Company History

Vision Engineering Ltd is a leading-edge manufacturer of patented stereo microscopes and non-contact measuring systems.

Vision Engineering was founded in 1958 by Rob Freeman, a toolmaker who had previously worked as a race mechanic with the Jaguar Racing Team. Whilst at Jaguar, Rob developed a borescope for inspecting internal race engine parts without the need for disassembly.

Subsequently he formed Vision Engineering Ltd as a means of developing his interest in optics applied to manufacturing technology.

The company started off as a specialist optical sub-contractor to large British companies including Rolls Royce, Vickers, Ferranti and GEC.


First eyepiece-less microscope

Mantis microscope - then and now

In 1994 Vision Engineering introduced the World’s first ‘eyepiece-less’ stereo microscope, the Original Mantis, designed to fill the gap between a bench magnifier and a microscope.

It was an ergonomic revolution that went on to win design and innovation awards and was featured on BBC programme Tomorrows World.

The Mantis became the new benchmark for high performance stereo magnification.

Increasing operator performance

Since then, Vision Engineering has pursued a corporate design and innovation policy that concentrates on optimizing operator performance when using optical systems in the manufacturing sectors and industries.

Over the years Vision Engineering has delivered leading-edge stereo inspection and optical measurement products that have helped improved productivity and quality for thousands of companies the world over.

From fault detection, rework, research and development to quality control, Vision Engineering’s products are unrivalled when it comes to ergonomics.

Our unique patented products have saved manufacturing companies many man-hours, reduced materials wastage and ensured quality and conformance to desired specifications.

Humble beginnings to international recognition

The company has come a long way since its humble beginnings in a Nissen hut in Surrey and in 2018 opened an 84,000ft2 state of the art manufacturing R&D facility and UK Headquarters in Send, near Woking.

Vision Engineering now employs more than 220 people in the UK, Europe, North America and Asia, in addition to a fully-trained global distribution network. While it retains strong roots in British manufacturing, Vision Engineering has an international focus and supplies inspection and measurement products to the world’s most prestigious organisations.

Vision Engineering Ltd HQ- Freeman Building