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Pepperl+Fuchs Blog

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

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

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

Ask an Expert Industrial Sensors - Episode 9

Posted by John Appleson on Wed, May 13, 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. Is extended addressing necessary when creating two separate ASI interface circuits on one AS-Interface gateway?
  2. What do the wire colors mean, and what is their function, on the ML8 series photoelectric sensor?
  3. How do you troubleshoot the beam width and sensing range of a UB4000-30GM series ultrasonic sensor?
  4. What kind of sensor is best to measure the density and color differentiation of a marking within a medium?
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Topics: Ultrasonic Sensors, AS-Interface, Photoelectric Sensors, Ask an Expert

Industry 4.0 Comes to Hannover Fair 2015

Posted by Patricia Stafford on Wed, Apr 01, 2015

The Internet of Things is an up-and-coming technology which is set to transform the way we live. Simply put, it allows machines to communicate directly with each other over the Internet. This connection between machines will lead to greater convenience and efficiency based on a more rapid exchange of information. Everyday examples might include a car telling a garage door when to open or close, a stove turning itself on to boil a pot of tea that will be ready for you when you come home from work, a timer setting thermostats, and your refrigerator letting you know when you’re running low on groceries.

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Topics: Terminology, Ultrasonic Sensors, HART, Photoelectric Sensors, Hazardous Area Enclosures/ Equipment, RFID

Ask an Expert Industrial Sensors - Episode 7

Posted by John Appleson on Thu, Feb 05, 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. I want to use a NBB1.5-8GM50-A2-V1 in a safety-related circuit. This circuit will overlap a safety light curtain. I want to use this sensor to monitor the safe position of a pneumatic slice when the light curtain is broken during the loading of a part. The prox signals will be monitored twice per cycle to ensure proper diagnostic coverage. Is it possible to wire two or more of these inductive sensors in a series if I need to monitor the position of more than one device?

2. Does Pepperl+Fuchs have a proximity sensor with a variable output where the output increases as the target cam moves away or toward the target area? The housing has a limitation of 10 mm x 8 cm with a sensing range of 1/16 in. to 1/4 in.

3. An NJ1.5-8GM-N sensor is used in a robot wrist tool changer. The tool is in a harsh environment. The cable is covered with a solvent-proof tube. Is this sensor available with a more durable jacket than PVC? Perhaps a jacket made from nylon impregnated polyurethane?

4. I am wondering what the sensing "cone" angle is on the ultrasonic sensor UB250-F12-U-V15. I have an application that needs to sense levels of liquid in a pan. The sensor would have to be placed close to the wall of the pan. How far away would the sensor need to be from the wall for a given sensing depth?

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Topics: Inductive Sensors, Ultrasonic Sensors, Ask an Expert

5 Ultrasonic Sensing Types that Raise the Bar in Difficult Applications

Posted by Zach Steck on Thu, Dec 11, 2014

Sometimes in life, you just can’t go with the crowd. You need to adapt to new realities, stand out, and become an expert at meeting the unique conditions that you’re facing. When there’s a particular problem to solve, you’re ‘the specialist’ who gets it done right!

If you need an ultrasonic sensor for a particular application, I’d like to introduce you to five sensing types in our ultrasonic sensor family. These problem-solving sensors are designed for specific conditions where an ordinary ultrasonic sensor just won’t do!

Ultrasonic sensors for hazardous locations

In order to be installed in hazardous areas, ultrasonic sensors have to meet specific safety requirements. They must be designed with hazardous locations in mind.

Our HazLoc ultrasonic sensors are UL and CSA certified for use in environments up to Class I, Div. 2.  The Class I, Div. 2 approved models are represented by –HA in the model number.  UC500-30GM-IU-V1-HA is an example.  There is also an –HB model that is usable in all Division 2 areas as well as Class II, Div. 1 and Class III, Div. 1 environments.  The example model number for this type is UC2000-30GM-IU-V1-HB.  All of the hazardous location ultrasonic sensors only have an analog output.  This is selectable for current (4 mA … 20 mA) or voltage (0 V … 10 V).  These sensors also include an M30 to 1/2” NPT adapter for connection through conduit.

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Topics: Ultrasonic Sensors

Ask an Expert Industrial Sensors - Episode 6

Posted by John Appleson on Wed, Nov 19, 2014

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. I'm looking for an ultrasonic distance sensor to beam a signal to the top of a heavy steel column on an elevator (6 meters height). The column base might have some slack jerk. Can fog, gas, vapor, or loud noises affect the ultrasonic sensor?

2. I need updated software to program UC3000 ultrasonic sensors. Is there an update that will allow us to set up these sensors in a Windows 7 program?

3. I would like an ultrasonic sensor that can reliably detect falling objects in a harsh environment (mining operation). We are trying to set off an alarm when there is rock-fall.

4. I have an RFID controller IC-KP-B17-AIDA1 with 4 read heads. We are hooking them up to a 24 VDC power supply and need to know what size/type of fuse to put on the incoming side?

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Topics: Ultrasonic Sensors, Ask an Expert, RFID

Ultrasonic Thru-Beam Sensors: Cutting through the Haze

Posted by Patricia Stafford on Thu, Oct 30, 2014

What are ultrasonic thru-beam sensors?

Ultrasonic thru-beam sensors always come in pairs consisting of a dedicated emitter and a dedicated receiver. The evaluation and switching output electronics are located in the receiver. Using Teach-in or a potentiometer, you can adjust the receiver sensitivity for different distances between the emitter and receiver, or for different object sizes.

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Topics: Ultrasonic Sensors

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