Exclusive: Ultrasonic sensors fit in limited space

New line of UHZ miniature ultrasonic sensors from AutomationDirect includes four models of rectangular through-beam units. Tiny devices measure 30 x 20 mm and are specifically intended for applications with limited mounting space. Benefits include small package design and flexible mounting capabilities.

01/01/2006


Machine Control & Discrete Sensors

Miniature (30 x 20 mm) UHZ Series ultrasonic sensors from AutomationDirect are intended for limited-space applications.

New line of UHZ miniature ultrasonic sensors from AutomationDirect includes four models of rectangular through-beam units. Tiny devices measure 30 x 20 mm and are specifically intended for applications with limited mounting space. Benefits include small package design and flexible mounting capabilities. Additionally, system is more economical than a fiberoptic sensor and amplifier combination.

The unit's two pre-drilled mounting holes allow it to be installed more easily than traditional 18- or 30-mm threaded tubular designs that often need a separate mounting bracket or a large mounting hole and additional locknuts. Models come in 18-30 V dc input, with a choice of PNP- or NPN-transistor outputs in normally open or normally closed configurations. Series has a maximum sensing distance of 300 mm, with no dead zone at close range, enabling object sensing at a variety of distances. A 15° sensing-beam angle allows for variances in placement of the object between the emitter and receiver. The sensors are equipped with a molded 2-m cable.

All models include an LED indicator on the receiver to ease setup and maintenance; the yellow LED is active when the ultrasonic beam is detected and off when an object blocks the beam's path. Devices are IP67 rated with an operating temperature range of -5 to 70 °C. Case material is composed of thermoplastic polyester (PBTP, polybutylene terephthalate) with a ceramic active head. Current draw is less than 40 mA, response time is 1 mS, and switching frequency is 150 Hz.

Other features include electrical protection from short circuit, overvoltage, and reverse polarity to minimize sensor failure from electrical disturbances. Overvoltage protection is accomplished with a built-in Zener diode at the output, which keeps output voltage to a safe value. A sensor that detects output overcurrent will not operate, and it will automatically reset when the overcurrent condition is corrected.

The devices have wide sensing ranges and are unaffected by many environmental factors, such as dust. Ultrasonic (sound-wave) technology makes them suitable for applications having sensing objects made of clear or transparent materials or with varying surface color, a feature that allows the user to standardize on one sensor for many materials. Typical industrial manufacturing applications include bottling, non-woven materials, packaging, material handling, pulp and paper, semiconductor, and pharmaceutical industries.

UHZ Series is sold as a through-beam pair with prices starting at $159. www.automationdirect.com , AutomationDirect





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