In recent years, the adherence to a specification for the coating thickness of a product is increasingly directly monitored in the production facility. This reduces scrappage/failure and enables the process to be adjusted in a timely manner. The prerequisite for such an application is a reliable measurement unit that allows communication with control and monitoring units in the production facility.
The FISCHERSCOPE® MMS® PC2 – a completely new development – is best suited for this application. The readings are presented on a TFT display with a good read-out capability. The unit has USB and COM communication interfaces as standard. Operation of the unit is via an integrated touch screen, or via an external keyboard and/or mouse. Microsoft’s Windows® CE is used as the operating system, and so the user prompts correspond to those familiar from many PC programs.
In industrial plants, control and monitoring normally take place via a PLC. Exchange of information between the PLC and other units preferably takes place via individual control lines. To avoid electrical interference and thus increase process reliability, these control lines must exhibit DC isolation between measurement unit and PLC.
These requirements are fulfilled with the new “digital I/O module” that can be built into the FISCHERSCOPE® MMS® PC2. The module can operate with up to 8 input and 24 output signals. The supply voltage is supplied from an external source and can be up to 24 V. Each output signal can be up to a maximum of 0.5 amps.
For simple tasks, the FISCHERSCOPE® MMS® PC2 with the digital I/O module integrated can also be operated without a PLC. For example, tolerance limits can be defined for parts sorting. In the event of deviations above or below these limits, sorting switches or displays can be activated directly.
Simultaneous monitoring of a number of product features is another ideal task for the FISCHERSCOPE® MMS® PC2. Coating thicknesses at different positions can be measured simultaneously with up to eight probes (Figure 1).
In conclusion, the use of probes for automatic coating thickness measurement is a subject of great importance. With its versatile range of probes, Helmut Fischer can provide the right probe for almost all measurement tasks. Along with high precision and good repeatability of the measurements, a long service life for the probes is particularly necessary in the case of automatic measurements.