Laser system for demanding measuring tasks

At the Motek trade fair, ipf electronic is to present a laser system which is able to perform a wide variety of demanding measuring tasks with a high resolution.

 

The system consists of two mechanically identical laser sensors – one of the type PTSI0273 (0...10V) which acts as the master, and one of the type PTSI0274 that operates as the slave. Master and slave have a measuring range of 4mm, with the start of the measuring range at 35mm and the end of the measuring range at 39mm. As an alternative to the type PTSI0273 (master) there is also a current variant (PTSI0292) with an analog output of 4 to 20mA.

 

The devices, which operate using the triangulation method, determine the distance to a measurement object indirectly at each side using the angle of incidence of the laser beam that is reflected by the object. From these distances and the distance of the sensors relative to each other, it is possible to generate a broad range of measured values to allow, for example, the thickness or diameter of a material and even the position of the material center or of an object to be determined.

 

Owing to its high resolution of up to 1μm, the system is also ideal for measuring extremely thin, non-transparent materials such as plastic films, metal foils, magnetic tapes, paper and so on.

 

Direct evaluation and processing in master

The solution from ipf electronic is parameterized once using special software, whereby different evaluation and operating modes can be set – the master and slave then operate autonomously as a stand-alone system.

 

Special features of the system are the central evaluation as well as signal processing directly in the master. For this purpose, the master is connected to the slave by means of a cable. As the master has access to its own measured values as well as to those of the slave, it is able to define general information (e.g. material thickness) and immediately provide a PLC with an analog signal to allow continuous evaluation, or with switching signals (oversize, undersize or dimensional accuracy of a material).

 

The master also has an active PC interface for parameterization and a PLC connection for voltage supply and signal transmission. The slave, however, in additional to connection to the master just needs to be connected to the supply voltage.

 

Compared to conventional solutions with two separate measurement systems whose signals are processed on the higher-level PLC, the main advantage for the user is that the supplied software already has several different evaluation modes so that the system can be integrated without problem in any existing customer installation and is quickly ready for use.

 

If switching signals only are desired and both the material and the measuring task remain unchanged, the laser system from ipf electronic can also be adapted to changing object sizes via an external "teach" button. The permissible tolerances for the taught-in value can be set using a potentiometer. The switching states are indicated by means of three LEDs integrated in the master.

 

Robust and insensitive to ambient light

The master and slave use a visible red laser line (each light spot measures 0.2 x 3mm) which, for example, simplifies alignment. The measurement points in the form of light spots projected onto the object should lie precisely along one axis in order to obtain usable results in the case of tilted objects. ipf electronic offers an optional mounting flange to ensure quick and correct installation of the system.

 

The laser system from ipf electronic in its robust aluminum housing is largely insensitive to ambient light and can be used in temperatures ranging from -10°C to +50°C. The optics with protection class IP67 used in the master and slave are protected by a cover made of quartz glass and are therefore extremely easy to clean when soiled.