Photoelectric sensors are electronic detector devices designed to identify and measure the quantity and quality of physical objects through a beam of electromagnetic radiation. The sensor reads the presence of the object by measuring the changes in the return signal. They generally use an infrared light transmitter and a photoelectric receiver to identify the presence, absence, and distance of the object in its path.
Types of photo-electric sensors
Photo-electric sensors can be categorised into three main types:
These types of photo-electric sensors have two separate components; the transmitter, and the receiver. The transmitter sends a continuous stream of light beams to the receiver. Through-beam photo-electric sensors are most suitable for long-distance sensing.
These types of photo-electric sensors have the two components (transmitter and receiver) in the same housing but possess a different reflector.
These types of photo-electric sensors use both the transmitter and receiver within a single housing, like the retro-reflective one, but detect the object based on a diffusion mechanism.
Where are photo-electric sensors used?
Photo-electric sensors are used extensively across different industrial and non-industrial spaces. Some of the most common uses are listed below:
In production lines and conveyor belts across food processing and pharmaceutical industries
In production belts to count small objects
In colour detection across printing and packaging processes
In position and object sensing across logistics and material handling processes
In automatic doors of buildings, convenience stores, malls, and public transport