Whether they're used for measurement or inspection, smart sensors are making vast technological improvements in intelligence and compactness. With the new breed of sensors, users no longer need to connect to a PC and printer to gather and understand data. Instead, today's units are endowed with controllers, data storage units and software. As a result, they can do calculations, log data and perform reporting and analysis functions internally.
"The trend is to make them more intelligent," notes Carlos Melo, marketing manager for advanced sensors at Omron Electronics LLC. "The idea is for the user to get more useful information out of the data."
Moreover, greater compactness is enabling users to place sensors in shrinking electronic applications.
"It makes for easier installation in restricted spaces," Melo says. "There's always a need for sensors to be more compact."
Increasingly, engineers are applying the new technology to applications ranging from inspection of piston O-rings and automotive welds, to measurement of semiconductor wafer thicknesses and engine block dimensions. Greater processing power, engineers say, is moving the new breed of sensors into a broader array of applications.
To help products meet such needs, electronics' vendors are offering a new generation of smarter sensors. Below, we briefly profile two products for visual inspection and laser measurement.
Read the articles:
Cognex's Checker Sensor
Omron's ZS Smart Sensor