24 Jul 2024


Photoelectric sensors offer many choices in the same housing

The German sensor-maker Sick has developed a family of user-customisable photoelectric sensors which offer a choice of laser light, red or infra-red LED technologies in the same housing, with the same mounting and set-up procedures. The SureSense sensors are claimed to detect almost any object reliably in any environment.

A signal strength light bar on the back of the sensor helps to optimise its alignment, improving performance consistency and stability, even in installations subject to mechanical stresses or contamination.

The sensors can compensate for a wide variety of shapes, colours and tones, transparency and reflectivity. Good background suppression minimises the effects of changes in colour or materials, and reflections from the surrounding environment. In applications where clear objects such as bottles or food containers are being detected, the sensors compensate automatically for dust and dirt.

Built-in intelligence compensates for the high light absorption of dark or matt black objects, adjusting and optimising the emitted light intensity and signal strength.

Versions with laser LED emitters are said to deliver superior performance in applications such as counting small objects, spotting tiny holes, sensing objects through small openings, and detecting defects.

David Hannaby, Sick’s product manager for presence detection in the UK, reports that “we are seeing more companies using a hybrid type of sensor that allows flexibility in mounting, either from the side or from the front”. The new sensors “enable machine-builders and plant engineers to standardise on one single sensor family for the most basic to advanced applications,” he adds. “Users can build their own sensors online, expect prompt delivery and quickly commission their sensors for optimal performance. As a result, machine design variables, plant maintenance costs and stores inventories can be all be dramatically streamlined.”

The sensors have tough Vistal housings and IP69K protection, ensuring durability and resistance to vibration, chemicals and moisture. Their operating temperature range is –40 to +70°C.