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Product News - Sensor News: Self-Teaching Optical Sensor; Cylinder-IndicatorSensors
August 1, 1999
3 Min Read
Sensor News: Self-Teaching Optical Sensor; Cylinder-Indicator Sensors
Balluff has introduced two new types of sensors: the 6K subminiature optical sensor, which is said to be smart enough to 'self-teach' target versus background; and the Strokemaster cylinder-indicator sensor, which is designed to provide precise end-of-stroke sensing for hydraulic/pneumatic cylinders, while eliminating post-installation cable management problems with 305 deg of rotational freedom on the connector.
Optical sensor can determine for itself the optimum trigger point for the target, without the aid of an operator, according to the manufacturer. It can do this even when the target is moving at line speed.
The 6K subminiature optical sensor has microprocessor-based teach capability, along with software that goes beyond passive teachability. The self-teaching mode can be activated remotely for a group of sensors with a single push-button, or automatically by the machine control. This eliminates the need for the operator to find hidden sensors and manually jog the machine while setting pots for each product change.
Sensor is available in all popular sensing modes, including diffuse, retro-reflective and through-beam. There are also models that have electronic background suppression and clear-object detection capability. These models use triangulation distance measurement to eliminate the influence of shiny backgrounds.
Clear-object detection is enhanced by low hysterisis and microprocessor-controlled adjustment. Response time is 0.5 Âµ and switching frequency is 1000 Hz, which makes the 6K suitable for high-speed assembly and packaging operations.
The sensor uses a bright, red light source to aid alignment. It also helps in detecting a wider range of colors than is possible with infrared. Diffuse models have a sensing range up to 300 mm.
A single membrane-type push button on top of the sensor housing allows programming by hand, or switching from light-on to dark-on modes. It also eliminates O-rings that can wear out or leak. LEDs on top confirm output function and signal stability.
Unit measures 1.5 x 0.75 x 0.5 in., operates on 10 to 30 v dc and is short-circuit/reverse-polarity protected. The ABS housing is sealed to IP67 and is available with quick-disconnect M8 connector or 2-in. cable-out. List prices start at $120; higher end models top out at $140.
Cylinder-indicator sensors are said to allow 'infinitely adjustable and lockable' cable positioning any time after mounting to the cylinder, without breaking the seal. This speeds installation and makes for neater cable runs.
The sensors are high-pressure, in-ductive proximity switches and provide a 2 mm sensing range to pick up the 'spud' of hydraulic/ pneumatic cylinders and indicate fully retracted or extended position.They mount with two screws and seal with an O-ring to withstand pressures to 3000 psi.
The embeddable design keeps most of the switch protected within the cylinder. Only a 16-mm-high housing is exposed. The rotating housing can be locked in the desired position with one of two set screws.
The sensors are available in three-wire and two-wire ac/dc versions, both with mini or micro connectors. Switching frequency is 50 Hz. They are said to be weld-field immune and protected against short circuit and reverse polarity.
They fit all popular cylinder designs, with standard probe lengths of 26 to 115.8 mm. Custom probe lengths and spacers are also available. Probes are made of stainless steel with a ceramic face. DC sensors have a machined aluminum housing; ac/dc sensors nickel-plated brass.
Prices depend on probe length and start at $190.
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