Machine Vision 101

Machine Vision 101

What is Machine Vision?

Machine Vision is the use of hardware and software to acquire and process images for intelligent purposes. For industrial use, a camera will acquire the image, a computer will process the image, and a machine will take some action based on the results of the image processed. Machine Vision is considered the eyes of the machine. A typical machine vision system includes 6 parts: Trigger, Light, Lens, Camera, Computer, and Machine.


  • Gauging
  • Inspection
  • Guidance
  • Identification


  • Automotive
  • Medical Devices
  • Pharamceutical
  • Consumer Products
  • Food & Beverage
  • Electronics
  • Mobile Devices
  • Semiconductor
  • General Manufacturing
  • Robotics


  • Trigger
    • The Trigger is the activating mechanism to tell the camera when to take a photo. Precise part location is required to get the same view of the part every time. Triggers can be a photoeye, encoder, PLC logic, etc.
  • Light
    • Light is used to control image acquisition both enhancing part features and improving repeatability. Machine Vision custom lighting is almost always required and the correct solutions is determined through testing.
  • Lens
    • The lens is responsible for directing the reflected light from the part onto the camera sensor where the magnification and focus are typically fixed. To size the lens you will need to find the required Field of View (FOV) and the working distance range.
  • Camera
    • The Camera converts light into electrical signal from the captured sensor data (light reflected from part). Since we will know both image size and pixel size we can measure the part and/or features. We can also use this data to review presence or absence of a particular color or feature.
  • Computer
    • The Computer takes the electrical signal from the camera and checks your part for its custom requirements and then submits the result to the machine (pass, fail, digital value, etc.). Each project requires some level of custom machine vision programming and leverages a sophisticated machine vision algorithm library (standard checks to find edges, compare color, take measurements, etc.) to deliver a solution to your unique problem. The camera & computer combination is capable of completing this task in < 1 second.
  • Machine
    • The Machine is custom to your application and is the purpose for the vision system. This is the action taken from the inspection result and could range from an ejection arm firing to a guidance system for a robotic arm. The machine vision computer can trigger and power these sequences (acting as the PLC) or send the information to an exsisting PLC for execution.


  • Engineered Vision will design, procure, install, and support the machine vision system that meets your application needs through the following steps:
  1. We will start by providing a Free Consultation and site visit to identify potential camera, light, and trigger locations
  2. Next we perform free lab testing on the provided part samples with a skeleton vision program to ensure machine vision will work for your application
  3. We provide the results and generate a customized solution for your application. At this point we will know where your machine vision problem sits on the basic to complex spectrum.
  4. Installation – we will procure the machine vision components from our established distribution partners known to deliver superior quality products (typically > 20 years experience) and install them at your facility with minimal downtime.
  5. Support – commissioning and technical support is provided to ensure your new manufacturing improvements come headache free
  • We also preform many different machine vision applications in addition to custom machine design and robotics integration. To see how we can help you just select “Contact” above and write a few sentences about your application.

We're available to support your factory automation needs. Contact us with questions.