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One of the pleasures in publishing this magazine is the fact that we are always trying—in hopefully engaging ways—to present useful information in a variety of styles and formats, from short application stories, to in-depth case studies, new product descriptions, and interviews with end users.

One of the pleasures in publishing this magazine is the fact that we are always trying—in hopefully engaging ways—to present useful information in a variety of styles and formats, from short application stories, to in-depth case studies, new product descriptions, and interviews with end users. This month we have our regular lineup of material, but we have also added our first Worldwide Imaging Board Directory.

The regular lineup begins with Technology Trends, describing recent developments that include a system to inspect steel and one to guide a wheelchair and a demonstration of the PCI Express interface. The Business Views interview with Steve Miner of Key Technology (Walla Walla, WA, USA) helps explain how one of the world's major food-processing-equipment makers uses vision and what the company expects of its vendors.

This issue contains three feature-length articles, with one—the cover story by editor Andy Wilson on assembling pregnancy test kits—capturing the essence of what Vision Systems Design tries to deliver: a real-world system described in sufficient detail for our readers to find useful in their own application. In another article, contributing editor Winn Hardin discusses how IR and process control are no longer mutually exclusive concepts. The Product Focus article shows that LED lighting and smart controllers have made a significant impact on machine-vision illumination.

The Worldwide Imaging Board Directory is our effort to help readers sort through the sheer number and complexity of choices available for image-processing boards. By way of introduction, Philip Colet of Coreco Imaging (St-Laurent, QC, Canada) discusses current and evolving bus standards, camera interfaces, and I/O options. Steve Moore and Chris Youman of PLX Technology (Sunnyvale, CA, USA) expand on the value of PCI Express.

The directory lists 42 companies producing well over 200 boards. Each board is described in terms of bus interface, camera input, input/output, onboard processing memory interface, host/operating system support, and software packages supported. Complementing this directory, in September 2004, we will again publish our Worldwide Industrial Camera Directory. Both directories and our annual Buyers Guide are available on our Web site all year.

We are continually seeking ways to interact with and support engineers and systems integrators in our business. If you would like to work with us to develop a case study, please contact Andy Wilson (andyw@pennwell.com) or me. The first question we will ask you is: "Can you provide a complete description of the equipment and software, including a block diagram of the system and components, as well as photographs of the system in operation?" If you can, then we really have the makings of an article. And if you have a new product that you would like to see published, please send it to VSDproducts@pennwell.com.

Editing this magazine has its pleasures, and I invite you to join in them.

W. Conard Holton
Editor in Chief
cholton@pennwell.com

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