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Contour / pattern match sensor

ifm’s 2D industrial imaging sensors can solve a variety of error-proofing and inspection applications throughout the manufacturing process. The compact CMOS sensors provide reliable performance in production control. Our product line includes two sensor families: the contour / pattern matching sensors and the pixel counter / blob tool sensors. The technology is somewhat similar among the two families, but for simplicity, we will document each separately. The following pertains to the contour / pattern matching sensors.

The power of a vision system with the simplicity of a sensor

ifm 2D vision sensors bridge the gap between sensor clusters and vision systems.

Sensor clusters

Sensor clusters are the least expensive option, but cause problems when multiple devices are used for error-proofing. Additional challenges:

  • Complex wiring
  • Multiple mounting brackets
  • Time-consuming installation

Vision systems

Visions systems offer high performance but are complex and often require vision specialists. Additional challenges:

  • Additional computer processing power
  • External lighting
  • Integration that increases costs

The best of both worlds

ifm’s CMOS vision sensors provide the simplicity of a standard sensor and the high performance of a vision system.

  • Eliminates the added maintenance needed for sensor clusters
  • Provides a reliable alternative to high-end vision systems
  • Price-to-performance ratio allows the sensor to be used throughout a plant for error-proofing applications

Contour sensor

The contour sensor, also known as the object recognition sensor, is used for objects with defined geometry. It is used to evaluate presence and completeness, for position detection and sorting. It has the ability to analyze shapes and capture the outline of an object. It is ideal in applications where the object’s shape is repeatable and defined.

The contour sensor is a good solution to maintain quality control. It can identify an incorrect part by matching the contour of the reference part.

This product includes an image sensor, evaluation electronics and integrated lighting in a robust die-cast metal housing that withstands harsh industrial environments. Objects are reliably detected and precisely evaluated with the sensor’s fast image capture and powerful algorithms.

Working principle

The sensor finds contours based on a defined level of contrast. This can be adjusted in the configuration software to obtain the best contrast of the contour of interest.

For the reference image shown, note the level of detail in the contours that can be achieved when adjusting the contrast. This is easily configured during set up. If the level is too high, you probably see too many details. If the level is too low, you probably do not see enough details.

Select the optimum solution for your application

ifm offers products with different lensing – standard, wide angle and zoom (telephoto). To help you choose the right version for your application, consult the chart below.

Getting started with the 2D sensors

A standard 8-pin M12 cordset is used for digital I/O and power using the wiring diagram shown below. Be sure to verify the pinout of the cable you are using since wire colors are not the same for all 8-pin cables. An Ethernet cable (M12 / RJ45) and PC are required to configure the sensor.

The default IP address of the contour sensor is Make sure your PC is set to the same domain but with different last three numbers. For example, Note: if you are unable to connect to your sensor, most likely your IP address is not set properly.