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2D laser scanner for surface profile measurement

31 October 2008

Ixthus has introduced a low-cost 2D laser scanner from Riftek, with an RS485 or Ethernet interface to transmit the surface profile measurements. The RF620 Series of triangulation sensors are designed for industrial use in component assembly verification, for checking of surface profiles of mouldings or solid models, or for the integration of practical measurements into CMM equipment – the unit can even be used for site inspections, such as weld surface contour measurements inside pipework. The new Riftek RF620 Series, only available from Ixthus, includes four models with working measurement ranges of 10mm to 250mm, and provides a measurement linearity of +/-0.1% of the overall range - a performance previously only available from laser scanners offered at twice the price.

The profile measurement is based on the light from a semiconductor laser that is projected onto the object to be measured, in a line that defines the X-axis. Optical triangulation, using a sensor displaced sideways from this X-axis, is used to monitor the reflected light from the surface profile height, defined as the distance from the laser source, along the Z-axis. The reflected light is received on a 2-dimensional CMOS-array, to create the profile of height (Z-axis) against displacement (X-axis) .

The resolution required for each X-axis scan is selectable from between 128 to 2048 data points, and the maximum profile scanning speed is 3000 profiles per second. Various other operational parameters are adjustable via the serial port: these include automatic laser power adjustment, which can compensate for different target surface finishes; rotation of the X-axis to suit the sample being measured; adjustment of the Z-co-ordinate working window; and the use of TTL synchronisation trigger inputs and outputs.

Full programming information and serial interface descriptions are provided in the comprehensive manual. The RF620 is DC powered, and uses an IP67 enclosure for industrial operation from -10C to +50C.

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