4 advances in sensors: Keyence, Pepperl + Fuchs, Sick, Turck
New products in sensors include Turck’s economical magnetic-inductive sensors, wash-down sensor lines from Sick and Pepperl + Fuchs (P+F), plus a new no-error digital contact sensor series from Keyence. Key attributes include easy integration, certifications, multiple lens options, and 20-million cycle rating. Four photos follow.
New products in sensors this week include Turck’s economical magnetic-inductive sensors and wash-down sensors lines from Sick and Pepperl + Fuchs, plus a new no-error digital contact sensor series from Keyence.
Turck released magnetic-inductive sensors for economic detection of weld nuts.
Turck has released magnetic-inductive sensors for economic detection of weld nuts. They use signal attenuation to detect ferromagnetic components such as nuts, bushings, and spacer sleeves, and ensure such components are present before robotic welding occurs. No additional software or electronics are required. The sensors are easily integrated into existing production lines, replacing traditional location bolts, and providing a solution for sheet metal processing in chassis construction.
An alternative to expensive optical or vision-based systems, which can often malfunction due to residue, such as dirt and weld-splatter, and frequently changing lighting conditions in welding zones, the weld nut sensor can be mechanically protected with a customer-supplied stainless steel sleeve, which acts as a guide to keep the weld nut in place. The product is easily programmed to differentiate between the nut and the sheet metal on which it is located by using a teach adapter or by shorting the leads.
According to Brian Tarbox, Turck product manager, “Once the sensor confirms that all weld nuts are properly placed, the welding robots are signaled to begin welding the nuts onto the sheet metal.” He says the design provides greater process reliability at a lower cost than optical or vision-based systems.
Sensors are available in two versions with different signal intensities and diameters to adapt to various operating environments and material characteristics. They feature IP67 chrome-plated brass housing that protects internal components from welding zone conditions and offer temperature compensation to withstand thermal changes.
The sensors feature simplified programming and an easy-to-use teach function to adapt to existing production lines, and they immediately signal missing components to prevent production of rejects for smooth, error-free operations.
Sick IMF Inductive Sensor, MH15V Photoelectric Sensor, and V18V Photoelectric Sensor, have IP69K ratings for wash-down environments and have been field-tested.
Sick ’s field-tested wash-down sensors stand up to harsh cleaning. The new Sick IMF Inductive Sensor, MH15V Photoelectric Sensor, and V18V Photoelectric Sensor , have IP69K ratings for wash-down environments and have been field-tested. They have been implemented in real-life situations and stand up to harsh environments, making them suitable for the food and beverage industry.
IMF, MH15V, and V18V Sensors are Ecolab- and JohnsonDiversey-certified. Materials used in are certified by the Food and Drug Administration for food and beverage applications. Sensors augment the range of wash-down-rated solutions from Sick, including a range of IP69K sensors, sensor cables, junction boxes, and enclosures for safety solutions and barcode scanners.
Watertight and temperature-resistant, the IMF Series offers maximum sensing reliability and resistance to chemicals used during cleaning processes in food production and the filling of beverages.
MH15V sensors are characterized by their short housings, corrosion-resistant materials, cleaning-friendly wash-down housing design, and high IP 69K enclosure rating.
V18V sensors include a patented sensitivity adjustment, optimized materials, wide sensing range, and expanded temperature range. The technological highlight of the series is a patented touch-teach sensitivity adjustment, company says.
Pepperl+Fuchs’ miniature ML7 photoelectric sensors are rated for high-pressure wash-downs.
Pepperl+Fuchs’ miniature ML7 photoelectric sensors are rated for use in high-pressure wash-downs. Available in IP67 and IP69k protection classes, they are suitable for use in harsh environments in the food and beverage industry.
P+F ML7’s IP69k-rated housing provides protection against water jet pressures (up 1,450 psi) and temperatures (up to 80 °C; 176 °F) required to thoroughly clean equipment used in meat, fish, poultry, and dairy processing. The photoelectric sensors are certified by Ecolab as compatible with the toughest cleaning agents commonly used in high-temperature, high-pressure jet water spray-cleaning applications.
The sensors measure a compact 31 mm x 23 mm x 11 mm and are available in five operating modes including diffuse, diffuse with background suppression, retro-reflective, retro-reflective for clear object detection, and thru-beam. They can be ordered with two lens orientations. Newer models are available with Pepperl+Fuchs’ 4-in-1 output, which automatically detects the connected load and sinks or sources as needed, simplifying selection, stocking, and installation time and cost.
Keyence GT2 durable
Keyence ’s durable digital contact sensors include a no-error feature. The new line of GT2 contact sensors from Keyence feature easy sensor head installation and setup and include "Scale-Shot" technology, absolute position detection, five times the durability of conventional sensors, preset application modes, and a 20-million cycle rating.
Other features are a quartz glass scale, CMOS image sensor projection system, LED parallel light illumination, and IP67-enclosure rating. Linear ball bearings are used for the spindle to ensure long service life. Simplified setup eliminates the need for analog I/O cards and PLC programming.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.