13 Apr 2024

New ultra-compact confocal measuring system

The newly developed IFS2404 confocal sensor

Precision sensor manufacturer Micro-Epsilon has announced it has introduced a confocal measuring system that consists of an extremely compact lightweight controller and a high performance confocal sensor, which are factory-calibrated and delivered as a complete measuring system. The newly developed IFS2404 confocal sensor is bundled with the controller and is available with measuring ranges of 1,2,3 and 6 mm. 

The company says one of the key advantages of confocal technology is its ability to measure on any surface including highly polished and even transparent materials. Despite its compact size, the new controller is still capable of displacement and distance measurements, and is also suitable for thickness measurement of transparent materials (one layer). An adjustable measuring rate of up to 8 kHz and sub-micrometer resolution down to 12 nm make the IFD2411 suitable for a wide range of measurement tasks. The Active Exposure Regulation of the CCD line enables high speed measurements on difficult changing surfaces.

Typical applications include semiconductor wafer positioning and acid height inspection; displacement and distance measurements in 3D printing machines; testing of electronic components (pins) and paint thickness of printed circuit boards; thickness measurement of flat glass and container glass; and quality control of smartphone glass.

Micro-Epsilon says the confocal controller is now even smarter due to its integrated Industrial Ethernet interface (EtherCAT), which simplifies integration with PLCs. This enables real time measurement data without time delays and reduced installation effort.

The connection is established automatically. After the power supply is switched on, the sensor boots in EtherCAT mode by default. Using the multi-function button on the controller, the IFD2411 can also boot in Ethernet mode and can then be controlled via the intuitive web interface. Parameter set up is simple: settings made are stored and applied directly to the EtherCAT mode on the next boot process. This eliminates time-consuming setting effort in the programming environment. It is therefore not necessary to know all commands in the TwinCAT Manager, which means less experienced users can set up the sensor. Ethernet/IP and ProfiNET versions will also soon be available.

Due to its extremely compact design and robust IP40 aluminium housing, the IFD2411 controller can be integrated in almost all existing plants and systems. The controller also provides RS422 and analogue output, as well as one encoder input channel as standard. In addition, integrated DIN rail mounting enables rapid installation in control cabinets.

Company info: Micro-Epsilon UK