The newest StingRay structured light generating laser from Coherent, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) offers up to 50 mW of output in the blue (450 nm), making it especially advantageous for machine vision applications based on 3D triangulation that involve darker materials. In particular, blue light offers higher reflectivity and increased contrast for a wide range of materials having a dark surface finish, including metals, carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRPs) and rubber. When combined with the unmatched line uniformity (±7.5%) and external focusing capability available with all StingRay series products, these advantages translate into increased measurement speed and improved dimensional accuracy in machine vision applications.
This new StingRay laser has all the other important features found in longer wavelength StingRay predecessors, including “dynamic line balancing,” which enables straightforward correction of intensity variations in the projected line beam when the laser is used at off axis illumination angles. StingRay lasers also feature an internal “health monitor” that alerts the user to diode end of life, thus allowing for laser replacement to be performed at convenient times, rather than causing unexpected production downtime.
Machine vision using 3D triangulation is employed for automated, non-contact inspection in a wide range of industries, including automotive production, microelectronics fabrication, food processing, and metal fabricating. StingRay lasers’ superior output characteristics and extremely low unit-to-unit variability, together with their built-in microprocessor and communications port, enable vision system builders to produce a more consistent product without the need for extensive calibration or adjustment. This results in reduced design and production costs, as well as faster time to market.