Pepperl+Fuchs Blog

Ask an Expert Industrial Sensors: Episode 14

Posted by John Appleson on Thu, Dec 17, 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. Inductive ring sensor RJ21-E2 - is there a reduction factor for aluminum targets, or is it for ferrous targets only?
2. Is there a minimum mounting distance between WCS positioning system read heads?
3. Do you have a photoelectric sensor that can be installed outdoors in temperatures down to -40 °C?
4. Is there a proximity sensor that will detect steel, but not aluminum?


Feel free to ask us your sensing questions, and we'll do our best to reply with the whys and hows of a particular solution.




John: Welcome to Ask an Expert! Hi, this is John Appleson, Marketing Manager with Pepperl+Fuchs. Today, I'm joined by Zach Steck. Zach works as an Application Engineer here at Pepperl+Fuchs. So welcome, Zach and thanks for being here!

Zach: Hi John, thanks for asking me.

John: Zach, the first question asks about the RJ21-E2 inductive ring sensor. The customer would like to know if there is a reduction factor for aluminum, or if it only applies to ferrous targets?

Zach: The ring type inductive sensors will detect both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, but is less sensitive to non-ferrous. Using a non-ferrous metal like aluminum, it may require a larger diameter target in order to detect it.

John: This next question concerns mounting two WCS read heads on one code rail, for redundancy, and asks if there is a minimum mounting distance to maintain between units. Zach, what is the recommendation here?

Zach: Since the two read heads are only for redundancy purposes, there is no minimum separation distance specified. The read heads can be mounted as close as needed without any worry of mutual interference. Four inches would be sufficient.

John: OK, this customer asks if we offer a photoelectric or proximity sensor that can detect a railcar moving at 11 kilometers per hour, in temperatures down to -40 °C. The distance between the sensor and the railcar will range between two to ten feet. Zach, what are your thoughts on this application?

Zach: Based on this description, I would suggest the RLK61-8-4000-Z/31/115 diffuse mode photoelectric sensor. This sensor features a four meter range, IP67 protection rating, and a temperature range of -40 °C to +55 °C. This sensor would be suitable for an outdoor application.

John: Here's another inductive sensor question. The customer states that they are upgrading their process and would like to apply a sensor that can distinguish between ferrous and non-ferrous targets. In other words, detect steel, but not detect aluminum. Zach, what are your recommendations?

Zach: In this case, you would want a ferrous-only sensor, which is available as part of our PileDriver inductive sensor series. An example model is NMB5-18GM55-E2-FE. The -FE at the end represents ferrous targets only. Aluminum would be completely ignored by this sensor.

John: Well, that concludes this segment of Ask an Expert. I'd like to thank Zach for joining me today, and thank our audience as well.

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Topics: Inductive Sensors, Photoelectric Sensors, Ask an Expert, Positioning Systems

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