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. 814-0355
Mfr. Part No.O6H303
SGD201.90
Each
units
Block Diffuse 2 → 200 mm PNP 4-Pin M8 Connector - - 30V Cable LED IP65, IP67, IP68, IP69 22 mA - -
RS Stock No. 814-0351
Mfr. Part No.O6H301
SGD201.90
Each
units
Block Diffuse 2 → 200 mm PNP M12 Connector - - 30V Cable LED IP65, IP67, IP68, IP69 24 mA - -
RS Stock No. 739-6648
Mfr. Part No.OF5010
SGD199.65
Each
units
Barrel Diffuse 1 → 200 mm PNP Cable - - 36V - Infrared IP67 200 mA - -
RS Stock No. 814-0358
Mfr. Part No.OGE500
SGD161.94
Each
units
Barrel Through Beam (Receiver) 25 m PNP M12 Connector - - 36V Wire Lead LED IP67 11 mA - -
RS Stock No. 814-0349
Mfr. Part No.OGP500
SGD187.54
Each
units
Barrel Retroreflective 30 mm → 5 m PNP M12 Connector - - 36V 4-Pin LED IP67 20 mA - -
RS Stock No. 425-8017
Mfr. Part No.OJ5008
SGD110.38
Each
units
Block Through Beam (Emitter) 10 m PNP M8 Connector - - 30V - LED IP67 200 mA - -
RS Stock No. 739-6673
Mfr. Part No.O1D100
SGD514.95
Each
units
Block Diffuse 0.2 → 10 m Analogue, PNP M12 Connector - - 30V - Laser Light IP67 200 mA - -
RS Stock No. 488-148
Mfr. Part No.O5E200
SGD187.71
Each
units
Block Through Beam (Receiver) 20 m PNP M12 Connector - - 36V - LED IP67 200 mA - -
RS Stock No. 739-6654
Mfr. Part No.OF5025
SGD212.46
Each
units
Barrel Retroreflective 0.2 → 0.8 m PNP M12 Connector - - 36V - LED IP65 200 mA - -
RS Stock No. 425-8001
Mfr. Part No.OJ5009
SGD136.33
Each
units
Block Through Beam (Receiver) 10 m PNP M8 Connector - - 30V - LED IP67 200 mA - -
RS Stock No. 814-0373
Mfr. Part No.OGS500
SGD133.74
Each
units
Barrel Through Beam (Emitter) 25 m - M12 Connector - - 30V Wire Lead LED IP67 20 mA - -
RS Stock No. 814-0370
Mfr. Part No.O5D100
SGD264.31
Each
units
Block Distance 30 mm → 2 m PNP M12 Connector - IO-LINK 30V Cable LED IP65, IP67 75 mA IO-Link -
RS Stock No. 425-8130
Mfr. Part No.OJ5004
SGD197.40
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 2 m PNP M8 Connector - - 30V - LED IP67 200 mA - -
RS Stock No. 814-0345
Mfr. Part No.OGH500
SGD200.17
Each
units
Barrel Diffuse 15 → 300 mm PNP M12 Connector - - 36V Wire Lead LED IP67 25 mA - -
RS Stock No. 425-8231
Mfr. Part No.OJ5022
SGD197.40
Each
units
Block Diffuse 1 → 600 mm PNP M8 Connector - - 30V - LED IP67 200 mA - -
RS Stock No. 136-5402
Mfr. Part No.OPU205
SGD424.65
Each
units
Fork Through Beam (Fork) >0.8 mm PNP 3-Pin M8 Connector - - 35V Quick Disconnect LED IP67 30 mA - -
RS Stock No. 814-0364
Mfr. Part No.O6P301
SGD184.25
Each
units
Block Retroreflective 50 mm → 5 m PNP M12 Connector - - 30V Cable LED IP65, IP67, IP68, IP69 12 mA - -
RS Stock No. 136-5400
Mfr. Part No.OPU203
SGD385.05
Each
units
Fork Through Beam (Fork) >0.5 mm PNP 3-Pin M8 Connector - - 35V Quick Disconnect LED IP67 30 mA - -
RS Stock No. 425-8382
Mfr. Part No.OJ5039
SGD134.60
Each
units
Block Through Beam (Receiver) 15 m PNP M8 Connector - - 30V - LED IP67 200 mA - -
RS Stock No. 487-898
Mfr. Part No.O1D106
SGD564.76
Each
units
Block Background Suppression 1 → 75 m PNP M12 Connector - - 30V - Laser Light IP67 200 mA - -