Displacement sensor meets needs of industrial automation

| Information and Communication Technology

OptoNCDT distance and displacement measurement sensor for manufacturing automation

Sensor for measurement position and displacement gains higher accuracy to meet the increasing demands of industrial automation systems.

Precision sensor manufacturer Micro-Epsilon is now producing laser triangulation sensors with suitable accuracy, robustness and speed for use with industrial automation products. The result is the extremely compact laser triangulation sensor for high precision displacement, distance and position measurements. The sensor provides high accuracy and adjustable measuring rate up to 1kHz.

According to the supplier, the optoNCDT 1220 laser triangulation sensor sets new standards in displacement and distance measurements for industrial automation applications since the powerful device features the most important basic settings and functions as well as an analogue data output. Keeping the list of features down to only those that are necessary for the task enables Micro-Epsilon to keep the cost of the sensor down, making it particularly attractive for OEM projects where high sensor volumes are required, and where fast integration, ease of use and space-saving are important requirements.

Ease of integration

The sensor features an Auto Target Compensation (ATC) function, which provides reliable control of the distance signal regardless of the target colour or brightness. This makes it robust in operation over a wide range of environments without having to perform complex set-up tasks. Ready to use as produced by the manufacturer, the sensor is easily integrated without having to make any further settings. There is also an intuitive web interface, which enables easy set up and configuration, if required.

In addition to its ease of setup, the compact design of the optoNCDT 1220 with integral controller makes it also easy to integrate with other systems and instruments as part of wider plant, equipment or machine installations, where space can sometimes be severely restricted.


According to Micro-Epsilon, the primary areas in which the OptoNCDT 1220 finds application include automation technologies where high accelerations occur such as electronics manufacturing, robotics and 3D printing, as well as machine building and renewable energies.

With increased use of robotic factory cells in Industry 4.0 enabled digital factories, there is a particular need for high accuracy distance and displacement sensors, which can operate accurately with high rates of distance change with speed. As robotic applications reach into more intricate areas of assembly and other tasks, the sensors used perform an increasingly important role.

The optoNCDT 1220 is available with a range of values, which includes multiple measurements from 10mm to 200mm to support different factory automation applications without additional setting up. A range of accessories are available including power supplies, interface cards, USB converters and controller units for conversion and evaluation of up to two sensor signals.

Speaking about the release of the new displacement sensor, Micro-Epsilon UK Managing Director, Chris Jones explained that with the increased usage of laser triangulation sensors in factory automation, the market for these devices is becoming more competitive, particularly in terms of the purchase price.

“Although it’s possible to obtain laser triangulation sensors in a wide range of prices, the ones at the lower end of the price spectrum tend to lack the necessary measurement performance required by precision automation applications,” says Jones.

Looking at the measurement performance alone can also lead to misleading results, as the measurement achieved can often be based on operational restrictions such as large averaging, or the requirement of ideal surface types.

“The optoNCDT 1220 is the ideal alternative that offers precise measurement values at a similar price level to those with sub-optimal performance,” concludes Jones.

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