Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Sensors Must Withstand Punishing Applications

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In today’s competitive manufacturing environment, the name of the game is increased throughput.  Unprecedented global competition means that industrial manufacturing machinery must be able to run better (faster, longer, hotter, etc.) and more reliably than ever before.

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8 Selection Criteria to Remember When Choosing an Inductive Sensor

Written by: Jeff Himes

Selecting the correct inductive proximity sensor for an application can be an intimidating process.   There are literally thousands of models available from various vendors so having a good starting point to narrow down the field is essential.

At this point is will be assumed that an Inductive Proximity Sensor is the type of sensor being selected.  If you are at the beginning of your selection process, please read and earlier blog post pertaining to your initial sensor selection.

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Get Rid of Remote I/O Cabinets Once and For All

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Every time I travel, customers tell me, “we just wire everything into a box.”  Every equipment designer goes through a phase of their design process where they need to decide how their I/O gets from their sensors and their valves to their controller.  Some people use I/O cards on their PLC, or networks with IP20 solutions inside remote I/O cabinets.

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Capacitive Sensors – Part III

Written by: Bjoern Schaefer

Typical Dielectric Material Factors
Typical Dielectric Material Factors

The general sensing principle across this myriad of applications is nearly the same. As seen in last months post, the total amount of capacitance, as we remember, the ability to store a charge within an electrostatic field, depends on mainly three factors. Those factors are the ones which determine the success of your application.

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Better Alternatives to Pneumatic Cylinder End-of-Stroke Detection

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There are better alternatives to detect pneumatic cylinder end of stroke position than reed switches or proximity switches. By better, I mean they are faster and easier to implement into your control system. In addition, you can realize other benefits such as commonality of spare sensors and lower long-term costs. So what are the better solutions?

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Analog Signals: 0 to 10V Vs. 4-20 mA

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In the world of linear position sensors, analog reigns supreme.  Sure there are all kinds of other sensor interface types available; digital start/stop, synchronous serial interface, various flavors of fieldbus, and so on.  But linear position sensors with analog outputs still account for probably two-thirds of all linear position sensors sold.

When choosing an analog-output position sensor, your choice generally comes down to analog voltage (e.g., 0 to 10 V), or analog current (e.g., 4 to 20 mA).  So which should you choose?

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That 1 Channel of Analog!

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In most industrial applications 80-90% of the I/O going back to the PLC is discrete points.  Multiple times I have been asked, “How can I easily, quickly, and cost effectively get one channel of analog back to my PLC”.  The solutions in the past have either involved an IP20 slice I/O solution in a J-box, which is expensive and labor intensive, or an IP67 network module, which reduces labor costs but still carries a high cost.  A common drawback to these solutions is that you have to pay for 2, 4, or even 8 channels when only one is required.

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Does target size affect the sensing performance of an inductive proximity sensor?

Written by: Jeff Himes

I have led many inductive proximity sensor training classes where an “Ah ha” moment happens when discussing  the effects of target size on an inductive proximity sensor.  As more and more extended range sensing models arrive on the market, it’s even more critical to understand how target size affects sensing distance performance.

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Print and Apply Sensing Solutions

Did you know that you can improve your production and label quality by adding sensors to your process?

Here’s a brief overview of how sensors can help you:
– Anticipate roll change-outs to improve run time
– Verify label composition and placement, reducing product rejection
– Increase application reliability and detect jams automatically to reduce waste

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Servopneumatic Motion Control Challenges Electric Servos

Applications involving precision motion control typically use electric servo systems for speed and accuracy, which electric servo systems can handle very well.  However, in some cases, the accuracy delivered may be more than needed, and the cost of the electric servo may break the design budget.  Fortunately, leading manufacturers of pneumatic valves are developing new high-speed control valves and sophisticated electronic controllers that allow incredible speed, precision, and variable load control to be delivered from a pneumatic cylinder.  Most importantly, the overall cost of these servopneumatic systems can compare quite favorably with all-electric systems.

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