Description

Introduction:
Composite materials consist of two or more materials which include a substrate or base material such as paper, cotton cloth, or glass cloth along with a resin or adhesive such as epoxy, melamine, or silicone. To make a thermoset laminate, the base material is coated with the adhesive so that layers of material can be pressed under heat and pressure into sheet form.

The Problem:
Composite material thickness needed to be verified prior to forming or machining. Due to the size of the sheets typical measurement techniques were not suitable. A consistent method to accurately measure the board thickness without contacting the material was needed. It required a continuous output signal to provide fast, active feed forward control of the process line. The measurement solution needed to provide continuous thickness information under varying line speeds and load conditions and be capable of operating in a harsh production environment.
Board thickness using laser sensors

The Solution:
MTI Instruments’ Microtrak™ 3 TGS precision laser metrology sensor was selected because it offered:
– Small controller format that also uses the Modbus interface for statistical data collection
– Digital output – RS-485 or USB providing indication and control via a digital output pin
– Accuracy requirement < 0.5 mil and out of spec detection within 0.00025 seconds

 

“After a lot of training and time using the equipment, my operators are very happy to have this system. It is user friendly and has cut our measuring times in half. I appreciate the support and work you have put into getting this system operational for us.”

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