I am new to all this so forgive the dumb rating.
I need to monitor the speed of a few conveyor belts, the belts are around 10ft to 50ft long and 3ft wide and has anything from heavy boxes to thin light boxes placed onto it all day long so whatever I do it needs to be able to take a bit of a shake when the heavy boxes land, if its mounted to the machine somewhere.
Note the boxes are variable in height, width, weight and distance apart on the belts. So I need to work with the belt rather than what's on the belt.
I am thinking of using Arduino (someone has suggested as the best way to interface with a computer). I know C# and PHP and some basic electronics from the 90s (collage), so if you have any other recommendations on interfacing with a computer I would welcome the input.
Ok to my question:
How or what is the best way to monitor the belts speed without anything actually touching it? Speed range 0 to 15kph.
I was thinking:
Light detection? Draw or stick something to the belt which is of a light colour and when it passes a sensor of some kind it registers as on and then off when its not under the sensor. Then I can make the necessary calculations? But I can see the tape peeling off or marker wearing off quickly.
A mouse like laser sensor?
?? Any ideas ??
My primary factors are:
- It must be robust and run all day long, 5 days a week
- It must update speed fairly frequently
- Cheaper the better
- Can be boxed and mounted or something
Here is what I am thinking of, but I don't know anything about what sensors does what and where to buy these sensors from (RS Electronics website seems to be down).
Any advice you can give me is much appreciated.