Welcome to this inauguralVision & Sensorsspecial section from QualityMagazine. This has been a project in the planning for quite some time and it is with great pleasure we offer you this first in a regular series of special issues on this fast-growing technology.

In the most recentQualitySpending Survey (December 2005) we found that the U.S. investment in advanced vision and sensor technologies is expected to exceed $65 million, an 80% increase from 2005. The principal applications for vision and sensor technology are inspection and measurement. And while this is encouraging, the challenges these technologies present are the reason for QualityMagazine offering you this special coverage.

In research and informal discussions with manufacturers, suppliers and integrators,QualityMagazine found that the leading challenge for manufacturers using vision and sensors technology today is a need for practical information about implementing these tools in real-world applications. Many manufacturers have told us they have little access to formal training and information about vision and sensors technology. They also want education that doesn’t cost much and that reaps quick results. As a result of these challenges, many manufacturers report that their costly investments in vision and sensors equipment sit idly on a shelf, or cause production line nightmares that cost time and money. To help in solving these challenges,QualityMagazine is launchingVision & Sensors.

For more than 45 years,QualityMagazine has been providing its subscribers-real-world manufacturers-with the practical information they need to improve their manufacturing processes. Unlike others, who address the designers of vision and sensor systems or their use in nonmanufacturing applications,QualityMagazine addresses those of you actually implementing vision and sensors technology in the factory. The same hands-on, “how-to” approachQualityMagazine has provided during the past 45 years will be brought to this newVision & Sensorsspecial section.

InsideVision & Sensorswe will bring you the experts who know how vision and sensors systems and components can and should be used. We’ll offer you practical tips on choosing the right equipment. We’ll share with you how other manufacturers have successfully deployed vision and sensors technology in their factories. We’ll give you the opportunity to ask, and have answered, your specific questions. And, we’ll offer you the latest in technology offerings from suppliers.

In the months that we do not have this special section, we’ll be offering you theVision & Sensorselectronic newsletter. Sign up for it atwww.qualitymag.com.

An integral part of serving you requires that we receive your input. We want to know your thoughts, ideas and challenges. What are the issues that concern you most? What is your experience with vision and sensors technology? Do you have a problem or success story you want to share? E-mail or write us and let us know.

Vision and sensors technologies deliver rapid measurement, test and inspection.Vision & Sensorsis here to give you the information and solutions you need to make your investment in these technologies work for you.

Let us know what you see as the important issues in visions and sensors technologies. What are the challenges you face in implementing these tools? Tell me atwilliamst@bnpmedia.com, or one of our editors.