Machine vision allows manufacturers to evaluate their products at high speed. The imaging-based inspection method spots defects and captures information on the assembly process.

Some industrial employers, however, have little expertise in the field of machine vision and must rely upon vision system integrators to implement the valuable quality-control imaging tools.

In a webinar titled Understanding Machine Vision for Industrial Inspection, a reader had the following question:

How would you advise me to evaluate the skill level of my vision equipment builders? I’m a novice. Are there credentials or certifications I should look for? Do references matter since each project seems to be unique?

Greg Hollows from the Barrington NJ-based imaging supplier Edmund Optics explained how to evaluate a vision system integrator.

Read his edited response below.

Greg Hollows, VP, Imaging Business Unit, Edmund Optics: There are a few ways to do this. First, I would have the vision team show you a portfolio of successful applications that they’ve done. They should usually have references or feedback from their customers; they should be able to review those cases with you, and you can see the size of the projects they’ve done and how extensive their background research was.

The second recommendation I have: See how many people are actually actively working in vision for them. There are some small groups that specialize; they might be two or three people all working in the vision area. So, if they have a history of those jobs, that really helps. But there are other companies that could be larger, and might only have one person that’s working in vision occasionally; maybe they do other things. You want to find out if they have that core vision knowledge there.

Next, you want to see how they would evaluate your application requirements. What size lab do they have? What sort of equipment do they have at their disposal? That’ll show how much they’re invested in [an application].

Lastly: There is a certification process that is put on by the AIA. You can find them at They have a list of people who have been certified, both as individuals and as corporate members, to ensure that they have taken tests and have the background knowledge to actually support you in those applications.

So, if those four considerations align, or at least three of the four, you’re probably in good shape.

What else should be considered when evaluating a vision system integrator? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.