Contactless optical speed measurement and cycle detection

September 12, 2022

The marking specialists at MFG Technik & Service GmbH, based in Kranzberg near Freising, have developed and launched a new type of non-contact optical incremental encoder that measures speeds contactlessly without mechanical parts.

Speedwagon is used everywhere in the industrial sector to measure and transmit speeds on systems and machines. Beverage/food, mechanical engineering, automotive, pharmaceuticals, electronics, logistics – Speedwagon can be integrated into production in almost all industries. The system detects the speeds of moving webs and unit loads and thus monitors, controls and regulates production plants. It helps to adjust the writing speeds of labelling systems or to synchronise work steps/cycles of a machine, to measure lengths, to start and control machine cycles and much more.

The big advantage: the measurement is contactless, purely optical, without mechanical components and thus slip-free. In contrast to measuring wheels and other mechanical methods, Speedwagon thus achieves a higher measuring accuracy and does not damage the material through mechanical wear. In addition, the system is able to take over a trigger function, i.e. to emit a start impulse, e.g. for marking devices, as soon as a previously defined incremental value has been reached. Speedwagon offers many advantages over mechanical solutions and is less expensive than laser-controlled devices. The corresponding software “Connect” is intuitive and easy to use.

Speedwagon is suitable for almost all materials and surfaces, regardless of whether you produce and process soft or moist products – the optical measurement is even excellent for reflective and smooth glass surfaces.

Speedwagon is mounted above/at a position where it can scan the surface of the products or materials. For example, on a rotating shaft, on a moving conveyor belt, on moving objects (continuous foils, cardboard boxes, plates, packaging, etc.). Since Speedwagon not only works contact-free, i.e. purely optically, but also without mechanical components, the distance to the surface to be scanned is also variable.

A maximum distance of 15 – 60 mm is recommended. Speedwagon “scans” the surface and calculates the detected speed. The determined value can be configured as required so that the speed pulses arrive ideally for the connected device. Integration into existing production lines is simple.

Speedwagon can be used in a variety of production lines: packaging machines, paper machines, Fourdrinier machines, slitter rewinders, winding machines, laminating machines, extrusion lines, coating machines, rolling mills, etc.

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