Ethernet-Enabled Multi-Point Gauging

Integrated production measurement is becoming more of a central demand for modern manufacturing. So instead of relying on coordinate measuring machines in a separate area, measurement devices are being designed into production machines to enable operators to rapidly adapt processes based on measurement results.

To help streamline this process, Heidenhain is offering a new MSE 1000 modular multiplexor that brings a new level of multi-channel electronics to metrology applications, allowing for the connection of many different sensors and the acquisition of measured values using Ethernet. More than 250 devices can be connected, especially useful in production line measurement systems.

According to Marc Tian, product specialist for the Semiconductor and Metrology Division at Heidenhain, what makes the MSE 1000 unique is its ability to handle 256 channels, transfer data a lot faster than competitive offerings, along with the ability for users to combine many different types of technologies.

A key to the new system is its ability to adapt to different operating conditions, along with supplying a variety of interfaces for connecting numerous measuring devices. The system provides fast TCP/IP communication with higher level computer systems over Ethernet, and outputs for controlling sorting switches, warnings lamps, PLCs, and other devices.

In some applications, sensors are needed to measure certain dimensions such as the flatness of a large surface or the taper of a long part. Additionally, large complex parts such as those found in automobile and aerospace manufacturing require large amounts of different sensors to fully qualify. The MSE 1000 provides the hardware base to combine up to 250 sensors of varying types to satisfy these advanced measurement needs.

In its basic configuration, the MSE 1000 consists of a power module and a basic communication module. After that, it can be customized as needed. Additional modules can be attached to allow for the connection of incremental and absolute linear encoders, rotary encoders, a wide variety of LVDTs, and analog inputs. I/O modules and compressed air modules are even available for closed loop, automated in-process gauging. The modules are easily mounted on a standard DIN rail in an electrical cabinet out of the way of the production line.

The software setup package included with the unit allows a user to configure and master all the connected channels. It provides graphical diagnostics of connected sensors and modules, along with enabling data transfer to a PC, and the writing of measured values directly to an Excel table. Additionally, the driver is included to allow a user to create their own customized software.

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