Machine vision systems and other automated visual inspection (AVI) systems have been proving their usefulness in factories for more than a decade. In spite of this, the number of installed systems is far below the number that could profitably be employed. In the opinion of the authors, the primary reason for this is the high cost of customizing vision systems to meet applications requirements. A three-part approach to this problem has proven to be useful: 1. A multi-phase paradigm for customer interaction, system specification, system development, and system installation; 2. A powerful and easy-to-use system development environment, including a a flexible laboratory lighting setup, plus software-based tools to assist in the design of image acquisition systems, b. an image processing environment with a very large repertoire of image processing and feature extraction operations and an easy-to-use command interpreter having macro capabilities, and c. an image analysis environment with high-level constructs, a flexible and powerful syntax, and a "seamless" interface to the image processing level; and 3. A moderately-priced high-speed "target" system fully compatible with the development environment, so that algorithms developed thereon can be transferred directly to the factory environment without further development costs or reprogramming. Items 1 and 2 are covered in other papers1,23,4,5 and are touched on here only briefly. Item 3 is the main subject of this paper. Our major motivation in presenting this paper is to offer suggestions to vendors developing commercial boards and systems, in hopes that the special needs of industrial inspection can be met.