Micro-Epsilon UK Ltd. - PRODUCT NEWS

New rugged confocal controllers enable high accuracy, high speed thickness and distance measurements on difficult surfaces

Precision sensor manufacturer Micro-Epsilon has launched a new series of confocal controllers that offer a range of outstanding technical benefits, including 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 new all-metal, DIN rail mountable controllers are designed for use in OEM, continuous production and R&D test applications across all industry sectors, particularly semiconductor, glass, plastics, medical and other high precision applications. As well as measuring distance to virtually any target material, the controllers are suitable for measuring the thickness of single and multi-layer transparent materials, as well as for the monitoring of liquid fill levels, inspection of bore holes (or small cavities), and for measuring transparent, reflecting or matt surfaces.

Micro-Epsilon’s new confocalDT 2451 and confocalDT 2471 controllers replace the company’s existing IFC2401 and IFC2431 confocal controllers. The new controllers can be used with all Micro-Epsilon confocal sensors, including the latest miniature 4mm and 8mm diameter confocal sensors in axial or radial versions.

The new controllers were developed in-house by Micro-Epsilon and therefore benefit from a complete redesign and from the company’s vast experience in the development of high speed, high precision optical laser sensors. For the first time, the controllers have a rugged industrial design and use a high performance CCD array as the sensor element. The confocalDT 2451 utilises a white LED as the light source, which enables measuring rates up to 10kHz. The confocalDT 2471 provides up to 70KHz measuring rate using an external Xenon light source. Both controllers are provided with Ethernet, EtherCAT, RS422 and analogue output interfaces.

Chris Jones, Managing Director at Micro-Epsilon UK Ltd commented: “The new controllers are currently the fastest controllers available on the market. They offer excellent signal-to-noise ratios, up to four times better than their predecessors and other competing controllers. 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, enabling users to scan surfaces very rapidly 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.”

Most conventional confocal controllers use an integral fan and air vents in order to cool the controller during operation. The new confocalDT 2451 and 2471 use a passive cooling system that does not require a fan or air vents, which greatly improves the controller’s protection rating and longevity,” adds Jones.

The new controllers are simple to set up and operate. The user can remotely configure measurement channels using the intuitive, web-based software via Ethernet. The user does not need to install any other measurement software.

“We’ve also developed integrated multi-peak software, which enables users to measure the thickness of multi-layer measurement objects such as the touch screen of a smart phone. This software is able to evaluate up to six peaks or five layers.”

For more information on the new confocalDT 2451 and 2471, please call the sales department on 0151 355 6070 or email: info@micro-epsilon.co.uk

Micro-Epsilon (www.micro-epsilon.co.uk) 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 35 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.

For sales and technical information contact:-

Chris Jones
Micro-Epsilon UK Ltd.
Telephone: +44(0)151 355 6070
Fax: +44(0)151 355 6075

May 2012

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