Laser sensors measure height of concrete blocks

  • May 23, 2011
  • Case Study

May 23, 2011 - Micro-Epsilon’s optoNCDT 1700 laser displacement sensor is being used to measure the height of concrete blocks during the production process. German company R&W Industrieautomation has developed a special purpose, automated system for measuring the height of concrete blocks. The system is a fully automatic, in-process inspection system that records the height of concrete blocks during the production process. All components are integrated within the system itself; no additional hardware is needed. All that’s required is a network interface and a power supply. The sensor can be operated within the entire network or can communicate with other systems. The user interface is intuitive, so no special skills are required to use it. R&W’s height measurement system utilises Micro-Epsilon’s optoNCDT 1700-500 laser displacement sensors. The measurement system is placed as close as possible behind the concrete block making machine, above the transport conveyor for the baseboards. The concrete blocks running below the device are scanned by the non-contact laser sensor and measured to an accuracy of ± 0.5mm. At the same time, the blocks’ baseboards represent the reference distance. The optoNCDT 1700-500 sensor is customised for R&W in a double width enclosure. R&W integrates a powerful micro-controller with an Ethernet interface into the sensor, as well as digital I/Os. This complete automated measurement system enables complex evaluations of sensor data, communication with master control devices, as well as graphical data visualisation via web servers. This flexible, modular system enables cost effective customer-specific applications. In this particular application, the sensor measuring range required was up to 500mm, with resolution down to 30µm. The sensor also had to be robust enough to withstand the harsh, dusty manufacturing environment. Very good suppression of extraneous light was also an important factor in sensor selection. The optoNCDT 1700 is a non-contact laser displacement sensor that not only incorporates Micro-Epsilon’s patented ‘Real Time Surface Compensation’ (RTSC) technology and remote software programming, but also offers excellent linearity and resolution. Integrated conditioning electronics enables the sensor to have a unique, compact design. For poor reflecting targets, the measuring rate can be reduced to enable a longer exposure time. The set measurement rate always remains constant so that with closed-loop control the system response time is always the same. As well as for precise measurement, the optoNCDT 1700 sensors are also used for tolerance or limit monitoring. Two switching points are available, which can be configured and adjusted via the remote software (USB connection). The switching hysteresis can also be individually adjusted for each limit point. Micro-Epsilon is a major global manufacturer of sensors, headquartered in Germany. The company’s range of displacement sensors measure everything from to distance, position, vibration, dimensions and thickness, using both contact and non-contact measurement techniques. These techniques include 1D, 2D and even 3D laser-optical sensors and systems, eddy-current, capacitive, LVDT & inductive, potentiometric and draw-wire principles. Additionally Micro Epsilon has developed its own range of non-contact infrared temperature sensors that can measure virtually any target temperature from -40 to +3,300°C. With more than 30 years’ experience in the industry, Micro-Epsilon isn’t 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 customers.  

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