A 'unique' multiple beam, diffuse fibre optic sensor, designed to solve the problem of capturing, counting and controlling small components produced by modern high-performance manufacturing machinery, has been developed by Contrinex.
To maintain high exit speeds, a minimum of handling and guidance of parts is necessary and so product position can vary greatly making component count extremely difficult. The LFP-1011-020, or ‘froggy’ fibre optic sensor, is specifically designed for this type of application and has a beam spread of 28mm that will detect objects in any position across the broad area of light transmission.
The sensors can be connected to any Contrinex fibre-optic amplifier creating a very long sensing range of up to 150mm. When used with a 5KHz amplifier the smallest component passing at high speed can be detected. In addition, by using a blue-light emitting amplifier connected to the ‘froggy’ fibre, instead of the more common red light option, even small black rubber components can be readily detected.
Compared to alternative technologies, such as ring or frame sensors, the ingenious new fibre concept is extremely simple to apply and at a fraction of the cost. Each multi-beam head is supplied with 2m of polymer fibres that can be cut to length to enable them to be neatly retained and protected along the optimum path to the amplifier. The wide-vision fibre head is moulded from tough PBTP Crastin and is sealed to IP67 for use in aggressive environments, says the company.