Vision inspection? Machine vision? What are they and what can they do for you? 

‘Machine vision’ and ‘vision inspection’ are two phrases we hear a bit. So what are they, and what are the differences? And even more importantly, what are the benefits of an automated machine vision inspection solution for your business?

Bottle rim verification using vision inspection

Firstly, let’s start with the definitions. Essentially, “vision inspection” and “machine vision” are the same. There is a third phrase too that you may have heard of, combining words from both — “machine vision inspection”. 

Vision systems inspect product quality on the production line in real-time, and range from simple through to quite complex, such as when a camera and computer technologies are used together in automatic inspection, process control and robot guidance. Employed across manufacturing and industrial applications, vision systems all aim for the same outcome: ensuring only goods that meet your specification as the manufacturer leave your factory doors. 

Advanced systems can perform a range of functions, including inspect, guide, identify, measure, track and count. For instance: 

  • Checking closures for tamper seals, correct caps by colour, dimensions and so on
  • Inspecting product for fill levels, product content, shape, size and so forth
  • Detecting products damaged in operations and inspecting empty rigid containers (bottles, cans, tubes, boxes, tubs, etc.) to ensure they meet dimensional and cosmetic requirements
  • Checking for torn or missing labels
  • Reading 1D and 2D barcodes, enabling products to be tracked and traced through manufacturing
  • Verifying print integrity, thus ensuring your brand imaging in a retail store display
  • Ensuring that inkjet printers are functioning properly by checking date code presence, position and formation
  • Validating the presence and position of labels, and matching them to other elements by performing date and lot code OCR and OCV, thereby verifying that the product information is correctly printed and that labels are placed on the right products  
  • Checking for shape, roundness and conformity 
  • Providing shape-based orientation and sorting products based on marking

Confirming the package and product match (so lowering the risk of recall)

For more information on recalls, this whitepaper looks at the role vision inspection plays in avoiding recalls due to packaging and labelling faults

Machine vision systems can also provide robotic guidance. 

Benefits of an automated machine vision inspection solution

So what are the benefits of an automated machine vision inspection solution for your company?

Ensuring products are labelled and filled correctly, in-spec, compliant and shelf-ready — straight off the production line and without human intervention — has many benefits to your business. 

Automating QC (quality control) give you a reliable system that consistently delivers what it’s meant to. It also allows you to save costs, by reducing both manual efforts and waste through detecting any wrong or mislabelled products early in the production process. 

There are overall business benefits too. Because quality data is collected in real-time every time a product passes through for inspection, it allows you to optimise throughput by using that data to react to upstream issues faster and improve overall quality. And those, enable you to move towards lean manufacturing and continuous improvement

In a nutshell, vision inspection or machine vision systems will help make your packaging process leaner and more reliable, which is one way to help you create a sustainable competitive advantage.


iQVision has a host of information in the resource library, including case studies, whitepapers, FAQ’s, videos, our blog and brochures. They’re all free to download. 

If you’d like to explore a vision system or automated machine vision inspection solution, please contact us via email or call 1300 IQVISION (1300 478 474). 

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