In the automation world, many different types of positioning systems are available. Whether mechanical, optical, magnetic, ultrasonic, inductive, camera-based systems, or a combination of technologies, determining which of these is effective for your positioning application is critical to the success of your automated processes.
NAMUR sensors solve the same applications that standard inductive and capacitive sensors or rotary encoders would—but they are safe to use in hazardous areas. NAMUR output sensors are ideal for applications where the presence of a volatile gas, vapor, dust, or fiber creates a possible hazard.
To prevent an explosion in hazardous areas, these sensors protect the circuit by operating at 8.2 V and less than 5 mA. These levels prevent the device from storing sufficient energy to initiate an explosion. NAMUR sensors are connected to an isolating amplifier, which limits the current and voltage to the sensor and amplifies the signal upon return.
Many of the sensors you use have IO-Link capability built in. But you might not know it, because they can still be used like standard sensors. For instance, all Pepperl+Fuchs IO-Link sensors boot up first in digital IO mode; they will only switch to IO-Link mode when an IO-Link master actively communicates with them.
Controlling the motion of cranes, hoists, and other mobile equipment while avoiding accidents is a vital part of ensuring their safe and efficient operation. Vertical lift applications can be trickier and pose greater risks than working with horizontal conveyor belts, which tend to be more steady and predictable.
When you want to handle identification applications within meat processing facilities, there are numerous challenges you have to overcome:
- Track & trace products through the entire facility
- Track products through multiple processes
- Trace products across various routing channels
Ed. Note: This guest blog post is by Tom Anderson, General Manager of PSI Technics, LTD. and is cowritten with Ann Zecha of WordSpark, LLC.
Radiant heat from manufacturing processes in high-temperature environments can present a challenge for optical sensors used in automated production facilities. Excessive heat in melting, pouring, or similarly demanding industrial applications that exceeds a sensor’s temperature specifications can degrade the measurement quality, damage sensor diodes, and cause unwanted disruption to production. Usage statistics show that for every 18 °F (10 °C) increase in temperature, the diode lifespan of optical sensors is reduced by up to 50%.
Laser barcode scanners have been used in material handling applications for decades. It is an integral part of routing boxes down a conveyor line. The production of products such as liquid soaps, lotions, and shampoo will use barcode readers also. They are used in two places. First, to read the pallets of raw material bottles at the beginning of the production line, then secondly, at the end of the line after barcodes are applied to the bottles. The barcode readers have to read at very high read rates of over 200 bottles per minute.
Everyone has their own idea of what an industrial sensor is and what it does. But you might be surprised at how many of these ideas are inaccurate. Here are several misconceptions about industrial sensors:
Let’s take a look at ten scenarios below and determine what would be the best inductive sensing solution.
Inductive sensors are designed for the detection of metal targets at close range and are a popular choice for use as proximity switches in factory automation applications. Carbon steel is the typical target material for these sensors, but in some industries, stainless steel is more common. There are also certain cases when either both types of steel must be detected by the same sensor, or one sensor is needed to be able to distinguish between the two.