High accuracy high resolution laser sensor for less than £500

Sensor Review

ISSN: 0260-2288

Article publication date: 3 July 2007


(2007), "High accuracy high resolution laser sensor for less than £500", Sensor Review, Vol. 27 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/sr.2007.08727cad.005



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

High accuracy high resolution laser sensor for less than £500

High accuracy high resolution laser sensor for less than £500

A non-contact, optoelectronic displacement (position) measurement sensor has been launched that offers OEMs, machine builders and end-users all the technical advantages of its predecessor, but at half the cost.

Micro-Epsilon's new compact, robust “optoNCDT 1300” laser sensor (Figure 3) measures displacement against almost any target (including shiny black rubber surfaces) without contacting the object. The sensor has an integrated digital signal processor and is suitable for a wide range of applications in industrial automation and production environments, including parts measurement; surface contour measurement; epoxy placement on integrated circuits; weld seam detection on welding robots; automotive vehicle positioning and height; tool positioning; eccentricity; shape conformance; positioning on conveyors; bending and tilt angles; part recognition; thickness; deformation and waviness.

Figure 3 The new compact, robust “optoNCDT 1300” laser sensor from Micro-Epsilon

The sensor, like its predecessor the optoNCDT 1401, is based on the laser triangulation measurement principle. A laser diode projects a visible light spot onto the surface of the target. Part of the diffuse reflected light is then imaged through an optical lens system on a CMOS CCD sensing element. If the distance of the target to the laser sensor changes, then the angle at which the spot of light is observed also changes and the position of its image on the CMOS array. From this change of position, the distance of the object from the optoNCDT 1300 is calculated using simple, geometrical relationships. The integrated signal processor evaluates the digital image of the receiver and calculates the accurate displacement reading.

One advantage of using the triangulation effect is that pure trigonometric calculations are involved, so the measurement can be executed or repeated very rapidly. The sensor is therefore suitable for distance measurement of moving targets.

Chris Jones, Managing Director at Micro-Epsilon UK, comments: “The predecessor to the optoNCDT 1300, the optoNCDT 1401, sold for around £1,000. The new unit is very similar to this and has most of the same features, but sells for £549, offering great value for end-users. OEMs who buy in higher volumes, will benefit from an even lower price per unit of less than £500.”

The sensor, which is protected to IP67, is supplied in a metal housing and so electromagnetic compatibility testing is not critical. The optoNCDT 1300 has a measuring range from 20 up to 200µm, with resolutions (static) from 4 up to 200mm. Linearity is from 40 up to 400µm and the measuring rate is 500Hz. The sensor weighs just 100g and operates in temperatures from 0 up to 55°C.

Micro-Epsilon (www.micro-epsilon.co.uk) is a major global manufacturer of sensors, headquartered in Germany. The company's range of sensors measure everything from displacement to distance, position, vibration, dimensions and thickness, using both contact and non-contact measurement techniques. These techniques include inductive, differential transformer, eddy-current, capacitive, laser-optical, potentiometric and draw-wire principles.

With more than 30 years' experience in the industry, Micro-Epsilon is not just a sensor manufacturer. The company is highly innovative and understands the importance of providing complete solutions and support services for its customers. The firm is renowned for its expertise in consulting, development and application of industrial sensors to complex, customer-specific solutions for measurement, inspection and automation. The focus is on selling technical advantage to its clients.