Optical sensors

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Selection Guide

Proximity sensors

Proximity sensors are used for binary feedback of the piston position of pneumatic actuators. They are sensors that detect the magnetic field of the piston magnet via a magnetic field or reed contact.
They are mounted at the desired switching position in the T-slot or circumferential slot of the cylinder and output a standardized 24 V switching signal when the piston magnetic field is detected.
The range of switches covers all standard applications and also offers solutions for special industrial segments.
Piston magnetic field strength and sensor slot geometry are not standardized in the market. Both can be freely selected by any cylinder manufacturer.
Festo develops both, cylinders and cylinder sensors, and can therefore design the cylinder switches safely and reliably for its own actuators.

Inductive proximity sensors

An inductive proximity sensor is a sensor that reacts contactlessly, i.e. without direct contact, to the approach of a metallic or galvanic object.
Benefits:
• no mechanical wear, thus longer service life
• no downtimes due to dirty or welded contacts
• no contact bounce and therefore no switching errors
• high switching frequencies
• vibration-proof
• high degree of protection due to fully encapsulated housing
• any mounting position

Position sensors

position sensors are the universally usable position transmitters.
Furthermore, more complex or programmable solutions are available as position sensors, which are optimized for certain actuators.
Encoders are another product segment. These are mainly required for servo-pneumatics and are used with certain servo-pneumatic regulators.
Position transmitters are used for analog feedback of the piston movement in a certain detection range in applications such as press-fitting, screwing, clamping, go/no-go detection etc.They are able to detect the magnetic field of the piston magnet over a wide range and evaluate it with high repeat position accuracy. The information is provided as a standardized 0-10 V, 4-20 mA analog signal or via IO-Link. In addition, the devices offer programming options for pre-evaluation of the signal information directly in the transmitter.
Piston magnetic field strength and sensor slot geometry are not standardized in the market. Both can be freely selected by any cylinder manufacturer.
Festo develops both, cylinders and cylinder sensors, and can therefore design the position sensors safely and reliably for its own actuators.

Vacuum pressure switch

Vacuum pressure switches measure the pressure at the pressure inlet of the sensor.
With the aid of a pressure measuring cell installed in the sensor, the overpressure or underpressure applied to the sensor is compared with the prevailing ambient pressure (relative pressure measuring cell) and output as an electrical signal.
A vacuum pressure switch often detects whether an applied vacuum is above or below a defined switching threshold and outputs this information as a binary, electrical signal. However, the electrical output is also possible as an analog signal proportional to the applied pressure.

Air flow sensors

Flow sensors measure the flow rate of liquid or gaseous media. They are used to monitor the volume or mass flow through a control system.
Simpler so-called flow transmitters map the physical measured variable to an electrical signal.
The majority of flow sensors offer digital switching outputs or even digital and analog outputs.

Optical sensors

Optical sensors generate light (transmitter) and re-evaluate the reflected light in the receiver. These sensors detect objects and their characteristics, e.g. by light interruption or change in light intensity. There are several basic principles: diffuse light sensors, diffuse light sensors with background suppression, diffuse light barriers, color sensors, distance sensors, fork light barriers, etc.

Signal conditioners

The signal conditioner converts analog signals into digital switching signals. Connection to the higher-level system is via switching outputs or alternatively an IO-Link interface.
The switching outputs can be configured to monitor a threshold value, a signal range or a signal change.

Air gap sensors

An air gap sensor is used for safe and contactless distance monitoring of objects to a defined measuring nozzle geometry, based on a pneumatic measuring method. The pneumatic process allows use under harsh environmental conditions. The coverage of the system is between 20 μm and 200 μm.