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Archive For: Discrete Sensing

How Do Magnetic Proximity Sensors Work?

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 ... Read More
 
Knowing Your Limit Switches

Knowing Your Limit Switches

When it comes to detecting position and presence in automated equipment, be sure to consider limit switch as choices available today are robust, and can provide high precision. While photo eyes and inductive switches are popular choices in many applications, precision limit switches can be a better option with repeatable accuracy less than a micron.
 
New Product Focus

New Product Focus

AutomationDirect now offers Datalogic print mark contrast sensors with 6-12mm sensing distances. We also now offer the Contrinex DW-series of extended and triple-distance proximity sensors in 3mm to 30mm cylindrical and 20mm rectangular styles.
 
How to Specify Fiber Optic Sensors

How to Specify Fiber Optic Sensors

Fiber optic sensors work well in tight spots and in applications with a high degree of electrical noise, but care must be taken when specifying these critical components.
 
Beam Testing at Portland State

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.
 
Specifying Fiber Optic Sensors

Specifying Fiber Optic Sensors

Part presence sensing is a critical part of automation. A controller must often sense a part is present in a fixture, or sense the part position on a conveyor, to make logic decisions such as run, stop, etc. Presence sensor types include photoelectric, inductive, capacitive and others—and this abundance of choices can complicate specifying the ... Read More
 
Distance Measuring | Automation Notes

Distance Measuring | Automation Notes

Object detection is sensing if an object is in proximity or not – that’s it, you get an ON or an OFF signal. A more advanced object detection function involves measuring the actual distance of an object from the sensing point. Ultrasonic sensors and laser distance sensors are commonly used to measure how far away ... Read More
 
Object Detection | Automation Notes

Object Detection | Automation Notes

A common function of a control system is detecting the presence of an object. Whether you are detecting the presence of an object passing by on a conveyor, the closure of a gate or the position of a machine part as it goes through its motions, object detection is a staple of the automation industry. There are ... Read More
 
Ladder Logic in Action

Ladder Logic in Action

Ladder logic programming for industrial controllers has evolved significantly over the past 30 years, and now supports advanced functionality such as process control, motion control, data manipulation, networking, and data acquisition. However, when you start with a blank page to design a new control system, large or small, there are many basic functions this tried-and-true ... Read More
 
Got Sensors?

Got Sensors?

Photoelectric, proximity and capacitive sensors are used in a wide variety of machines and industrial equipment, but selecting the best sensor for the job can be confusing. This blog post and the accompanying articles will help you sort out the best sensor for your application. During sensor selection, it’s important to understand sensor requirements and specifications ... Read More