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3 Reasons Multi-Point Inspection is Better Than Single-Point

May, 2020

Are you currently performing height inspections or measurements in your process? The most common method of performing height checks is to use single-point lasers. Single-point lasers are simple and small, meaning that they can be used in a large variety of different applications. However, single-point lasers are sensitive to external factors that can cause major instability in your inspection.

Using multi-point lasers such as a the new IX-series sensor can address these external factors, providing a much more stable inspection. Multi-point lasers scan over a surface as opposed to only targeting one single point so multiple points can be inspected at once and problems such as part movement and imperfections in the process can be addressed. Although multi-point inspection solves many problems that can be seen with single-point inspection, there are three primary reasons to use multi-point instead of single-point.

Three Reasons To Use the IX for Multi-Point Inspection Instead of a Single-Point Laser

1 Part Movement

Single-point lasers are fixed at a single, static location. This means that if the inspection target does not line up directly with the laser point, inspection will fail. Even slight vibration may be enough to misalign the laser from the target.

Mechanical stops can be used to prevent part movement, but this requires changes to a process that can be costly and difficult to implement. In addition, mechanical stops slow down your production line, reducing the total number of parts you can make per hour and reducing profitability.

The IX multi-point height sensor has a position adjustment tool that tracks parts as they enter the field of view. This prevents costly mechanical changes and can increase your total number of parts per hour!

2 Step Height/ Reference Difference

A single-point laser can only measure the height of a target. Since a single-point laser only gives raw height, imperfections in a process can result in inconsistent results. If the conveyer belt is vibrating, the height measured by the sensor could differ from the true height of the target. Similarly, if a part is incompletely seated into a fixture, the height of a component on that part will be different than when the part is completely seated.

The most common solution for these types of applications is to use a step height inspection or a reference difference. By using two separate points, one of the inspection target and one of a reference surface, the imperfections in a process can be removed and the inspection will be more stable. However, a step height inspection using single-point lasers will require multiple different sensors, which requires complex wiring and calculations on a third-party device to properly operate.

Using the IX Multi-Point laser, step height inspections are simple! Only one sensor is required, and the IX has a dedicated step height tool.

3 Multiple Inspection Targets

Inspecting multiple points using single-point lasers is complicated. To inspect each target, the sensor must move, the target must move, or multiple sensors will need to be used. Moving either the sensor or the target will require mechanical changes to a production line that will fundamentally alter the process. These mechanical changes will only be valid for a single product. If a new product is introduced to the line or if the product is changed, more mechanical changes may be necessary to run the process.

Alternatively, using multiple single point lasers requires wiring for each of the sensors used and will require complicated programming through a PLC or other data acquisition device. In addition, if the target can move on the production line, even multiple single-point lasers may not be able to account for the movement.

Using multi-point inspection with the IX means you only need one sensor, and complicated process changes aren't necessary.

Single-point lasers are simple, but minor inconsistencies can result in major instability in the inspection. Using multi-point inspection lasers such as the IX will fix a large number of common problems and inconsistencies in standard industrial production processes. For more information about the IX, download the brochure below or call 1-888-Keyence to request a demonstration of the IX from your local representative.

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