more successful vision applications," said Burnstein.
AIA also provides analysis of the current business climate by providing quarterly market reports, customized research and regular market opportunity studies. "We will continue to expand upon the market data we provide in order to meet the needs of our members. We're also committed to giving AIA members new insights on robotics, motion control and related automation technologies."
AIA members include manufacturers of vision components and systems, system integrators, distributors, OEMs, end users, consulting firms, academic institutions and research groups directly involved with vision and imaging. For more information about AIA, please visit www.visiononline.org or call AIA Headquarters at +1 734/994-6088.