23 Jul 2024

AUTOMATION FOR MANUFACTURING

‘World’s smallest’ optical distance sensor uses IO-Link

SensoPart claims that its optical distance sensor is the world’s smallest

The German sensor-maker SensoPart claims to have developed the world’s smallest optical distance sensor – a sugarcube-sized digital device that weighs about 10g and incorporates an IO-Link interface. The FT 10-RLA laser sensor is suitable for challenging measuring tasks in applications such as semiconductor assembly or robotics.

The 21.1 x 14.6 x 8mm sensor has a measuring range of 10–70mm, with a blind zone of just 10mm. A rectangular light spot (measuring 1 x 3mm) ensures reliable detection of small parts, with good linearity and repeatability. Distances, determined by triangulation, are output as a three-byte digital values via IO-Link. SensoPart says that, unlike analogue outputs, the measurements are not affected by electromagnetic fields.

An integrated dovetail holder allows the sensor to be mounted and aligned easily, even in cramped conditions.

Typical applications include distance measurements from robotic grippers, double layer detection with PCBs, presence and height control of semiconductor components, and measuring small dispensing reels. The sensor can replace fibre-optic cables where precision measurements are needed in confined spaces.