Photoelectric Sensors

Photoelectric sensors detect and measure physical objects or quantities by emitting a field or beam of electromagnetic radiation, an object is detected by measuring alterations in the return signal. There are 3 main types of photoelectric sensors which provide reliable detection, these are through-beam, retro-reflective and diffuse. The basic function of each is to detect the presence or absence of objects or measure the distance to the object.

Through-beam Sensors

Through-beam sensors (aka thru-beam) rely on two separate housings, one for the transmitter and one for the receiver, with the transmitter providing a continuous beam of light to the receiver. Each time an object passes through the beam this interrupts the signal between the transmitter and receiver, which in turn causes the receiver to send an electrical signal to the output. Through-beam sensors are suited to long-distance sensing and are capable of detecting almost any object, irrespective of colour or angular motion.

Retro-reflective Sensors

Retro-reflective photoelectric sensors (retroreflective) have both the transmitter and receiver contained within the same housing but require a reflector opposite to the sensor. The reflector bounces the light beam back to the transmitter until an object breaks the beam. Objects which are highly reflective such as aluminium require sensors with polarising filters. The filter allows the sensor to acknowledge that the reflected light from reflecting materials is different from the reflector.

Diffuse Sensors

Diffuse sensors (proximity sensor) are easier to install as only one device has to be mounted. This is because the transmitter and receiver are contained within one housing. Diffuse sensors use the reflection from the target object within a predetermined sensing range. The transmitter sends out a continuous beam of light, once this hits the target it is diffused in all directions, a part of this light is reflected back and recognised by the receiver, the receiver then sends an electrical signal to the output.

A special type of diffused mode is background suppression which enables the user to precisely control the sensing range. A diffuse mode sensor with background suppression is less sensitive to the target colour. They can also use a visible red light or infrared light sources.


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Description Price Sensor Style Detection Type Detection Range Output Type Electrical Connection Maximum AC Voltage Communication Protocol Maximum DC Voltage Terminal Type Light Source IP Rating Maximum Current Interface Response Time
RS Stock No. 455-4983
Mfr. Part No.XUK0ARCTL2
HK$1,295.62
Each
units
Compact Diffuse, Retro-Reflective, Through Beam (Receiver) 0.28 m, 0.8 m, 4 m, 30 m Relay Cable 240V - 240V - Infrared IP65 3 A - <25 ms
RS Stock No. 800-4031
Mfr. Part No.OD1-B100H50I14
BrandSick
HK$10,225.76
Each
units
Block Background Suppression 50 → 150 mm Analogue 4-Pin M8 Connector - - 24V - Laser Light IP67 20 mA - 2 ms, 4 ms, 8 ms, 16 ms
RS Stock No. 609-9056
Mfr. Part No.EQ511
BrandPanasonic
HK$1,870.73
Each
units
Block Diffuse 0.1 → 2.5 m PNP Terminal Block - - 24V Screw Infrared IP67 100 mA - 2 ms
RS Stock No. 256-411
BrandRS PRO
HK$910.07
Each
units
Barrel Retroreflective 4 m NPN/PNP M12 Connector - - 30V - Infrared IP67 100 mA - 6 ms
RS Stock No. 778-8700
Mfr. Part No.E3JK-DR12 2M
BrandOmron
HK$904.33
Each
units
Block Diffuse 300 mm Relay 5-Wire Cable 2m 240V - 240V Wire Lead LED IP64 - - 20 ms
RS Stock No. 444-3619
Mfr. Part No.XUX0ARCTT16
HK$1,122.03
Each
units
Block Diffuse, Retro-Reflective, Through Beam (Receiver) 1.3 m, 2 m, 11 m, 40 m Relay Screw Clamp 240V - 240V - Infrared IP65, IP67 3 A, 500 mA - <25 ms
RS Stock No. 444-3401
Mfr. Part No.XUB0APSNM12
HK$765.86
Each
units
Barrel Diffuse, Retro-Reflective, Through Beam (Receiver) 0.12 m, 0.3 m, 2 m, 15 m PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - - 24V - Infrared IP65, IP67 100 mA - <2 ms
RS Stock No. 444-3530
Mfr. Part No.XUK0AKSAM12
HK$953.66
Each
units
Compact Through Beam (Emitter) 0.28 m, 0.8 m, 4 m, 30 m PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - - 24V - Infrared IP65 100 mA - <2 ms
RS Stock No. 768-9461
Mfr. Part No.WL9-3P2430
BrandSick
HK$1,214.49
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 0 → 4 m PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - - 30V - LED IP66, IP67, IP69K 100 mA - <0.5 ms
RS Stock No. 256-433
Mfr. Part No.E3JMR4M4G
BrandOmron
HK$1,829.42
Each
units
Block Retro-Reflective 4 m Relay Terminal Block 250V - 5V - LED IP66 3 A - 30 ms
RS Stock No. 814-0361
Mfr. Part No.OID200
HK$1,478.99
Each
units
Barrel Background Suppression 30 mm → 2 m NPN/PNP M12 Connector - IO-LINK 30V Wire Lead LED IP65, IP67 75 mA IO-Link -
RS Stock No. 493-7316
Mfr. Part No.WF2-40B410
BrandSick
HK$1,676.56
Each
units
Fork Through Beam (Fork) 2 mm NPN/PNP 4-Pin M8 Connector - - 30V - Infrared IP65 100 mA - 100 μs
RS Stock No. 778-8707
Mfr. Part No.E3JK-DR11 2M
BrandOmron
HK$887.00
Each
units
Block Diffuse 2.5 m Relay 5-Wire Cable 2m 240V - 240V Wire Lead LED IP64 - - 20 ms
RS Stock No. 219-005
Mfr. Part No.DT20-P214B
BrandSick
HK$7,555.32
Each
units
Block Background Suppression 100 → 600 mm Analogue 5-Pin M12 Connector - - 30V - Laser Light IP65 100 mA - 2.8 ms
RS Stock No. 219-2274
Mfr. Part No.EE-SX670
BrandOmron
HK$278.79
Each
units
Fork Through Beam (Fork) 5 mm NPN Connector - - 24V - Infrared IP50 100 mA - -
RS Stock No. 157-7062
Mfr. Part No.E3JMR4M4TG
BrandOmron
HK$1,474.72
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 4 m Relay 5-Terminal Screw 250V - 5V - LED IP66 3 A - 30 ms
RS Stock No. 752-5060
Mfr. Part No.XUB2AKSNM12T
HK$422.57
Each
units
Barrel Through Beam (Emitter) 15 m Solid State 4-Pin M12 Connector - - 24V - Infrared IP65, IP67 100 mA - <1 ms
RS Stock No. 817-1557
Mfr. Part No.RL31-8-1200-RT/73c/136
HK$625.69
Each
units
Block Diffuse 1.2 m Push Pull 4-Pin M12 Connector - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA - <1 ms
RS Stock No. 817-1560
Mfr. Part No.RL31-8-2500-IR/73c/136
HK$610.69
Each
units
Block Diffuse 2.5 m Push Pull 4-Pin M12 Connector - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA - <1 ms
RS Stock No. 542-5094
Mfr. Part No.FHDK 07P 6901 KS35A
BrandBaumer
HK$1,468.97
Each
units
Block Diffuse 10 → 60 mm PNP 4-Pin M8 Connector - - 30V - LED IP65 100 mA - <0.5 ms
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