The Pros and Cons of End-of-Stroke Detection with Reed Switches

Pneumatic cylinders are used in many applications as prime movers in machinery, material handling, assembly, robotics, medical, and the list could go on. One of the challenges facing OEM’s integrators and end users is to detect reliably whether the cylinder has been fully extended or retracted before allowing machine movement. Solutions include the use of inductive sensors with some sort of target and internally mounted magnet (by the cylinder manufacturer) on the cylinder piston. In my previous blog, I discussed the two primary magnets, axially and radially magnetized magnets, used by cylinder manufacturers. Now, we will review one of the most commonly used magnetic field sensors to detect extension and retraction of the cylinder…the well-known reed switch.

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Capacitive Sensors – Part I

Written by: Bjoern Schaefer

In this new series we will write about different aspects of capacitive sensors in today’s factory automation world. Capacitive sensors found their place in certain industries and applications as effective problem solvers for specific tasks such as plastic pellet detection devices in injection molding machines and liquid level monitors in the semiconductor industry.

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5 Things You Need to Know about IO-Link

Industrial networks are nothing new; ASi, CANbus, DeviceNet, Profibus (to name a few) have all been around for years.  Designers of production equipment use networks for a variety of reasons: simplified machine mount I/O, motor starters, valve bank control, etc.  Each network has a limited number of devices that can be connected and each device is designated a node address or IP address.  IO-Link takes a standard network and expands it beyond its current capacity through flexibility and expansion.

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Luminescence (UV) Sensing – Seeing the Unseen

Difficult targets and unique application requirements call for specialized sensing technology. When over-the-counter medication producers and packaged food manufacturers were faced with the challenge of coming up with a response to concerns about protecting consumers from potential tampering, they turned to modern luminescence sensor technology.

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