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Speetec non-contact sensor for speed and length measurement

With its Speetec non-contact sensor for speed and length measurement, Sick has added a compact, affordable, eye-safe laser surface motion sensor to its portfolio.

5th November 2020

Innovation in Textiles
 |  St Albans, United Kingdom


Hertfordshire based Sick (UK) Ltd, a subsidiary of German company Sick AG, has launched a new production measuring concept that should be of interest to those involved in machinery manufacture or production of continuous, web-fed or cut-to-length materials in textiles and nonwovens.

With its Speetec non-contact sensor for speed and length measurement, Sick has added a compact, affordable, eye-safe laser surface motion sensor to its portfolio, able to measure a wide range of continuous, web-fed or cut-to-length textiles down to a resolution of 4 µm.

The innovative Speetec combines unprecedented affordability with precision surface measurement for process control and quality inspection tasks in textiles and print processes, the company says. The Class 1 eye-safe infra-red laser light eliminates the need for special guarding or safety measures required by many conventional velocimeters, it adds.

According to Sick, the Speetec uses the Laser Doppler principle to work at speeds between 0.1 and 10 m/s to measure directly on the material surface with an accuracy of 0.1%, and a repeatability of 0.05%.  Typically, the company says, returns on Investment can be achieved in under 12 months.

Darren Pratt, SICK’s UK product manager for motion control sensors, comments: “The performance and affordability of the SICK Speetec will come as a surprise to many machine builders and manufacturers in the textile industry. It therefore promises to automate in-line measurement processes for process control, quality checking, or cutting, at levels of speed or accuracy which would not have previously been possible.”

“The Speetec’s non-contact measurement principle means there is no danger of marking or damaging the substrate, particularly important, for example for delicate, smooth or soft fabrics. There is no need for any marks or scales on the material itself while the high signal quality and resolution helps to deliver optimum print results. What’s more, unlike a measuring wheel which can degrade over time due to adhesion of material or abrasion with the wheel surface, the Speetec’s measurement function cannot be impaired in this way, so maintenance and downtime is reduced.”

“Product testing and field trials have already shown the Speetec to be reliable even when measuring highly reflective, dark-black or uneven surfaces. SICK also expects to see it being installed to increase process speeds where rotary encoders or measuring wheels would be prone inaccuracy due to slippage of the material.”

The Speetec is said to be easy to mount with generous mounting tolerances and a compact design. The rugged aluminium housing, measures just 140mm x 95mm x 32.5 mm. The SICK Speetec can be set up in a matter of minutes and does not require any supplementary electronics to process the signal output, Sick says. The Laser Doppler measurement is automatically converted onboard the sensor into TTL/HTL signals identical to those of an incremental encoder, so that they can be easily integrated into the machine control system, concludes Sick.

Sick UK Website

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