Discrete SensingProduct

What is a Photoelectric Sensor?

A better understanding of photoelectric sensors helps when applying these versatile, non-contact presence sensing devices in industrial machine, conveyor and other applications By Andrew Waugh, Product Manager for Sensor and Safety Products at AutomationDirect What is a Photoelectric Sensor? A photoelectric sensor, often called a photo eye, uses light to detect the presence of an…
What is a Limit Switch?
Discrete SensingProduct

What is a Limit Switch?

A better understanding of mechanical limit switches will help when applying these versatile devices in a variety of industrial applications. By Andrew Waugh, Product Manager for Sensor and Safety Products at AutomationDirect Mechanical limit switches are a common presence or position sensing device used in industrial automation systems. Typically, these switches are electromechanically operated, so…
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How Do Magnetic Proximity Sensors Work?

Overview of Magnetic Proximity Sensors Magnetic proximity sensors are used for non-contact position detection beyond the normal limits of inductive sensors. In conjunction with a separate “damping” magnet, magnetic sensors offer very long sensing ranges from a small package size and can detect magnets through walls of non-ferrous metal, stainless steel, aluminum, plastic or wood. Depending on the orientation of the magnetic field the…
Beam Testing at Portland State
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Beam Testing at Portland State

For their undergraduate senior capstone project, a team of Mechanical Engineering students at Portland State University (PSU) recently designed an electronic system upgrade for the control system of a 100-year-old beam testing machine. Using a range of AutomationDirect parts, the purpose of the project was to make the operator experience comparable to modern machines.