Epson develops compact, lightweight spectroscopic camera to automate color inspections

Seiko Epson Corporation has developed a compact, lightweight spectroscopic camera that can be integrated in manufacturing lines. Epson will launch its first spectroscopic camera, one that captures light across the visible spectrum, in the 2020 fiscal year ending March 2021.

Differences in color can occur between products in different production lots in ordinary manufacturing processes. A spectroscopic camera can be used by manufacturers to perform the following inspections to control these differences to a certain extent and ensure product quality:

  • Color variation inspections
  • Surface coating inspections

The RGB cameras currently used in these inspections are unable to capture detailed color information and are not always able to distinguish between subtle differences in color. Consequently, most visual inspections relied on human color perception. However, color perception varies among individuals, and human error puts manufacturers at risk of shipping defective goods. Time and cost constraints make color management an issue in many industries. Spectroscopic cameras have traditionally been large and expensive, and those equipped with line sensors may have to composite images after scanning, adding to the time and expense.

Epson has developed an optimal solution for color management processes with a compact, lightweight spectroscopic camera that can be integrated into manufacturing lines, that can automate and quantify inspections, and output images without the time and trouble of compositing. This spectroscopic camera will enable manufacturers to manage color in their manufacturing processes more easily than ever before.


  1. About the same compactness and weight as an RGB camera. Can be installed in manufacturing lines.
  2. Integral field spectroscopy. Can focus on an area, measure the colors, and distinguish colors of a target object within the visible light range.
  3. Image processing functions needed on manufacturing lines can be used along with spectral imaging functions.

Epson invites you to see the spectroscopic camera at the Epson booth (No. S1-02) at International Robot Exhibition 2019, to be held at the Tokyo Big Sight (Tokyo International Exhibition Center) from December 18-21. Please visit the websites below for information about the exhibition and the demonstrations to take place at the Epson booth.

1 Comment

  1. Erik Nikkanen on December 18, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    Please develop this technology to obtain ICC type profiles, for thousand of patches with one exposure and calculation. It would greatly ease and speed up the colour management method for printing.

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