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Confocal 3D Sensor Combines Maximum Performance with Minimum Size

When it comes to incorporating an inline inspection device into a production environment to enable thickness and distance measurements, space can be an issue. If the inspection device is too big, integration will be a problem. With the new CHRocodile Mini/Mini+ from Precitec Optronik, a German manufacturer of highly innovative sensors and optical probes, space is never an issue. This low-price, ultra-compact 3D confocal sensor usefully combines maximum performance with minimal size.

Application Flexibility

The CHRocodile Mini is a low-price confocal sensor that enables precise and stable non-contact thickness and distance measurements on any kind of material from the kind of small footprint that is invaluable in confined production conditions. This compact device is ideally suited to applications such as determination of positions and dimensions (e.g. for electronic components), topography, profile and roughness measurements (e.g. for tool surfaces) and thickness measurements of glass or plastic coatings.

Alternative to laser triangulation

Weighing just 500-550 g and a mere 95 x 106 x 95 mm in size, the CHRocodile Mini is the ideal ultra-compact confocal 3D sensor for inline inspection applications. The separate optical probe and controller can be integrated into almost any small space for inspection purposes. As a powerful low-price alternative to laser triangulation sensors, this state-of-the-art chromatic confocal sensor uses high-performance optical lenses to focus white light at different distances along the optical axis. Moreover, coaxial measurement technology offers the added advantage of avoiding shadowing effects, which alternative measuring technologies cannot.

High-Precision Measurement of any Material

Whatever the properties of the material to be measured – opaque or transparent, diffusive or reflective, shiny or light-absorbent, flat or curved, rough or polished – and whether the surface is mirrored, unfinished metal, ceramic or adhesive, the CHRocodile Mini will deliver highly precise measurements at up to 4,000 Hz and an optional upgrade to 10,000 Hz. The three optical probes have a distance and thickness measuring range of 0.6 to 10 mm depending on the probe deployed. Another advantage is that these probes contain no moving parts, no electronic parts and no indicators that would generate heat and possibly impair the accuracy of the measurements.

Intuitive Plug-and-Measure Software

The new myCHRocodile application software comes with three preinstalled settings for different user levels: general users who simply want to get their measured values and tolerance deviations fast; expert users who need to install, adjust and test measuring equipment; and advanced users carrying out support, development or troubleshooting tasks. Application-specific settings can be easily selected using the drawings and short explanations supplied with the device. Another useful feature is that all user settings can be saved on the device or exported for later retrieval.

Two product variants

Whereas the CHRocodile Mini features Ethernet and RS422 interfaces, the CHRocodile Mini+, a product variant with the same compact dimensions, comes equipped with three encoder ports, an analog output along with digital in/out ports making the CHRocodile Mini+ even more flexible when it comes to integrating confocal 3D sensor technology into any kind of inspection equipment.

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