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Code-based position detector adds an extra dimension

15 May, 2010

Pepperl + Fuchs has developed a position-locating system which uses a camera to read data matrix codes and can determine positions along two axes. Unlike other systems that use laser scanners or cameras to read positions from standard parallel-line barcodes, P+F’s PCV system uses dot-based rectangular codes which pack more information into a smaller area and can be used to determine position in both the x and y directions.

The system, unveiled at the recent Hannover Fair, can determine positions to a resolution of 0.2 or 2mm along a length of up to 10km. The codes are read by a camera located 80mm away and moving at speeds of up to 12.5m/s. A minimum of six codes is read to ensure accurate data, even if there is considerable contamination or damage. Only one code in three needs to be legible.

The small size of the adhesive codes allows the system to cope with radii as small as 10cm and to be mounted on narrow areas on equipment such as monorail conveyors and high-bay warehouses. The codes can also accommodate inclines or declines of up to 30 degrees. To measure vertical movements, rows of codes are stacked on top of each other.

The camera-based reader avoids the need for vibration-prone mechanical scanners and laser diodes with limited operating lives.

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