Sensors & Transducers

Laser measurement for motion control

November 2021 Sensors & Transducers

The new Speetec laser motion control sensor from SICK Automation, a non-contact optical sensor that accurately measures the speed, length and position of almost any material, from metal sheeting to newsprint, is now available in South Africa. Relevant applications include metal cutting processes, packaging and printing, mechanical engineering and measurement and cutting of construction materials.

“It’s one of the smallest devices to offer non-contact measurement, as well as a host of other benefits,” says Stephen Eltze, product manager, SICK Automation. These benefits include:

• Accurate, high resolution, slip-free measurement with high reproducibility: since Speetec doesn’t contact the material it measures (or with the conveyor moving the material), it delivers slip-free measurement with enhanced accuracy, boosting productivity.

• Delivers ROI and reduces costs: the unit is priced at between a third to a quarter of that of existing laser speed sensors.

• Simple, quick installation: the unit’s small size, basic mounting requirements and simple electric connections make it easy to install and wire up, whether for a retrofit or a greenfield project.

• No additional safety measures required: many laser-equipped motion control sensors use Class 3 lasers which are hazardous for eyes and therefore require specialised housing to prevent harm to operators. Additionally, operating personnel require specialised safety training and PPE. Speetec comprises Class 1 lasers, which are safe for eyes and thus, it does not require additional operational safety measures.

Local testing has yielded positive results. “A roof sheeting metal manufacturer ran Speetec in parallel with their existing wheel encoder and found its performance exceeded expectations,” explains Eltze. “Speetec measured lengths of metal in 4 µm increments and it was found to be precise. Additionally, it’s a laser sensor so there was no issue with measuring different colour roof sheeting.”

For more information contact Ajanth Sewpersad, SICK Automation Southern Africa, +27 10 060 0550,,


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