Multi-function laser micrometer

Paul Boughton

Precision sensor manufacturer Micro-Epsilon has launched a high performance, self-contained optical laser micrometer with Ethernet interface. 

As well as having an extremely compact design, the system also offers high accuracy and a maximum transmitter to receiver gap of 2 metres, which incredibly, unlike any other micrometer currently on the market, the optoCONTROL 2520 allows the target to be positioned at any point in the gap.

optoCONTROL 2520 is a non-contact laser-based measurement system that uses an integral, high resolution CCD camera

The new optoCONTROL 2520 is a non-contact laser-based measurement system that uses an integral, high resolution CCD camera for dimensional measurements. The system offers a high sampling rate (2.5kHz), combined with excellent repeatability (< 5µm), linearity (0.02mm) and resolution (< 1µm). The system offers a maximum measurement width of 46mm.

For the optoCONTROL 2520, an intuitive web browser interface is used for viewing and recording measurement values, configuration of sensor parameters and visualisation of the sensor video signal. No software needs to be downloaded by the user to a PC or laptop – the micrometer’s integrated software allows the user to set up and record measurements via a web browser.

A real time measurement chart provides a convenient method of display. A variety of measurement values such as single edges, diameter and centre line can be displayed or hidden in the chart at the user’s discretion. In addition, the system provides various averaging and filter methods, as well as statistical process control features. Ethernet, EtherCAT and RS422 interfaces are available directly from the sensor. For analogue outputs, a small DIN rail module is supplied.

OptoCONTROL sensors measure the dimensions, edges or gaps on a target using the ThruBeam ‘shadow’ principle. The transmitter produces a parallel light curtain that is transmitted via a lens arrangement into the receiving unit.

The beam is interrupted if there is an object in the light path. The CCD camera in the receiver unit measures the ‘target’ contour formed by the shadow and outputs this as a geometrical value. The target object can be in any position within the light curtain. The smallest detectable diameter of the target object is approximately 0.5mm, which means the system can be used to measure small gaps or objects such as IC pins and pin strips in electronics production. 

The sensor is also suitable for detecting large objects, performing large distance measurements, counting tasks and roundness measurement. Up to eight segments of the target can be measured and output simultaneously.

The optoCONTROL 2520 is protected to IP64 and can operate in ambient temperatures from 0°C to +50°C. All optoCONTROL sensors function without a rotating mirror and so are completely wear-free.

The optoCONTROL series is used in production and quality assurance areas for non-contact, highly dynamic measurements on running conveyors, extrusion lines, drawing processes, on machines and in automated production plants.