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What is a Photoelectric Sensor?
Wednesday, January 23, 2019

A photoelectric sensor is a device that is designed to detect the distance, absence or presence of a specific object through a light transmitter. This may be infrared technology or it may be a photoelectric receiver as well. These sensors are also referred to as photo eyes.

Components

Photoelectric sensors are predominantly used for industrial manufacturing purposes. The equipment is used in this sector to provide a number of alternatives for solving issues. Also, photoelectric technology has advanced leaps and bounds. For example, the technology can be use to determine a target that is less than a single millimeter in diameter. That is quite impressive!

Furthermore, photoelectric sensors can be easily accommodated into a vast number of applications as well. A typical device is comprised of the following parts:

Emitter

This is a light source like an LED or laser diode and is a vital aspect of a photoelectric sensor

Photodiode

Also called a phototransistor receiver, this part of a sensor is meant to detect the light source

Supporting Electronics

These are used for augmented the signal that is relayed from the receiver.

Types

Naturally, there is more than one kind of photoelectric sensor that is used in industrial environments. These are:

Laser Photoelectric Sensors

First and foremost, laser sensors are used as sensor light sources. These are available in thru-beam; diffuse scan and also a diffuse scan version that is equipped with background suppression. The laser is meant to provide high intensity and clearly visible light, which allows the assembly and adjustment of items.

Also, the technology makes it possible for users to detect even the minutest objects from a considerable distance.

Fiber Optics Photoelectric Sensors

This type of sensors employs an emitter, receiver and a cable that is particularly flexible. The cable features innumerable fibers that enable the transmission of light. For instance, when glass fibers are used, the emitter source is infrared light. Alternatively, when plastic fibers are used, the emitter source is visible light.

Furthermore, fiber optics may be adapted to thru-beam; retro-reflective scans as well as diffuse scan sensors. They are the best option when the process involves small sensing areas or objects.

Remote Photoelectric Sensors

The third and final type of photoelectric sensor we will specify is called remote photoelectric sensor. As the name suggests, this is used for remote sensing and consists of only the optical aspects of a sensor.

Features

The features of a photoelectric sensor include long sensing distance. For example, a through beam sensor can detect items that are more than 10 (ten!) meters away. This simply cannot be achieved using magnetic, ultrasonic or any other sensing method.
Also, there are no restrictions when it comes to photoelectric sensors. They operate on the principle that objects interrupt or reflect lights, which means they are not limited like proximity sensors are. Hence, they are able to detect virtually any object such as glass, plastic, wood and liquid as well.

If you want to learn more about photoelectric sensors and other industrial devices, we strongly suggest visiting the Rilco Industrial Controls website.



 
 
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