Laser triangulation sensor with integrated controller

Louise Smyth

Precision sensor manufacturer Micro-Epsilon UK has launched a range of laser triangulation sensors with integrated controller. The sensors offer machine builders, systems integrators and OEMs a combination of technical benefits in terms of their compact size, performance (up to 4kHz measuring rate) and ease of installation.

Two new sensor ranges are available: the optoNCDT 1320 and the optoNCDT 1420 laser displacement sensors.

The optoNCDT 1320 is the entry-level version for high precision measurement of displacement, distance and position. The controller is integrated in the sensor housing, which simplifies installation and set up. The sensor is extremely compact (46mm x 30mm x 20mm), lightweight (30g) and so can be mounted in tight spaces on machines or other difficult-to-access locations. The sensor is ideal for highly automated environments and for applications in which high accelerations occur, including machine tools, robot arms and automated pick-and-place systems.

The optoNCDT 1320 offers high accuracy and adjustable measuring rates up to 2kHz. The unique ‘Auto Target Compensation’ (ATC) feature ensures stable distance signal control regardless of target colour or brightness. A small, sharply projected laser spot size ensures that even extremely small objects can be measured reliably.

The optoNCDT 1320 is designed for rapid set up and installation, which is achieved with just a few clicks of the multi-function sensor button. The user can select the zero setting/mastering function or the trigger set up. An intuitive web interface enables the user to carry out extended sensor set up and configuration. For the most common surface types, the user can select from a menu of predefined settings. A ‘quality slider’ enables the sensor to be adapted to static and dynamic processes.

With identical dimensions to the optoNCDT 1320, the optoNCDT 1420 is designed for high precision, high speed, dynamic displacement, distance and position measurement applications. The measuring rate is adjustable up to 4kHz and the sensors offer an excellent price-performance ratio, particularly for high volume OEM applications.

A range of different output signals enable easy integration of the sensor into plant or machine control systems. As well as analogue voltage and current outputs, a digital RS422 interface provides distance information from the sensor. For ease of installation, users can select from either a 3m length integrated cable with open ends, or a 0.3 metre long pigtail with M12 connector.

All optoNCDT 1420 sensors operate using a web interface for fast sensor set up and configuration. Up to eight user-specific sensor settings can be stored and easily exported to other sensors. Additional features of the optoNCDT 1420 include video signal display, signal peak selection and freely adjustable signal averaging, which enables optimisation of the measurement task. A region of interest (ROI) function allows background signal noise to be filtered out.

The optoNCDT 1320 and 1420 series are available in measuring ranges of 10mm, 25mm or 50mm.