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 Communication Protocol Maximum DC Voltage Terminal Type Light Source IP Rating Maximum Current Interface Response Time
RS Stock No. 847-9233
Mfr. Part No.QS18VN6LV
BrandBanner
SGD159.93
Each
units
Barrel Retroreflective 6.5 m NPN Cable - - 30V - LED IP67 <25 mA - 600 μs
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Mfr. Part No.XUM5APCNL2
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Each
units
Block Diffuse 1 m PNP Cable - - 24V - Infrared IP65, IP67 100 mA - 0.5 ms
RS Stock No. 431-5643
Mfr. Part No.EX11EBPN
BrandPanasonic
SGD147.92
Each
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Block Through Beam (Emitter and Receiver) 150 mm PNP Cable - - 24V - LED IP67 50 mA - <=0.5 ms
RS Stock No. 493-7287
Mfr. Part No.WL18-3P430
BrandSick
SGD248.00
Each
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Block Retroreflective 7 m PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - - 30V - LED IP65, IP67 100 mA - 500 μs
RS Stock No. 458-844
Mfr. Part No.WL12G-3B2531
BrandSick
SGD334.40
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Block Retroreflective 4 m NPN/PNP 5-Pin M12 Connector - - 30V - LED IP69K 100 mA - <=330 μs
RS Stock No. 301-606
Mfr. Part No.OPB706B
BrandOptek
SGD3.14
Each
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Block Retroreflective 1.27 mm NPN - - - - Wire Lead Infrared - - - -
RS Stock No. 714-1625
Mfr. Part No.ML100-55/95/103
SGD123.00
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Block Retroreflective 5 m PNP 4-Pin M8 Connector - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA - 0.5 ms
RS Stock No. 360-0451
Mfr. Part No.WT24-2R210
BrandSick
SGD472.00
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- - - Relay - - - - - LED IP69 - - <=10 ms
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Mfr. Part No.VTF18-4P1240
BrandSick
SGD129.60
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Barrel Background Suppression 3 → 100 mm PNP 4-Pin M12 Connector - - 30V - Infrared IP67 100 mA - <=2 ms
RS Stock No. 265-9222
Mfr. Part No.T18SP6LPQ
BrandBanner
SGD175.50
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Barrel Retroreflective 50 → 2000 mm PNP M12 Connector - - 30V - LED IP69K 150 mA - -
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Mfr. Part No.EX24APN
BrandPanasonic
SGD178.08
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Block Retroreflective 2 → 25 mm PNP Cable - - 24V - LED IP67 50 mA - <=0.5 ms
RS Stock No. 372-8155
Mfr. Part No.E3ZD622M
BrandOmron
SGD176.04
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Block Diffuse 1 m NPN 3-Wire Cable 2m - - 26.4V - Infrared IP69K 100 mA - 1 ms
RS Stock No. 627-6556
Mfr. Part No.OPB704W-Z
BrandOptek
SGD6.19
Each
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Block Retroreflective 3.8 mm NPN 4-Wire Cable 0.61m - - - - Infrared - - - -
RS Stock No. 170-0724
Mfr. Part No.OPB704W-Z
BrandOptek
SGD5.691
Each (In a Bag of 100)
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Block Retroreflective 3.8 mm NPN 4-Wire Cable 0.61m - - - - Infrared - - - -
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Mfr. Part No.ML100-8-H-350-RT/102/115
SGD176.00
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Block Diffuse 5 → 350 mm NPN Cable - - 30V - LED IP67 100 mA - 1 ms
RS Stock No. 909-2869
Mfr. Part No.Q3XTBLD-Q8
BrandBanner
SGD315.88
Each
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Barrel Diffuse 0 → 300 mm Bipolar NPN/PNP M12 Connector - - 30V M12 Laser Light IP67, IP68, IP69K <28 mA - 5 ms
RS Stock No. 891-9514
Mfr. Part No.RLK31-8-2500-IR/31/115
SGD105.00
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Block Diffuse 0 → 2500 mm Relay 5-Wire Cable 2m 240V - 240V - Infrared IP67 40 mA - 25 ms
RS Stock No. 123-4133
Mfr. Part No.OADM 20I5460/S14C
BrandBaumer
SGD2,376.63
Each
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Block Background Suppression 30 → 130 mm Analogue 5-Pin M12 Connector - - 28V 5-Pin Connector Laser Light IP67 120 mA - <10 ms
RS Stock No. 361-5554
Mfr. Part No.EX-14A-PN
BrandPanasonic
SGD112.67
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Block Retroreflective 2 → 25 mm PNP 3-Wire Cable 2m - - 24V - LED IP67 50 mA - <=0.5 ms
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Compact Diffuse 1 m Relay 5-Wire Cable 2m 240V - 240V - Infrared IP65 3 A - <25 ms