Pepperl+Fuchs Blog

Ask an Expert Industrial Sensors - Episode 1

Posted by John Appleson on Tue, Apr 22, 2014

Are you an engineer? Technical support person? Responsible for plant maintenance? Then you know that there are thousands of possible sensing solutions available. How do you choose? What's your decision process when you think you should be using a photoelectric sensor, but then again, perhaps an ultrasonic sensor might be a better option? What are the advantages of using either a Light On vs. Dark On mode on a photoelectric sensor?
Ask an Expert about Industrial SensorsWhen confronted with all these possibilities, you can always rely on our product experts to help you. Welcome to our first episode of Ask an Expert, the weekly series where questions from customers just like you are answered! 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.

In this week's episode, we cover questions on photoelectric sensors and ultrasonic sensors...


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

Casey: Hi John, thanks for asking me.

John: Ok Casey, let's get started. The first question asks about placing two RLK series photoelectric sensors side-by-side and using one large reflector, rather than two small reflectors. Casey, is this a good idea?

Casey: Not in this case. While it is true that you can use two retroreflective sensors with one reflector, you want to make sure that the sensors have cross-talk protection. If they don't, you have the possibility of the target being in front of one sensor, but the sensor not activating because it's receiving reflective light from the other sensor. With cross-talk protection, the sensors only sense their own emitted light.

John: Here's a question about an application where they are using a UBR250 ultrasonic sensor. This ultrasonic sensor was designed for space-restricted applications. It has a minimal deadband with a sensing range of 0 mm to 250 mm. Does that mean it can actually detect objects up to the face of the sensor?

Casey: Yes! The UBR250 Series reflex sensor was designed to work as a retroreflective sensor where it needs a reflector to function. The sensor is taught-in to the position of the reflector, and any target that comes between the sensor and the reflector activates the sensor.

John: In addition to the sensing range, this sensor has an adjustment range. Casey, what is an adjustment range?

Casey: An adjustment range is the range you have to adjust where the sensor sees the target. In the case of the UBR250 Series reflex ultrasonic sensor, the adjustment range refers to where you can place the reflector.

John: Another question about this ultrasonic sensor, Casey - The UBR250 sensor is a retroreflective mode sensor. Would it be a good selection when there is a background that needs to be suppressed?

Casey: That depends. If you have the ability and space in the application to install a reflector, then anything past this reflector would not be sensed. If mounting a reflector is not an option, then another one of our ultrasonic sensors would have to be used.

John: Well, if mounting a reflector is not an option, which ultrasonic sensor would you recommend?

Casey: Another one of our ultrasonic sensors, such as the UB100 Series, would sense the target up to a pre-defined, taught-in distance and suppress anything beyond that distance.

John: Well that concludes this segment of Ask an Expert. I want to thank Casey for joining me today, and thank our audience as well!

Questions about Industrial Sensors?  Ask an Expert!

Topics: Ultrasonic Sensors, Photoelectric Sensors, Ask an Expert

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