Plant designers have long had to use different types of sensors or deal with time-consuming reconfiguration when tasked with detecting objects made of different types of metal. Standard inductive sensors can only detect different metal targets when the switching distance is reduced. This is due to reduction factors that vary from one metal to another. Reduction factor 1 sensors circumvent this issue and unify switching distances for all types of metals. As the inventor of the world’s first inductive proximity sensor, Pepperl+Fuchs has extended its portfolio to include reduction factor 1 sensors with IO-Link, providing users with even more flexibility, additional features, and diagnostic options.
New reduction factor 1 sensors with IO-Link are easy to configure via a control system. Their data storage function ensures automated reconfiguration through an IO-Link master in case a device needs to be exchanged. The new sensors prove themselves in applications with mechanical tolerances that would lead to detection issues with standard sensors. The IO-Link sensors’ stability alarm registers as soon as the target moves outside the assured operating distance. This function not only makes commissioning easier with an integrated LED that flashes when the assured operating distance has been left, it also makes predictive maintenance possible. A part may leave the assured operating distance due to mechanical influences—this is when the intelligent sensor sounds the alarm, the integrated LED flashes, and the signal is automatically transferred to the control system. This is how data collected via IO-Link and the control system is used for automation and diagnostics in a range of applications.
If necessary, a reduction factor 1 sensor can serve as a temperature indicator that shows whether it is operating within the specified temperature range, or whether it is being exposed to a critically high temperature. These indicators provide early detection of temperature increases before the sensor or sensitive system components, like those found in paint shops or foundries, are damaged. With the help of the stability alarm and the temperature indicator, pre-failure information is continuously communicated so maintenance can be carried out prior to sensor failure.
Weld-immune sensors are available for especially harsh industrial environments such as weld cell applications in the automotive industry. They are rugged and resistant to interference from magnetic fields during electric welding and weld spatter and other such influences. Stainless steel versions, in contrast, withstand aggressive cleaning agents and are ideal for demanding applications, i.e., in the food industry or in chemical and pharmaceutical plants.
In window mode, the sensor switches between two switch points and checks whether the object is located inside the defined switching window or is too close to the sensor and could possibly cause damage. In addition, the optional output signal extension improves detection reliability. This pulse extension is especially helpful in applications with fast-moving targets.
Another innovation is the possibility of switching between normally open and normally closed or between a standard and a double switching distance. Every reduction factor 1 sensor is supplied with a pre-configured double operating distance. For applications that demand a standard switching distance, this can be switched over via IO-Link—two sensors are no longer necessary. Due to this and identical switching distances for all metals, users can reduce procurement, administration, and storage costs.