Mike Lawn

Mike Lawn

Mike Lawn has been involved in the machine vision industry for more than 18 years, working with established systems for the glass-container and beverage industry, as well as leading new business development in other markets.

I have unique experience from field service to executive management and in all aspects of business; including engineering, sales, marketing, and business planning. I am a "hands-on" degreed engineer, with a solid background in most disciplines including electrical, mechanical, controls, and software design.  I have recently specialized in new business development; identifying business potential, determining market requirements, and developing strategies.      

With the ability to understand and communicate requirements, my extensive engineering knowledge, and general management skills I am able to resolve issues quickly to keep projects on-budget and on-time.

Vision Systems Design - Business Views
Packaging World - Retro-smart
Packaging World - Intelligent Inspection
Vision Systems Design - Label Inspection


Date Location Qualifications
6/83 - 6/87 Salford University, Manchester, England BSc(hons) Electronics
6/75 - 6/83 Hinchingbrooke School, Huntingdon, Cambs.  



Date Location Position
03/07 - 11/09 Emhart Glass, Clearwater, FL Product Manager
11/04 - 03/07 ICS-Inex Inspection Systems, Clearwater, FL Engineering Director
06/01 - 11/04 Inex Vision Systems, Clearwater, FL USA Director of Application Engineering
12/99 - 06/01 Inex Vision Systems, Altrincham, Cheshire Technical Manager
02/93 - 12/99 BWI Inex, Altrincham, Cheshire Product / Projects Manager, IT Manager
11/87 - 09/90 Seismograph Services Ltd, Bromley, Kent Observer
05/85 - 05/86 AC Spark Plugs (GM), Kirkby, Liverpool Development Engineer


Emhart Glass

Emhart Glass, part of the Bucher group, is a 250m Euro multi-national business specializing in the glass forming business.  ICS Inex was acquired in 2007 and incorporated into Emhart's existing US inspection division, subsequently named Emhart Inex.

Taking the role of Product Manager, I was responsible for all business aspects of the "Other Vision" inspection market, the Legacy Glass products and spare parts business. My responsibilities included: developing and implement marketing strategies; researching, preparing, and presenting business plans; establishing and managing global direct sales and representative networks.

EXPERIENCE:  Sales and Marketing, Business strategy, Project planning, Corporate development, Direct and representative sales management.


ICS Inex

In late 2004, Inex Vision Systems assets were sold to Insight Control Systems in partnership with the ex CEO of Inex.  Continuing my role as Engineering Director, we combined the two companies into a single business, whilst finalizing the development of the Gemini3D label inspection system.  Even though the project was on a tight schedule, the first system was installed on time and has proved highly successful. 

EXPERIENCE:  Executive Management, Product Development, Contract Management.  New Product Marketing.


IWKA Inex (Part 1)

Following 10 years with Inex Vision Systems in the UK, I was asked by the CEO to move to the US and join the senior management team, tasked with assisting the company's restructuring and develop new markets in the general packaging industry.  Inex, then part of the IWKA group, was a $20m company specializing in industrial machine vision systems for the packaging industry, concentrating mostly in the glass container and beverage industries.

Within the first 6 months, we launched two new products, the Gemini mid level and the Inspect budget level systems.  These systems were designed from the ground up to enable us to produce turnkey vision systems customized to customers requirements, yet still fit within the companies product based business model.  By year three, the applications department comprised 50% of system sales at $1.5m plus. This included the Gemini 3D, a new technology-leading label inspection system for the beverage industry, was developed in conjunction with our partners, Cognex Corporation, and Gallo Wine.


IWKA Inex (Part 2)

The engineering support and mechanical engineering department, also part of my responsibility, was restructured and updated. A project to convert all documentation to electronic format, and re-organization of the ECO procedures was performed in a effort to increase the departments efficiency and provide an improved  service both externally and internally.  An existing project to convert new system design to a 3D modeling system (Solidworks) was finalized.

EXPERIENCE: Senior Management,  Product Development, Research & Development, US Manufacturing practices, International Sales, Marketing, CAD (Advanced SolidWorks),. PLC (AB ControlLogix)


BWI Inex (Part 1)

BWI Inex was a medium sized Machine Vision company. Historically based in the reusable glass industry.  We produced optical based inspection equipment for the container manufacturing companies, and most filling sectors, including pharmaceutical.

As Product Manager, I was responsible for the introduction of new machines into the market place.   I manage the initial Beta tests and on-line trials in Europe, liaising closely with the customer, engineers and development department in the US.  In this role it is possible for me to control the development process to ensure these products complied to European regulations, and customer needs.  I also had a strong marketing role working closely with the Sales department to provide technical sales support to new and existing customers.  During this period we successfully launched four new products, all of which had their beta trials in Europe. 


BWI Inex (Part 2)

I was the Project Manager of the UK implementation of the companies ERP system, Dataworks Avante.  Apart from the complex management issues involved, this provided me with a broader understanding of the entire business process including areas I previously had limited exposure, such as sales processing and accounting.
In early 2000, I was asked to officially take over the Technical Manager (Europe) role, to relieve some of the burden taken on by the newly appointed European MD.   This position allowed me more flexibility and control to focus on all the businesses Technical, Engineering, and Information Technology needs throughout Europe, Africa, and Middle East.

I was also responsible for the European Offices IT management role, with experience in Windows 95, Lotus Suite/CCMail/Notes, Microsoft Office Pro, Access database design, IBM System 36, Novell 4.x, LAN/WAN management, and Mitel SX2000 telephone system.


BWI Inex (Part 3)

Prior to the closure of the European development department my position was that of Applications / Development Engineer.   As the senior Applications Engineer I was responsible, from the outset of a project, to model an inspection system for a clients needs, then to manufacture, install and commission the unit. As a Development Engineer I was the project leader in the design of new products, from concept to the first few machines installations. Projects include inspection of print on plastic tub lids including development of a PC based management system (including C coding), a low budget bottle side-wall inspection machine for the beer and soft drinks market, and a glass fragment detector designed for a pharmaceutical 'Class A' clean room environment. This work required an understanding of vision processing techniques, line control, systems design, mechanical design, and software development.

EXPERIENCE: Project management, Electrical System Engineering, C software design. PLC software design (Seimens/AB/Others), CAD (AutoCAD / limited SolidWorks), Technical documentation, Instrumentation, European Standards / Directives (inc. Machinery / EMC), Purchasing, Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical procedures, Travel, IT Management / Support, Telecommunications, ERP / Business Processes. 

Seismograph Services

The company was contracted to acquire land and marine surveys throughout the world. An Observer is responsible for the operation and maintenance of equipment, and organization of labor in the seismic exploration operation. Postings include Nigeria, Libya. Egypt, and PNG.

EXPERIENCE: Man management, Strategic Planning, Component level hardware repairs, Remote Travel

AC Sparks Plugs

AC Spark Plugs was the electronics division of GM. I spent a year in their large R&D department. Projects included Astra and Senator LCD instrument panels, Jaguar digital trip computers, and various concept projects.

EXPERIENCE: Hardware design, Intel 8048/51 firmware design, Teamwork


I have experimented with a number of software technologies using a diverse range of programming languages, developing a number of specialized applications, most of which most have been published as freeware/shareware applications including:

  •     MutitouchImage - A "multi-touch" sample application [Microsoft C#.net]
  •     SonarSoft - A PC based fish-finder interface with real-time color display, recorder, and waypoint editor [Microsoft Basic]
  •     Webcam32Motion - A Java image processing extension with custom algorithm design [Java++]
  •     FlightBook - A GPS and Variaometer data logging system, including photo-realistic 3D flight simulation. [Microsoft Basic]
  •     Early TAPI/MAPI voice mail system. [C++]

This experience has been applied through-out my career, not only to help comprehend project requirements, but also practically.  During the IWKA-ICS Inex transition I was able to finalize the Gemini 3D software [Borland Delphi] to keep the project on track, and my experience with real-time graphics was applied to resolve optimization issues with our core product application [Borland Delpihi.net].

EXPERIENCE: Microsoft C#, J++, Basic,  C (DOS,Win3.x and Win32); Borland Delphi, Delphi.net, C++ (DOS); DirectX; MAPI, TAPI; Web development / HTML.


Boating, Paragliding, Cycling (Mountain), Climbing (Winter & Summer), Caving, Water-skiing, Walking, Squash, Computing


Emhart Glass
ICS Inex
IWKA Inex (2)
BWI Inex
BWI Inex (2)
BWI Inex (3)
AC Sparks Plugs
Inex Portfolio