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Sensors offer high measurement precision on diffuse and reflective surfaces

28 April 2013

Micro-Epsilon has introduced a range of confocal chromatic sensors that offers high sensitivity and sub-micrometre resolution, plus effective measurement of the displacement or position of dark, diffuse, transparent and highly reflective surfaces.

The new confocalDT IFS 2405 series of confocal sensors also benefit from large stand-off distances (up to 100mm), providing users with greater flexibility in terms of the variety of applications in which the sensor can be used. In addition, the tilt angle of the sensor has been increased significantly (up to 34 degrees), which provides better performance when measuring across changing surface features.

IFS 2405 sensors are designed for measurement tasks that require maximum precision – typically research and development tasks, laboratory and medical, semiconductor manufacturing, glass production and plastics processing.

As well as distance measurements on reflective and transparent materials, the sensors can also be used for one-sided thickness measurement of clear film, boards or layers. The sensors do not contain any electrical components and so are also suitable for use in ATEX hazardous areas.

There are five sensors in the series, with measuring ranges from 0.3mm up to 30mm. Spot diameter is from 6µm up to 50µm. Maximum resolution is 0.01µm and maximum linearity is 0.3µm.

Powerful controllers
The new confocalDT IFS 2405 series is offered alongside Micro-Epsilon’s confocalDT 2451 and confocalDT 2471 controllers. These controllers offer faster measuring rates, up to four times better signal-to-noise ratios, and up to 100 times faster real time surface compensation for difficult-to-measure surfaces.

The confocalDT 2451 utilises a white LED as the light source, which enables measuring rates up to 10kHz. It provides up to 70kHz measuring rate using an external Xenon light source. Both controllers are provided with Ethernet, EtherCAT, RS422 and analogue output interfaces.

Traditionally, most confocal controllers perform poorly when trying to compensate for difficult and changing surface conditions, particularly in high speed surface scanning tasks. However, the confocalDT 2451 and 2471 controllers use newly developed software algorithms based on Micro-Epsilon’s experience in optical laser sensor design.

These algorithms enable the new controllers to compensate in real time, giving users the ability to scan surfaces very rapidly and at high resolution. The controllers also provide high speed triggering that allows them to be synchronised with encoders and other motion control devices.

The result is a controller that provides more stable, higher accuracy measurements, down to nanometre resolution if required.

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