The French firm Vectral is now offering a high-speed, linear-measurement system for demanding industrial environments. Available in both linear encoder and electronic tape-measure formats, Meterdrive's design employs an opto-electric detection head that travels along a perforated, high-tensile, stainless steel tape, counting the number of perforations.
This enables the device to measure distances and perform positioning to a resolution of 0.1 mm at speeds of up to 35 ft/sec over distances up to 820 ft. Its strength makes it suited for applications such as the cutting of sheetmetal profiles, panels, or tubes; automatic positioning; storage; the retrofitting of planers and bending machines; telescopic systems; tank-level measurements; and electroplating installations.
Compact and light, Meterdrive mounts easily yet has the toughness to stand up to factory-floor conditions. Water and shock resistant, the device has no mechanical parts. Its direct reading via large tape perforations ensures long operational life with minimal maintenance requirements. The stainless steel tape is flexible and easy to use, being stretched between two points while the reading head is screwed onto the moving support using four screws. No ruler support is needed.