General Inquiries: 1-800-331-7301   Product Catalog

News Blog

Linear Measurement With No Contact Required

Written by: Josh Sparrow, SICK Product Specialist

Have you ever needed to measure speed or distance for linear travel and found that there is not a great solution? You can look at a wheel encoder that touches your product but can slip or even damage your product. Maybe you put a traditional encoder on a roller and hope that your web never has issues. Now with the new SpeeTec from SICK those worries are in the past. The SpeeTec sensor from SICK uses laser Doppler Effect based technology to measure speed, length, movement direction and position through a traditional encoder output. This means that you will have the same HTL or TTL signal you get from your encoder so that you don’t need to modify any controls to install the SpeeTec. Because it uses a class 1 laser, it is eye safe, fast, flexible and maintenance free. The encoder is suitable for speeds up to 10m/s and can be used on a wide range of products including black objects, shiny objects, textured objects and even some clear materials. Because there are no moving parts, you don’t have to worry about replacing encoders which saves you time and money.

Not only are we seeing traditional linear speed with this, but also some new applications that standard encoders do not work for. For example, say you have a 1m long board coming down a conveyor that you need to stop and have someone measure. Now you can put a SpeeTec right in line and measure without stopping or taking it off the line. This allows you to measure every part and gives you a measurement accuracy of 1mm on that 1m long part. Because it can measure most surfaces, you can even measure the travel of materials that were hard before. A tacky or wet part does not do well on a roller or with a wheel touching it. The SpeeTec can measure on materials with texture, moisture and a multitude of other surfaces.

The SpeeTec from SICK is an innovate sensor with many different applications for many different industries and really is just a neat technology. With easy upgrading of traditional sensors and the ability to read on many surfaces this is great sensor to look at for any application with linear motion. Check out more information on the SpeeTec here:

If you have any applications you would like to talk about, see or demo the SpeeTec, please reach out to