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automotive industry

Research & development

Prime areas of application of the laser triangulation sensor are in the field of Crashtests because here sled movements or deformations of internal vehicle components can be measured without contact. This is possible due to the wide measuring ranges available of up to 1200mm, at a possible width of the frequency band of 10 kHz. Tests at car manufacturers have revealed that up to a strain of approx. 40g no influence on the measuring value and no damage to the sensor can be found. The wide range of the measuring frequency up to 20 kHz is also required to register the valve lift in connection with the motor test at maximum engine speed. Much lower measuring frequencies are required for the laser operation in components' digitising for car body development. Here, the sensor replaces the contact scanner of the Z-axis at measurement devices. On the one hand, non-contact measurement offers advantages for the digitising of sensitive models, on the other hand, a considerably higher measuring speed, generating larger data quantities can be realised because continuous operation in x- and y-direction is possible.



Test drive

The laser is almost unrivalled in its use for non-contact measurement of the distance of the vehicle from the road. The implemented OPTIMESS sensors are ideally suitable for measurements on all surfaces from bright concrete, gravel and off-road surfaces to jet black, wet asphalt. The arrangement of several sensors enables measurement of rocking angle and clearance - often saving the use of the standard platform which leads to shorter tooling times and universal application possibilities in addition to considerable reductions in weight. Due to the large spectrum of measuring ranges and measuring distances, all kinds of component changes such as movement of the engine, the exhaust system, the drive and cardan shafts and the steering linkage as well as the shock absorber travel can be measured. In the latter case the sensor can be fixed directly to the shock absorber leg due to its compactness.



Production

In production, the main applications are in dimension control and automated assembly. Dimensions of brakes, clutches, axles and whole bodies are checked. In the assembly sector contours have to be recorded if possible along a measuring line and not only at points. Here, OPTISCAN laser scanners are used in which the measuring beam is deflected by a system of mirrors and systems with CCD matrix detectors (light intersection sensors) in which a measuring line is generated by optical expansion. Such systems are used mainly in the robot assembly of doors and windscreens. Their measuring line offers the advantage of being able to measure gaps from other body parts exactly. Sensors with a special protective flap are available for position the welding heads of robots.



Supplier industry

The increasing use of laser measuring systems in this sector is due to the constantly growing demands on quality and documentation of the supplied automotive industry but also due to the progress in production automation, The measuring jobs range from safety components such as the airbag or chassis components, through thickness measurements on gaskets or brake linings right up to fully automatic online checking of clutch disks, cardan shafts and wheel dos. Automated checking of clutch disks has reduced the defective parts of one large supplier by more than 60% for example.



Recording of road surfaces

Since, as already mentioned, the distance from the road surface can be measured during movement of the vehicle, the opposite, namely the detection of road conditions and surfaces is also possible. This is important for the test stand simulation for which as accurate information as possible about the real road conditions of test courses is required to perform a practice-oriented simulation. In addition, knowledge of road surfaces is an important parameter in the development of tires and active chassis' for series vehicles. A specialty developed vehicle licensed by the Federal authorities enables measurement of the longitudinal and transverse profile of the road for documenting the nation-wide condition of roads.





Motor sport

Due to the Increasing importance of aerodynamics for motor sport and the associated demand for a constantly optimum distance of vehicle to road, laser sensors are now being used more and more in other racing classes, such as DTM, apart from Formula 1 in which they have already been used for a longtime. In addition to merely measuring the distance and shock absorber travel for optimum chassis balance, these sensors also allow the active regulation of a chassis in a further step. Extreme demands are made with regard to shock resistance and miniaturization due to the restricted space available in motor sport.