Is it possible to meet every requirement of an application with a single solution? It all depends on the complexity of the application. Simple applications may only need simple digital-output sensors to detect the presence or absence of a target. But what about demanding applications that involve flaw detection, high-speed target inspection, precise positioning, profile comparison, or some combination of the above?
Traditional vision systems can easily perform all of these tasks—but usually not without significant cost and complexity. Before you choose a solution, you should ask yourself a few questions:
- What tasks do I need sensors to perform?
- Is there a simple solution, or does my design require a large overhaul?
Depending on your answers, SmartRunner technology could offer an attractive alternative to many complex, costly solutions.
The best of both worlds
Introduced by Pepperl+Fuchs in October 2017, SmartRunner technology is based on a unique combination of light section technology and a 2-D vision sensor with integrated LEDs. Light section technology uses a laser and the triangulation principle to measure line profiles. Integrated LEDs give the user a guide as to where this laser is scanning and whether the object is within its adjustable tolerances. 2-D vision technology uses a camera in the same housing to record errors and read Data Matrix codes for easy device configuration.
The combination of these technologies allows SmartRunner sensors to evaluate complex image data and transform it into a simple good/bad output. In a nutshell, SmartRunner technology makes the functionality of advanced vision systems available in easy-to-use digital-output sensors. And it offers a cost-effective solution with enough precision to replace expensive camera-based vision systems.
Ready to use
Our initial SmartRunner launch included three models: the Detector, the Matcher, and the Matcher Extended. Each model is preconfigured specifically for its application, so the user simply has to mount, connect, and configure the sensor to get up and running.
Yes, it’s really that easy. Teach buttons set the exact profile or area you are evaluating, and software lets you adjust the detection zone, region of interest, tolerances, minimum object size, and more. Software also allows you to generate Data Matrix control codes for initial setup or reconfiguration. All parameters are preset and provided to the sensors via the code.
All three models share the same housing but have different sensing capabilities. The Detector is designed to scan an area and send a digital output to a controller when an object enters the area. The Matcher and Matcher Extended recognize a line profile and compare it with taught-in reference profiles. The Matcher can store a single profile, while the Matcher Extended can store up to 32. Profiles are taught via teach button or with the software. Digital outputs on both models allow controllers to easily assign tasks without processing serial data.
What does this mean for me?
With all of the technical terms flying around, you might be wondering how this all benefits you. Let’s look back at the questions we asked earlier:
What tasks do I need sensors to perform?
- If you need to protect expensive machine components, the SmartRunner Detector offers an easy-to-use solution that will help you maximize uptime.
- If you need to inspect objects and accept/deny them based on their shape or position, the SmartRunner Matcher provides a flexible solution that helps you avoid unplanned downtime.
Is there a simple solution, or does my design require a large overhaul?
- Easy-to-use SmartRunner sensors come preconfigured for specific applications. Easily programmed, either model can perform demanding, high-resolution vision tasks at high speeds. With submillimeter precision, digital outputs in one compact housing, and out-of-the-box operation, the SmartRunner family can be easily integrated into existing or new processes.