Sensors help guarantee quality of Gillette shavers. Braun, a leading global manufacturer of small electrical appliances, including innovative shaving, hair care and beauty care products, is using optical laser sensors from Micro-Epsilon to help guarantee the quality of its new Gillette brand of cordless wet shavers. The cordless wet shaver is an innovative men's shaving appliance, combining the best of both conventional wet shaving devices and electrical dry shaving appliances. The shaver is battery-powered and is switched 'on' and 'off' by a simple button on the handle. The powerful vibrations, combined with the cutting blades at the head, help achieve a closer shave. Because the product is very different from conventional Braun shaving appliances, the company's manufacturing process required completely new quality assurance procedures and systems. At the end of the production line, the assembled shaving appliances are passed to an inspection station and brought - in the switched on mode - into a special 'V' holder, which is positioned in the path of the laser beam from Micro-Epsilon's laser micrometer optoCONTROL sensor. The laser sensor measures the shavers for vibration amplitude and vibration frequency across the handle of the shaver. The frequency is measured via the voltage output and a frequency counter. There are several reasons why Braun chose to use Micro-Epsilon's optoCONTROL 2500-35 sensor. First, because the sensor is based on 'ThruBeam' measurement principles, exact alignment and orientation of the shavers in the 'V' holder is not required. Second, the measurement principle of the sensor is independent of the material of the shavers. The shavers are produced in various materials, including transparent and matt black. Since the measurement principle is based on optical shadow effects, no material effects on the measurement results are recorded. The sensor is also wear-free, since it uses solid state sensing elements and not rotating optical mirrors. The price-performance ratio for the sensor system is the best in the marketplace. Micro-Epsilon's optoCONTROL 2500-35 non-contact sensor is a laser-based measurement system that uses an integral, high resolution CCD camera for dimensional measurements. The sensor offers a high sampling rate (2.3kHz), combined with excellent repeatability (< 3µm) and resolution (< 1µm). OptoCONTROL measures the dimensions of a 'target' or the position of an edge using the 'shadow principle'. The system consists of a sensor unit and a controller. A parallel light curtain is produced using a laser light source. The CCD camera in the receiver section measures the 'target' contour formed by the shadow. The sensor unit is controlled and evaluated by an intelligent controller, with a graphical display provided for operation and measurement functions. The sensor's receiver and light source are protected to IP64, while the controller is rated to IP40. Cable lengths are from 2m up to 8m and operating temperatures are from 0°C up to 50°C. Measuring range is 34mm and the smallest (target) diameter that can be measured is 0.5mm. The sensor system is being used in production and quality assurance areas for non-contact, highly dynamic measurements on running conveyors, extrusion lines, drawing processes, on machines and in automated production plants. _________________________________________________________ June 2006

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