Conventional fibre optic colour sensors provide a single, bundled light beam, which is not sufficient to properly measure structured and shiny (reflective), metallic surfaces. Precision sensor manufacturer Micro-Epsilon has introduced a range of circular fibre optic colour recognition sensors that enable uniform (homogeneous) illumination around the measurement spot. This means measurement results are not only more stable and reliable, but also more precise, allowing the slightest colour differences to be detected during manufacturing and assembly processes.
The colorSENSOR CFS2-Mxx series of circular sensors from Micro-Epsilon can be combined with the colorSENSOR CFO controllers to open up new fields of application such as the distinction of different shades of white and different metallic colours. This compact combination of sensor and controller can also be customised to suit specific customer applications. Potential applications for the sensors are diverse, including measurement tasks in automotive, plastics, paper and textiles. In combination with the CFO controllers, the sensors enable colour deviations to be detected to an accuracy of ΔE ≤ 0.3 (typically 3 times better than the average human eye).
Two circular sensors are available in the series: the colorSENSOR CFS2-M11 and the colorSENSOR CFS2-M20. Due to their standard class FA connections, the fibre optics are also compatible with other controllers. The CFS2-M11 provides a 67° measurement geometry and a light spot diameter from 12 mm up to 114 mm. The CFS2-M20 provides a 22° measurement geometry with a light spot diameter of 10 mm to 66 mm. Object distance for both sensors is 10 mm to 100 mm (30 mm is the ideal distance). Switching frequency is up to 30 kHz (with the CFO200 controller).
Glenn Wedgbrow, Business Development Manager at Micro-Epsilon UK comments: “The colorSENSOR CFS2 series sensors offer an unbeatable price-performance ratio, with no other competing supplier currently able to offer fibre optics with circular illumination as a standard sensor model. The sensors combine the advantages of fixed lens sensors with those of an external controller.”
As well as measuring colour on structured and shiny, metallic surfaces, the sensors can also be used for colour recognition on common materials and surfaces. In addition to relative colour measurement or colour inspection, the CFS2 colour sensors are also suitable for intensity measurements, completeness checks (presence and absence), determination of surface properties and texture, material recognition and position determination.