Proximity sensors are useful in various industrial applications because they enable non-contact detection of items. The sensors are used in robotics, semiconductor and manufacturing industries, among others. Each application has its own unique specific needs when it comes to the use of proximity sensors. Therefore, before buying and installing a proximity sensor, you have to consult a certified expert for the correct type suitable for your industrial application. Here are some things for beginners to know about proximity sensors.
Before you think about installing proximity sensors, you must bear in mind the distance between the object to be sensed and the tip of the sensor. It is also referred to as the sensing distance. The type of material being detected by the sensor, such as steel, copper, brass or aluminium, can also determine the kind of proximity sensor to be used and the sensing distance. Moreover, experts recommend that you should install a proximity sensor as far away as possible because of temperature concerns. Placing a sensor too close to the hot object can cause the proximity sensor to fail, which might call for regular and costly maintenance. However, some materials are difficult to sense, and thus may require a shorter distance when mounting the sensor.
Inductive and Capacitive Proximity
Inductive sensors are suitable for detecting metallic objects, such as steel and brass, because of their magnetic properties. Capacitive proximity sensors detect other non-metallic materials since they recognize the capacitance produced by such objects. Both inductive and capacitive proximity sensors usually have a short range of detection, meaning that they can only detect objects nearby. However, these sensors are very reliable and robust.
Special consideration should be given to the location where you intend to mount the proximity sensor. Will you be installing the sensor in a high-temperature environment, or will it be immersed underwater? Other environmental placement factors to consider include high-pressure areas and exposure to oil and dust. The factors determine the type of proximity sensor to install. Always buy a sensor that has suitable ratings for the environmental factors.
In most industrial applications, the transmission of data, such as temperature monitoring, flow levels and rates, and pressure parameters, through wireless technology is becoming popular. Therefore, the integration of wireless sensors into data transmission helps to reduce installation costs associated with costly cables. Such sensors offer continuous, real-time and long-distance sensing capabilities. Wireless sensors can be fed into already existing wireless technology such as satellite, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, among others. An IDEC distributor can tell you more.