Visitors to stand D200 at this year’s co-located Drives & Controls exhibition (8th-11th April, 2014) were able to view the latest sensor technologies from Micro-Epsilon, including non-contact eddy current and laser displacement sensors, infrared temperature sensors, thermal imaging cameras and draw wire sensors.

Highlights on the stand included the company’s latest range of eddy current displacement sensors that use embedded coil technology (ECT), the thermoIMAGER TIM400/450 series of inline infrared thermal imagers, the confocalDT series of confocal chromatic displacement sensors and the gapCONTROL series of laser profile sensors.

The eddyNCDT 3100 represents a world first in eddy current displacement measurement. With its Smart Sensor Auto Calibration system, the user now simply connects the eddy sensor to the 3100 controller and all calibration data is automatically uploaded from the sensor to the controller, with no need for any lengthy calibration.

In addition, all calibration data required for both ferrous (St37) and non-ferrous (aluminium) target materials is stored in the sensor before it is shipped. User-specific target materials can also be measured accurately using Micro-Epsilon’s push-button, three-point linearisation.

The eddyNCDT 3100 controller is also equipped with many new features, including Ethernet connection for output signal and configuration. The configuration of the controller can be performed from the user’s web browser by simply typing in the controller IP address – no additional software needs to be downloaded. All controllers are supplied with a default IP address that the user can amend later to a specific IP address.

Also on the stand this year is the gapCONTROL series of non-contact laser profile scanners. These sensors are designed specifically for the measurement of gaps and edges, whilst simplifying sensor set up and configuration for the user.

The gapCONTROL series of laser profile scanners provides specific application software for gap measurement. This means that users can quickly and easily set up and configure the scanner without requiring any specific knowledge or programming skills. Typical applications include automatic (robot) welding machines, pipeline welding, measuring flushness, proximity, gap width and depth, height differences, centre position, angle, collision avoidance and overlapping edges. The sensor is suitable for a number of different quality assurance applications in the automotive industry.

gapCONTROL scanners record, measure and evaluate gaps on a variety of different target surfaces. Measuring gaps can be a very complex task, with different industries using different definitions of the optical gap and how this should be measured and evaluated. However, with gapCONTROL’s Setup Software the user is guided through sensor set up and configuration very quickly for each gap measurement task.

The latest additions to the gapCONTROL series, the 2611 and 2911, are even more compact and provide additional functionality including the ability to measure even smaller gaps.

Micro-Epsilon will also showcase its latest thermoIMAGER TIM 400 and 450 inline infrared thermal imagers. These higher resolution cameras not only offer improved image resolutions, but also detect even smaller temperature differences.

The TIM 400 and 450 are able to capture and store thermal video and images with extremely high optical resolution (382 x 288 pixels) at a full frame rate of 80Hz. The cameras are also equipped with new detectors, which provide excellent thermal sensitivities of 80mK and 40mK respectively. This enables the cameras to detect even smaller changes in temperature. The TIM400 is available for less than £5,000 and the TIM400 for less than £6,000 – significant price breakthroughs for infrared video capture cameras of this resolution and performance.