Pepperl+Fuchs Blog

Michael Turner

Recent Posts

What Is a Multi-Ray Photoelectric Sensor?

Posted by Michael Turner on Thu, May 01, 2014

Multi-ray photoelectric sensors are similar to a basic photoelectric sensor, but with the addition of more light sources or light beams. Multi-ray simply means more than one light beam.

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Topics: Photoelectric Sensors

Vision Systems and Interesting Alternatives

Posted by Michael Turner on Tue, Aug 13, 2013

Machine vision systems are fast becoming a hot topic in factory automation. Pepperl+Fuchs is certainly ‘at home’ with automation technology. In fact, we're known for our innovative, cutting-edge products, including machine vision systems. But we're also known for providing our customers with an optimum solution to their operational requirements while keeping their expenses at a minimum.

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Topics: Photoelectric Sensors, Industrial Vision

What's the Difference Between Light ON and Dark ON Modes for Photoelectric Sensors?

Posted by Michael Turner on Tue, Jul 16, 2013

Because photoelectric sensors are available in such a wide variety of sensing modes (thru-beam, diffuse, retroreflective, etc.), the terms light ON and dark ON were introduced to better define what the sensor’s output is doing in the absence or presence of light. These terms apply only to photoelectric sensors.

Light ON (LO) means that the sensor’s output is only enabled or ON when it receives light. Otherwise, the output remains OFF. Dark ON (DO) means the opposite; when light is received, the output is OFF. The sensor’s output is only enabled or ON when it is dark or when it receives no light. See the figure below for further explanation.

Rather than using the standard convention for describing the outputs as normally open (NO) or normally closed (NC), most photoelectric sensor manufacturers specify the output behavior as being either light ON or dark ON. For most people, this method is more straightforward and easier to understand.

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Topics: Terminology, Photoelectric Sensors

3 Simple Guidelines for Protecting Photoelectric Sensors from Damage

Posted by Michael Turner on Wed, Jun 19, 2013

Here are a few good ideas that you can use to protect your photoelectric sensors from the often unfavorable conditions found in the industrial world.

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Topics: Photoelectric Sensors

Clear Object Detection with Photoelectric Sensors

Posted by Michael Turner on Thu, Jan 31, 2013

The most important requirement for a photoelectric sensor when detecting clear or transparent objects is that the sensor must be able to detect minute variations in the received light level. Over the years, photoelectric sensors with varying degrees of sophistication, in a multitude of shapes and sizes, and offered by a numerous array of manufacturers, have been designed to do just this. The most successful designs, however, rely on traditional principles.

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Topics: Applications, Photoelectric Sensors

Color Sensors vs. Contrast Sensors

Posted by Michael Turner on Tue, Jan 08, 2013

Can I use a contrast sensor rather than a color sensor? It is cheaper, isn’t it?

Generally, a contrast sensor is much cheaper than a color sensor; however, the fundamental principles of operation between a contrast sensor and a color sensor differ drastically.

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Topics: Photoelectric Sensors, Ask an Expert

How Intelligent Is Your Light Grid?

Posted by Michael Turner on Tue, Nov 20, 2012

After a recent altercation with an older, legacy light grid, perhaps the better question is: How intelligent are you?

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Topics: Light Grids, Troubleshooting

3 Types of Automation Light Grids

Posted by Michael Turner on Thu, Aug 30, 2012

Automation light grids exist in many forms and offer solutions to applications from simple to complex. With sizes ranging from small to large, and with resolutions from fine to coarse, nearly every sensor manufacturer offers a light grid.  

Compared to single beam sensors, light grids offer more detection coverage over a defined area.

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Topics: Applications, Light Grids, Photoelectric Sensors

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