Sensor Doubles Measuring Speed and Resolution

The advanced 3D sensor ZEISS COMET Pro AE is the second generation of the ZEISS COMET automated sensor and, as the heart of the robotic optical 3D measuring system the ZEISS AIBox flex, makes modular at-line measurements even faster and more precise. This increase in performance was made possible by countless technical improvements, and by combining different technical high-end solutions that have already proved their worth at ZEISS.

According to Head of ZEISS Optotechnik Markus Eßer, the ZEISS COMET Pro AE fringe projector is “based on our high-end solutions and offers twice the available resolution, measuring speed and light intensity.” With a transfer rate of 4.6 megapixels per second, the shortest measuring time is 1.9 seconds. “Customers benefit not only from higher speed, the new fringe light projector also impresses on account of its high flexibility, robustness, quality and ease of use.”

Flange-mounted LEDs surround the sensor and camera for fringe projection. Much like a ring light, the additional illumination units are switched on one after the other, creating a distinct edge. This enables optimum capture of cutout and borehole contours. The machined housing gives the sensor the necessary stability, making it well-suited for various ambient conditions.

A 16-megapixel camera achieves an outstanding level of precision with a measuring volume of 550 x 370 x 400 mm. Thanks to its resolution of 4,698 x 3,264 pixels, even very small, subtle details can be identified, like scratches on the parts. Adaptive projection (ILC – intelligent light control) is just one aspect that ensures the previously announced halving of the measuring time, and it significantly reduces processing time. Complex components can be scanned with double the light intensity as compared to the previous model. The technology makes it possible to modify, even partially, the quantity of light projected onto a particular surface. This adjustment is made automatically, meaning the system independently configures the necessary parameters, making time-consuming correction and the modification of different elements a thing of the past.

The fusion of 3D data and edge illumination captures achieves greater structure resolution and data quality. That’s because combining the data from the camera and the projector with the illumination possibilities provided by the LEDs achieves the effective resolution of a 30-megapixel camera.

The automatically configured illumination time ensures easier operation. The system sets this live during the measurement. The measuring mode and surface are considered. The system also identifies unwanted external factors such as vibrations and changes to the ambient light, and it separates test objects from the background. The high degree of automation means employees can get to grips with the system more quickly.

The integrated photogrammetry camera in the middle of the sensor already proved its worth in the previous model. It positions the individual photos within the space and in relation to each other. This means large parts can be scanned, which is why the sensor has been used until now to measure car body parts in the automotive industry. This technical addition makes the sensor interesting for other fields of application. “Since we have optimized the ZEISS COMET Pro AE for the complex requirements in automotive manufacture, it now features an optimum design for other industries and fields of application requiring a high degree of precision,” says Eßer.

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