The decision is getting more difficult. For example, a gray-scale pattern-matching machine-vision sensor offers rapid inspections for the price of a high-end photoelectric sensor, says Omron Electronics Inc., Schaumburg, Ill. The company's F10 system is designed to detect patterns -- rather than spots as photoelectric sensors do. As a result, it enables a wider range of applications, Omron explains. For example, instead of detecting label presence or absence, the F10 can detect whether a label is upside down, skewed, or if more than one label is present. The company says the device either can match patterns or detect plain objects or backgrounds. Applications include: pattern matching, accurate label placement, printing verification, and conformity checks.