Category: Sensors

Non-Contact Infrared Temperature Sensors with IO-Link – Enabler for Industry 4.0

Guest contributor: Manfred Munzl for Balluff Automation in Steel-Plants Modern production requires a very high level of automation. One big benefit of fully automated plants and processes is the reduction of faults and mishaps that may lead to highly expensive downtime. In large steel plants there are hundreds of red hot steel slabs moving around,

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Tool Identification in Metalworking

Guest contributor: Martin Kurzblog, Fan of Industrial Automation With the start of industry 3.0 (the computer based automation of production) the users of machine tools began to avoid routine work like manually entering tool data into the HMI.  Computerized Numerical Controlled CNC machine tools gained more and more market share in metalworking applications.  These machines are quite often equipped with

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How hot is hot? The basics of Infrared Temperature Sensors

Guest Contributor:  Jack Moermond, Balluff Detecting hot objects in industrial applications can be quite challenging. There are a number of technologies available for these applications depending on the temperatures involved and the accuracy required. In this blog we are going to focus on infrared temperature sensors. Every object with a temperature above absolute zero (-273.15°C or

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IO-Link Hydraulic Cylinder Position Feedback

Guest contributor: Scott Rosenberger, Balluff Ready for a better mousetrap?  Read on….. Some time ago on Sensortech, we discussed considerations for choosing the right in-cylinder position feedback sensor.  In that article, we said: “…….Analog 0-10 Vdc or 4-20 mA interfaces probably make up 70-80% of all in-cylinder feedback in use…..” And while that 70-80% analog figure

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Basic Color Sensor Overview

Guest contributor:  Jack Moermond, Balluff In the past, color sensors emitted light using red, green and blue LEDs. The sensors were then able to distinguish colors using the RGB components of the reflected light back to the sensor’s receiver. As technology has progressed true color sensors have been developed that not only can compare colors

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Reliable Part Exit/Part-Out Detection

Guest contributor: Dave Bird, Balluff Walk into any die shop in the US and nine out of ten times, we discover diffuse reflective sensors being used to detect a large part or a small part exiting a die. Many people have success using this methodology, but lubrication-covered tumbling parts can create challenges for diffuse-reflective photoelectric

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3 Tips for Reducing Downtime

Guest contributor:  Janet Czubek, Balluff:  Whether it’s through preventative maintenance or during planned machine downtime, reducing downtime is a common goal for manufacturers. Difficult environments create challenges for not just machines, but also the components like sensors or cables. Below are three tips to help protect these components and reduce your downtime. Cables don’t last forever.

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A Simple Out Feed Solution for Progressive Stamping

Guest contributor: Dave Bird, Balluff Applications where sensor contact is unavoidable are some of the most challenging to solve. Metal forming processes involving over travel can also damage or even destroy a sensor causing failure and expensive unplanned downtime. Manufacturers often try to remedy this with in-house manufactured spring loaded out-feed mechanisms but those are

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To avoid trouble later, consider your application conditions upfront

Guest contributor: Henry Menke, Balluff Hardly a day passes by where we are not contacted by a desperate end-user or equipment manufacturer seeking assistance with a situation of sensors failing at an unacceptably high rate.  Once we get down to the root cause of the failures, in almost every case it’s a situation where the specific sensors are being applied

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How do I see PLC data from my smartphone?

Guest contributor, Pat Millot, Balluff From my smartphone, I can do anything from making coffee to adjusting my home thermostat. This wave of appliances and other physical devices connecting and communicating through a network is known as the Internet of Things and it’s playing a crucial role in industry. With the Industrial Internet of Things

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