The science of automatic inspection and measurement has assumed greatly increased importance in today's competitive business environment and it will assume still greater importance with the coming of tomorrow's Factory of the Future (FOF). Even today, the terms Computer Aided Manufacturing, the "CAM" in CAD/CAM, and Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) have become common in the popular jargon. Whether computer aided or computer integrated, the modern manufacturing operation requires automated inspection and measurement for two fundamental reasons: (1) economic pressures dictate that waste and inefficiency be minimized, and (2) today's customer base requires not only competitive prices but also competitive quality. Therefore, automated inspection and measurement is needed to provide cost minimization while also providing quality maximization. These dual requirements are discussed in terms of turnkey systems supplied by independent vendors to the manufacturer. Specific examples are presented of the pitfalls that are sometimes encountered. We illustrate the process in terms of actual turnkey on-line inspection and measurement systems that have been developed for industrial use on fixed assembly lines, as well as for use in flexible assembly operations. The systems to be discussed contain image acquisition subsystems, real time data processing, optical non-contact gauging subsystems, and the associated mechanical, optical and computer hardware to achieve total automated operation. As such, these systems address the problems of integrated system design for automated inspection and gauging. The systems described have the capability to inspect and gauge a variety of products, ranging from spur gears to rigid, dimensionally accurate bodies, to metal webs, to transparent/transluscent paper, plastic and woven materials, and to the testing and inspection of optical systems.