Distance Measurement with Inductive Sensors

When we think about inductive sensors we automatically refer to discrete output offerings that detect the presence of ferrous materials. This can be a production part or an integrated part of the machine to simply determine position. Inductive sensors have been around for a long time, and there will always be a need for them in automated assembly lines, weld cells and stamping presses.

We often come across applications where we need an analog output at short range that needs to detect ferrous materials. This is an ideal application for an analog inductive proximity sensor that can offer an analog voltage or analog current output. This can reliably measure or error proof different product features such as varying shapes and sizes. Analog inductive sensors are pure analog devices that maintain a very good resolution with a high repeat accuracy. Similar to standard inductive sensors, they deal very well with vibration, commonly found in robust applications. Analog inductive proximity sensors are also offered in many form factors from M12-M30 tubular housings, rectangular block style and flat housings. They can also be selected to have flush or non-flush mounting features to accommodate specific operating distances needed in various applications.

Application Examples:



For more specific information on analog inductive sensors visit www.balluff.com.

6 Replies to “Distance Measurement with Inductive Sensors”

  1. Can we measure the distance of a second metal object behind the first metal body?

    1. Shawn Day says:

      The inductive sensor will only see the ferrous (metal) target in front of the sensor. It will not see a second target however with distance sensors if there is two targets vs one target the target (metal) will be closer to the sensor. With the metal target closer to the sensor the analog output will change, for example… the output with one target will be different from two stacked metal targets. This his how you can error proof or measure using a distance analog inductive sensor.


    How do you interface an inductive proximity sensor with a computer? What software and hardware is required for this distance measurement?

    1. Shawn Day says:

      Hello, it is possible to interface an inductive distance sensor if the sensor has I.O Link capabilities. I.O link allows you to pre-set and monitor the sensors behavior unitizing a P.C. I would recommend contacting our Technical Support Group, so we could further assist you. The team can be reached at 1-800-543-8390.

  3. This is similar to the non-contact level measurement we have used during my internship in the south part of Germany near Black Forrest. Best part of my university time.

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