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Pepperl+Fuchs Blog

What is POWER24 for AS-Interface?

Posted by Tim Cicerchi on Thu, Aug 27, 2015

Even though POWER24 has been around for years, nobody really talks about it.  It is a rarely used and little-known part of the latest specification that allows AS-Interface to run at 24 VDC.  It has taken a while for the right number of components to be designed to the POWER24 specification for it really to be considered useful for most modern-day material handling and assembly applications.

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Topics: AS-Interface

Retroreflective Mode: When Ultrasonic Sensors Rise to the Highest Challenges

Posted by Patricia Stafford on Fri, Aug 07, 2015

What is the principle behind ultrasonic retroreflective mode sensors?  How do they work?

Retroreflective mode uses the same type of design as diffuse mode sensors, such that a single housing contains both the transducer and the evaluation electronics, allowing one sensor to operate as both an emitter and receiver. Much like diffuse mode sensors, retroreflective sensors emit a three-dimensional sound cone which creates a beam angle that defines the sensing range. However, instead of calculating the distance to a target object, retroreflective sensors are set to a specific constant value based on an  unchanging distance to a reflective surface like a wall, plate, or conveyor belt. This distance between the sensor and the surface serves as a reference. The sensor measures the amount of time between the emission of a sound pulse and its return echo from the reflective surface. If there is a change in the amount of time or if the echo disappears entirely, this indicates that a target object is present.

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Topics: Ultrasonic Sensors

The Differences Between Absolute and Incremental Rotary Encoders

Posted by Patricia Stafford on Thu, Jul 30, 2015

What are the differences between absolute and incremental rotary encoders? Which one do I use when? These questions come up all the time. Our customers want to know.

Rotary encoders in general connect to a shaft and output pulses as the shaft rotates. You can determine the speed of an object based on how many pulses there are per revolution. The number of pulses that make up one full turn of the shaft determines the resolution. Incremental encoders have a resolution of up to 50,000 pulses per revolution (ppr) while absolute encoders have a resolution of up to 16 bits or 65,536 ppr.

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Topics: Rotary Encoders

Ask an Expert Industrial Sensors - Episode 11

Posted by John Appleson on Thu, Jul 23, 2015

This episode of Ask an Expert for industrial sensors examines and provides answers to interesting sensing questions we've received from customers just like you. We explore and answer these questions:

  1. How do I get a narrower sound cone on an F260 series ultrasonic sensor?
  2. Is AS-Interface "data decoupling" the same as "filter integrated"?
  3. Can I use a diffuse mode photoelectric sensor to detect marks on a steel rivet?
  4. What is the output stage used for on an inductive sensor?
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Topics: Inductive Sensors, Ultrasonic Sensors, AS-Interface, Photoelectric Sensors, Ask an Expert

WirelessHART Is Networking Made Smart

Posted by Patricia Stafford on Fri, Jul 17, 2015

What is WirelessHART?

WirelessHART is a wireless communication network designed especially for sensors used in process automation. It connects individual sensors to a distributed control system (DCS) or asset management system.

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Topics: HART

Photoelectric Sensors: A Contrasting View

Posted by Patricia Stafford on Thu, Jul 09, 2015

What is a contrast sensor?

Contrast sensors have the ability to reliably distinguish between two different colors. They are also called print mark or registration mark sensors. These sensors are good for applications such as verifying the presence of a weld seam, confirming that a label has been placed on a package, and detecting registration marks. Basically, these sensors indicate whether a contrast between two taught-in colors is seen or not seen.

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Topics: Photoelectric Sensors

Boosting Productivity with the Help of Laser Barcode Scanners

Posted by Tim Cicerchi on Thu, Jun 25, 2015

Laser barcode scanners have been used in material handling applications for decades.  It is an integral part of routing boxes down a conveyor line.  The production of products such as liquid soaps, lotions, and shampoo will use barcode readers also.  They are used in two places.  First, to read the pallets of raw material bottles at the beginning of the production line, then secondly, at the end of the line after barcodes are applied to the bottles.  The barcode readers have to read at very high read rates of over 200 bottles per minute.

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Topics: Applications, RFID, Laser Sensors

Ask an Expert Industrial Sensors - Episode 10

Posted by John Appleson on Fri, Jun 19, 2015

This episode of Ask an Expert for industrial sensors examines and provides answers to interesting sensing questions we've received from customers just like you. We explore and answer these questions:

  1. What lengths of WCS absolute linear encoder system rails are available, and how do they connect?
  2. We are designing a cargo door locking system that has to be tamperproof. Would RFID technology work for this application?
  3. I was planning to use photoelectric sensors for people detection in a specific area. Which photoeye should I use?
  4. How do the wires connect in cable connector 42308C?
  5. How do I incorporate an AS-Interface network into an Allen-Bradley PLC?
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Topics: AS-Interface, Photoelectric Sensors, Ask an Expert, RFID, Positioning Systems

Photoelectric Sensors: 5 Things You Need to Know

Posted by Nick Ferguson on Thu, Jun 11, 2015

Photoelectric sensors are a great choice for packaging, material handling, automotive, and many other applications. They use a light emitter, a light receiver, and a lens for detection. Photoelectric sensors are often the go-to sensor, when an inductive sensor does not fit the application. They are incredibly useful for detecting a variety of objects, but it is important to be aware of their limitations.

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Topics: Ultrasonic Sensors, Photoelectric Sensors

Diffuse Use – Ultrasonic Diffuse Mode Sensors Are Everywhere

Posted by Patricia Stafford on Thu, Jun 04, 2015

What are ultrasonic diffuse mode sensors?

Diffuse mode is the most common way to operate an ultrasonic sensor. In this mode, the transducer is contained in the same housing as the evaluation electronics and acts as both an emitter and receiver. Because of this design, this type of ultrasonic sensor works by continuously switching between transmission and reception modes and waiting for echo signals.

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Topics: Ultrasonic Sensors

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