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Look but Don’t Touch: The SICK SPEETEC® Speed and Length Sensor

16 November 2020

With the 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 materials down to a resolution of 4 µm.

The innovative SICK SPEETEC® combines unprecedented affordability with precision surface measurement for process control and quality inspection tasks, useful for industries as diverse as printing, textiles, tyre manufacture or building materials production. The Class 1 eye-safe infra-red laser eliminates the need for special guarding or safety measures required by many conventional velocimeters.

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, Return on Investment can be achieved in under 12 months, according to Darren Pratt, SICK’s UK product manager for motion control sensors.

“The performance and affordability of the SICK SPEETEC® will come as a surprise to many machine builders and end-users,” he said. “It therefore promises new automation opportunities, as well as process improvements by achieving higher levels of measurement accuracy and throughput speeds which were not possible previously.

“The SPEETEC®’s non-contact measurement principle means it can be used where a measuring wheel in contact with the substrate would never have produced completely reliable results. There’s no danger of damage to the material, important, for example for delicate, smooth or soft materials such as extrusions or textiles.  

“There is no need for any marks or scales on the material itself. What’s more, unlike a measuring wheel which can wear over time due to abrasion with the material surface, the SPEETEC®’s non-contact measurement function cannot be impaired in this way, so maintenance and downtime is reduced.”

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

The SPEETEC® is easy to mount due to its generous mounting tolerances and compact design. The rugged aluminium housing, measures just 140mm x 95mm x 32.5mm. The SICK SPEETEC® can be set up in a matter of minutes and does not require any supplementary electronics to process the signal output.  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. 

Darren Pratt is offering 30-minute one-to-one presentation and online demonstration to anyone who would like to discuss whether the SPEETEC® is right for their application.   

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