Industry 4.0 applications require sensors to do more than just deliver process data to the PLC. In smart manufacturing, sensors must be able to communicate with other devices and higher-level information systems. This is possible with IO-Link, a simple, flexible, and secure open communication technology that enables continuous communication at the sensor level.
One of the biggest advancements in automation was the incorporation of time-of-flight technology into photoelectric sensors. Pepperl+Fuchs took that technology and improved on it, creating the advanced time-of-flight measurement known as Pulse Ranging Technology (PRT). PRT provides continuous measurement of a target’s distance by using the speed of light as a constant while sending out extremely short but very powerful pulses of light and calculating the duration between the time a pulse is sent and the time it is received.