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Which Photoelectric Sensor is Right for Me?

Mario Barr
While the number of photoelectric sensors available is countless, there are really only a few basic types of technologies that are used. For the most part, no matter what the style you choose, your photoelectric sensor will either be through-beam, reflective, diffuse, or background suppression. Here we hope to present the differences between each of these technologies with some pros and cons that should help you to make the decision of which type of photoelectric sensor is right for you.

Through-beam photoelectric sensors are very reliable when compared with some of the other types of photoelectric sensors. They are also the most accurate and have the longest sensing range of the available technologies. The downside is that through-beam sensors require both an emitter and a receiver. They are also relatively costly, mostly because both an emitter and a receiver must be purchased.

Reflective sensors tend to be more cost effective than the through-beam. They are only slightly less accurate than the through-beam, but they still have a better sensing range than diffuse technology. Also, with the reflective sensor, both a sensor and a reflector are required, which effects the cost of the sensors. The reflective photoelectric sensor would be seen as the middle ground between the through-beam and the diffuse.

Unlike through-beam and reflective, diffuse only requires one point of installation. It is also more cost effective that either of them. The trade off is decreased accuracy and more setup time.

Background Suppression
The advantage of background suppression is that they are usable with reflective backgrounds. Unfortunately, they require the most time to set up and they are the most expensive out of the four options.

Once you decide which of these four technologies is right for you, there are a variety of styles to choose from when it comes to photoelectric sensors . Tubular sensors, miniature sensors, fiber optic sensors, compact sensors, maxi sensors, slot sensors, luminescence sensors, contrast sensors, color sensors, and area sensors are some of the options that are available.

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