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This paper describes a joint project between the School of Engineering, Durham University and Philips Components to investigate the implementation of an automated vision inspection system. This was to replace an existing manual inspection system in the aluminising area of the Philips colour television tube factory in Durham. A comparison is made between area-scan and line-scan vision systems in terms of cost, reliability and effectiveness and the deciding factors in the choice of such systems are discussed. The hardware and software of three PC based systems are described together with the associated problems of implementation in an operational production line. Their predicted effects on factory efficiency are discussed together with a prediction of future trends in the use of such systems in the `Factory of the Future'