New laser profile sensor and new low cost thermal imager on show at Mtec

At this year’s Mtec 2009 exhibition (25-26 March 2009), sensor manufacturer Micro-Epsilon (UK) Ltd will be showcasing a range of unique sensor products on stand 816. The stand will include ‘live’ working demonstrations of sensor products solving real-world measurement problems. Micro-Epsilon develops and manufactures sensors that measure displacement, distance, position, vibration, dimensions and thickness, using both contact and non-contact techniques, including 1D/2D/3D laser optical, confocal chromatic, eddy current, capacitive, inductive, draw-wire, time-of-flight, non-contact infra-red thermometers and thermal imagers. New to Micro-Epsilon’s stand this year is the scanCONTROL 2700, an innovative non-contact high performance laser profile displacement sensor. Unlike conventional laser line scanners on the market, the scanCONTROL 2700 provides an integrated controller in the sensing head, making it incredibly compact. The user requires no other components to evaluate the measurement data and the unit is also easy to set up, configure and adapt for different applications. In terms of size, performance, price and ease-of-use, the scanCONTROL 2700 is groundbreaking. Other competing profile sensors with integrated controllers are either very bulky, often two to three times larger, or their measurement performance is inferior due to the restriction in space for the processing electronics. The scanCONTROL 2700 offers the level of precision and accuracy that modern users require. There are multiple interface options that enable ease-of-use in a wide variety of software platforms and at a very low price level, which other profile sensor manufacturers cannot match. The compact design makes the unit ideal for industrial automation tasks and machine building applications, where space is often restricted. Typical uses include the measurement of angles, channels, gaps, edge detection and clearance; weld seam inspection; detection of beads of adhesive; robot guidance and positioning; groove width and depth measurement. The measurement range is programmable by the user from 10mm, 25mm and 100mm, up to as high as 600mm. Also new to Micro-Epsilon’s stand this year is a new rugged, inline, infrared thermal imaging camera, which is not only comparable in terms of technical specification and performance to the latest inline thermal imagers, but is around 60 per cent of the cost. The Micro-Epsilon PI (Process Imager) is an inline radiometric thermal imaging device that provides temperature images and profiles of a target area. The plug-and-play device is extremely compact (45mm x 45mm x 62mm) and lightweight (250g including lens and 1m USB cable), enabling easy mounting in restricted spaces. The camera is protected to IP65 (NEMA-4) and is powered (5V DC) via the USB 2.0 interface, with a maximum current draw of 500mA. Included as standard is free software that enables users to both configure all the adjustable parameters of the PI and capture (up to 100Hz full frame rate) and store images or an event for play back at a later date – an important feature for R&D purposes. Rather than a handheld thermal imaging camera, the Micro-Epsilon PI is fixed into position in a production process or R&D lab to monitor the temperature profile of target materials or objects. Micro-Epsilon has also added more new sensor products to its popular laser triangulation range, including the unique LL (laser line) series of sensors, which uses custom spot geometry and patented software algorithms to filter out noise from difficult-to-measure surfaces. Also new on the stand is a non-contact, multi-channel capacitive measurement system, the capaNCDT 6500, which offers sub-nanometre resolution. The series is available as a benchtop or 19-inch rack-mounted unit and offers unmatched temperature stability (5ppm/°C for the controller, 11ppm/°C for the sensor). Rapid changeover of sensors can be achieved without any re-calibration required. One difficulty with very high resolution measurements is the transmission of data via analogue output channels to the user’s own acquisition system. Often, signal noise due to cable interconnects and earthing loops, results in reduced system performance, since these are seen on the output signal as noise. By converting the analogue signal to a digital Ethernet output internally in the capaNCDT 6500 controller, this problem is eliminated and can then be transmitted anywhere in the world to another IP address. Modular in design, the capaNCDT 6500 can accept up to eight measuring channels to suit individual customer requirements. Due to its extreme resolution and flexibility, the system is ideal for high-accuracy R&D applications, test laboratories, quality assurance, academic institutions and also semiconductor manufacturing, military, aerospace and defence applications. For more information on Micro-Epsilon’s range of sensors, or to see a product demonstration, please visit stand 816 at Mtec 2009 or call the sales department on 0151 260 9800 or email:

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