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 Optical Technology Terminal Type Light Source IP Rating Maximum Current Interface Response Time
RS Stock No. 530-0939
Mfr. Part No.WTB4-3P2161
BrandSick
€147.48
Each
units
Block Diffuse 4 150 mm PNP 3-Pin M8 Connector - 30V - - LED IP66, IP67 100 mA - <0.5 ms
RS Stock No. 714-1616
Mfr. Part No.42JS-E1EZB1-F4
€32.50
Each
units
Block Through Beam (Emitter) 10 m - 4-Pin Connector - 30V - - Infrared IP67 - - 1 ms
RS Stock No. 444-3619
Mfr. Part No.XUX0ARCTT16
€141.73
Each
units
Block Multimode 1.3 m, 2 m, 11 m, 40 m Relay 5-Terminal Screw 240V 240V - - Infrared IP65, IP67 3 A, 500 mA - <25 ms
RS Stock No. 289-2491
Mfr. Part No.WL150-P430
BrandSick
€118.08
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 2.4 m PNP 4-Pin M8 Connector - 30V - - LED IP67 100 mA - <=0.5 ms
RS Stock No. 714-1612
Mfr. Part No.42JS-E2EZB1-F4
€32.50
Each
units
Block Through Beam (Emitter) 10 m - 4-Pin Connector - 30V - - LED IP67 - - 1 ms
RS Stock No. 842-8582
Mfr. Part No.WL2S-2F1330
BrandSick
€108.31
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 0 1.2 m PNP Cable - 30V - - LED IP67 20 mA - 0.5 ms
RS Stock No. 444-3417
Mfr. Part No.XUB0AKSNL2T
€47.70
Each
units
Barrel Through Beam (Emitter) 15 m - 3-Wire Cable 2m - 24V - - Infrared IP65, IP67 100 mA - <2 ms
RS Stock No. 764-3907
Mfr. Part No.T18SP6DQ
BrandBanner
€114.05
Each
units
Barrel Diffuse 500 mm PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - 30V - - Infrared IP69K 150 mA - 3 ms
RS Stock No. 816-0346
Mfr. Part No.E3FCLN112M
BrandOmron
€88.40
Each
units
Barrel Diffuse 100 mm NPN 4-Wire Cable 2m - 30V - Wire Lead LED IP67, IP68, IP69K 25 mA - 0.5 ms
RS Stock No. 729-5117
BrandRS PRO
€75.92
Each
units
Barrel Retroreflective 0.05 7 m PNP 4-Wire Cable 2m - 30V - - LED IP67 100 mA - <=0.5 ms
RS Stock No. 729-5107
BrandRS PRO
€77.21
Each
units
Barrel Background Suppression 1 140 mm PNP 4-Wire Cable 2m - 30V - - LED IP67 100 mA - <=0.5 ms
RS Stock No. 714-1596
Mfr. Part No.42JS-R9MPA1-F4
€44.20
Each
units
Block Through Beam (Receiver) 10 m PNP 4-Pin Connector - 30V - - LED IP67 - - 1 ms
RS Stock No. 714-1599
Mfr. Part No.42JS-R9MPA2-F4
€44.20
Each
units
Block Through Beam (Receiver) 10 m PNP 4-Pin Connector - 30V - - Infrared IP67 - - 1 ms
RS Stock No. 265-9222
Mfr. Part No.T18SP6LPQ
BrandBanner
€143.83
Each
units
Barrel Retroreflective 50 2000 mm PNP M12 Connector - 30V - - LED IP69K 150 mA - -
RS Stock No. 328-1533
Mfr. Part No.GLV12-8-200/37/40B/115
€161.46
Each
units
Barrel Diffuse 200 mm PNP 4-Wire Cable 2m - 30V - - LED IP67 300 mA - <=0.7 ms
RS Stock No. 444-3530
Mfr. Part No.XUK0AKSAM12
€97.60
Each
units
Compact Through Beam (Emitter) 0.28 m, 0.8 m, 4 m, 30 m NPN/PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - 24V - - Infrared IP65 100 mA - <2 ms
RS Stock No. 288-9760
Mfr. Part No.WT150-P132
BrandSick
€118.08
Each
units
Block Diffuse 10 250 mm PNP 4-Wire Cable 2m - 30V - - LED IP67 100 mA - <=0.5 ms
RS Stock No. 374-2066
Mfr. Part No.E3ZD86
BrandOmron
€103.40
Each
units
Block Diffuse 5 100 mm PNP 4-Pin M8 Connector - 26.4V - - Infrared IP69K 100 mA - 1 ms
RS Stock No. 374-2016
Mfr. Part No.E3ZT812M
BrandOmron
€121.10
Each
units
Block Through Beam (Emitter and Receiver) 15 m PNP 4-Wire Cable 2m - 26.4V - - Infrared IP69K 100 mA - 1 ms
RS Stock No. 763-7898
Mfr. Part No.VL180-2P42431
BrandSick
€75.49
Each
units
Barrel Retroreflective 0.05 7 m PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - 30V - - LED IP67 100 mA - <=0.5 ms
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