To Avoid Trouble Later, Consider Your Application Conditions Up Front

Hardly a day passes by where we are not contacted by a desperate end-user or equipment manufacturer seeking assistance with a situation of sensors failing at an unacceptably high rate.  Once we get down to the root cause of the failures, in almost every case it’s a situation where the specific sensors are being applied in a manner which all but guarantees premature failure.

Not all sensors are created equal.  Some are intentionally designed for light-duty applications where the emphasis is more on economical cost rather than the ability to survive in rough service conditions.  Other sensors are specifically designed to meet particular challenges of the application environment and as a result may carry a higher initial price.

Some things to think about when choosing a sensor for a new application:

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Applying Sensors in Real Applications

Whenever you are providing sensor training or even talking with someone about sensor inevitably, you will be asked about the applications where they are used. Try as you may, it’s sometimes difficult to explain the various ways sensors are used to solve the multitude of applications that exist.

Recently, one of my colleagues brought an interesting article to my attention that I am passing on in this blog post. Check out this article on Sensoring for In-Die Tapping. The author explains the application and provides possible solutions varying from mechanical sensors, photoelectrics, and inductive proximity sensors. In my opinion, it is worth reading to give you another perspective on how to solve one of the many ways to use sensors. Let me know what you think! Did this give you another perspective?

Are Limit Switches Obsolete?


Being the “product guy” for mechanical or limit switches I am often told that I have the obsolete products. Well I am here to say that mechanicals are still around and definitely have their place in automation.

Mechanical switches, at least the ones I deal with, are precision limit switches. How can a mechanical switch be a precise device? These switches use a cam or trip dog and once the switch and cam are secured in the application, the repeatability, with a chisel plunger, can be .002mm – that’s two microns. Applications for these switches include actuators for automatic controls, positioning and end of travel for machine tools, transfer lines, transport equipment, and gantries.

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