Stainless steel sensors for wash down: photoelectric, inductive

Rockwell Automation's 42CS photoelectric and 871TS inductive sensor families address the most demanding applications in the food and beverage industry. Highly durable, corrosion-resistant sensors designed for reliable, long-life performance in high-temperature, high-pressure wash downs.


Two new families of sensors from Rockwell Automation address the most demanding applications in the food and beverage industry. These sensors withstand high-pressure and high-temperature wash downs, while offering excellent resistance to corrosion and damage caused by harsh cleansing agents.

The 42CS photoelectric and 871TS inductive sensor families feature stainless steel construction, extended temperature ratings and IP69K enclosure ratings. IP69K testing replicates the steam-cleaning process typically used in the food and beverage industry. This testing requires the sensors to withstand spray pressure up to 1,450 psi and temperatures up to 176 degrees F (80 degrees C).  

In addition, both sensor families have been subjected to and certified to pass chemical compatibility testing by two independent labs, both of which are worldwide leaders in the development of cleaning and sanitizing products. In testing, the sensors were subjected to some of the most commonly used caustic cleaning agents and disinfectants in the food and beverage industry

“Harsh manufacturing environments require sensors capable of withstanding the frequent jet-spray wash downs, high temperatures and corrosive cleansing agents commonly used in these processes,” said Paul Gieschen, market development director, Rockwell Automation. “These highly durable sensors are specifically engineered to address these demands, while providing users with excellent sensor adjustment flexibility and a wide range of sensing modes.”

The Photoswitch 42CS sensor family features a choice of a smooth or threaded 18mm 316L stainless steel housing with a hard plastic lens for enhanced reliability and long service life, as well as an operating temperature range of minus 25 to 85 degrees C. Smooth barrel models are designed to minimize the accumulation of undesired particles on the sensor’s body and to allow easier cleanup.

An innovative ferromagnetic teach feature minimizes the possibility of water ingress associated with the use of push button or potentiometer adjustment. This feature, offered on select sensing modes, allows users to easily adjust and optimize the sensing range to meet specific application demands.

The 42CS sensor family offers polarized retro-reflective, diffuse, transmitted beam, clear object detection and background suppression sensing modes. A background suppression sensor is specially designed to detect shiny objects that often go undetected by other such sensors if the object is approaching at a slight angle. A stainless steel bracket is offered for mounting of smooth-barrel sensors.

The 871TS inductive proximity sensors feature a stainless steel 316L barrel and an FDA-certified polyphenylene sulfide plastic face that protects against chemicals and other corrosive agents. Sensors are offered in 12mm and 18mm diameter threaded cylindrical enclosures with operating temperature range of minus 40 to 80 degrees C. For added application flexibility, standard and extended range units are available.

Rockwell Automation

- Also see:

10 Principles of Sustainable, Cost-Effective Design: Building a Safer, More Efficient Machine;

Improving Manufacturing Performance through Intelligent Safety System Design; and

Safety Automation Forum – Protecting People, Productivity and Planet – November 2, 2010

- Edited by Amanda McLeman, Control Engineering, CFE Media,

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