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 Maximum DC Voltage Terminal Type Light Source IP Rating Maximum Current Interface Response Time Housing Material
RS Stock No. 903-3942
BrandRS PRO
TWD1,556.00
Each
units
Fork Through Beam (Fork) 7 mm PNP Cable - 30V Pre-Wired Infrared IP64 15 mA - 1 ms PBT
RS Stock No. 714-1666
Mfr. Part No.M100/MV100-RT/76a/103/115
TWD3,872.00
Each
units
Block Through Beam (Emitter and Receiver) 10 m PNP Cable - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA - 0.5 ms PC
RS Stock No. 786-5927
Mfr. Part No.WT24-2B410
BrandSick
TWD13,400.00
Each
units
Block Background Suppression 100 2500 mm NPN/PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - 30V - Infrared IP69K 100 mA - 500 μs Die Cast Zinc
RS Stock No. 289-0158
Mfr. Part No.VT18-2T1410
BrandSick
TWD4,900.00
Each
units
Barrel Diffuse 2 100 mm Triac 4-Pin M12 Connector 253V - - Infrared IP67 300 mA - <=20 ms PBT, PC
RS Stock No. 219-011
Mfr. Part No.WL100L-E1131
BrandSick
TWD6,300.00
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 0.08 12 m NPN Cable - 30V - Laser Light IP65 100 mA - <0.25 ms ABS, PMMA
RS Stock No. 125-4533
Mfr. Part No.PM-R25-C3
BrandPanasonic
TWD921.00
Each
units
Fork Through Beam (Fork) 6 mm NPN 3m Cable - 24V Cable Infrared IP64 50 (Sink Current) mA - 20 (Received) μs, 80 (Interrupted) μs PBT (Enclosure), Polycarbonate (Display Section)
RS Stock No. 170-0724
Mfr. Part No.OPB704W-Z
BrandOptek
TWD124.40
Each (In a Bag of 100)
units
Block Retroreflective 3.8 mm NPN 4-Wire Cable 0.61m - - - Infrared - - - - Plastic
RS Stock No. 786-5933
Mfr. Part No.WL27-3P2451
BrandSick
TWD6,784.00
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 0.1 15 m PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - 30V - LED IP69K 100 mA - 500 μs ABS, Plastic
RS Stock No. 701-8783
Mfr. Part No.WL4S-3F2130V
BrandSick
TWD6,000.00
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 4 m PNP 3-Pin M8 Connector - 30V - LED IP69K 100 mA - <0.5 ms Stainless Steel
RS Stock No. 891-9501
Mfr. Part No.ML7-8-H-350-IR/59/65a/136/143
TWD8,264.00
Each
units
Block Background Suppression 10 350 mm Push Pull 4-Pin M8 Connector - 30V M8 Connector Infrared IP67, IP69K <20 mA - 2 ms PC
RS Stock No. 256-433
Mfr. Part No.E3JMR4M4G
BrandOmron
TWD3,530.00
Each
units
Block Retro-Reflective 4 m Relay Terminal Block 250V 5V - LED IP66 3 A - 30 ms ABS
RS Stock No. 463-8384
Mfr. Part No.RLK39-54/31/40A/116
TWD8,316.00
Each
units
Block Retro-Reflective 7 m Relay 4-Terminal Screw 240V 240V - LED IP67 3 A - <=20 ms PBT
RS Stock No. 741-7613
Mfr. Part No.VTE18-4P4240V
BrandSick
TWD3,935.00
Each
units
Barrel Diffuse 450 mm PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - 30V - Infrared IP67, IP68, IP69K 100 mA - <=1 ms Stainless Steel
RS Stock No. 321-5261
Mfr. Part No.WT150-N132
BrandSick
TWD4,332.00
Each
units
Block Diffuse 10 250 mm NPN 5-Wire Cable 2m - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA - <=0.5 ms ABS, PC
RS Stock No. 510-3261
Mfr. Part No.RL29-8-2000/73C/136
TWD4,214.00
Each
units
Block Diffuse 20 2000 mm Push Pull 4-Pin M12 Connector - 30V - LED IP65 100 mA - 4 ms ABS
RS Stock No. 124-4429
Mfr. Part No.E3SDCN21OMS
BrandOmron
TWD8,479.00
Each
units
Block Diffuse 10 mm NPN M12 4-Pin Connector - 30V 4-Pin Connector LED IP67 100 mA - 50 (2-Point) μs, 150 (1-Point) μs Die Cast Zinc
RS Stock No. 289-2491
Mfr. Part No.WL150-P430
BrandSick
TWD4,400.00
Each
units
Block Retro-Reflective 2.4 m PNP 4-Pin M8 Connector - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA - <=0.5 ms ABS, PMMA
RS Stock No. 180-6333
Mfr. Part No.WTT12LC-B2543
BrandSick
TWD13,013.00
Each
units
Block Background Suppression 50 1800 mm NPN/PNP M12 Male Connector - 30V M12 Male 5-pin Connector Laser Light IP67 100 mA - 16.7 ms Plastic, Vistal
RS Stock No. 289-2508
Mfr. Part No.E3SR12
BrandOmron
TWD8,503.00
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 100 300 mm NPN 3-Wire Cable 2m - 30V - Infrared IP67 100 mA - 1 ms PBT
RS Stock No. 370-4200
Mfr. Part No.OHDM 16P5001/S14
BrandBaumer
TWD22,066.00
Each
units
Block Diffuse 25 300 mm PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - 30V - Laser Light IP67 200 mA - <0.6 ms Die Cast Zinc