Proximity Sensor Product Research July 2007
Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding proximity sensors.
• Among those who specify, recommend, or buy proximity sensors, 80% do so for in-plant requirements, while 37% do this for OEM needs.
• Almost half of respondents use both continuous and batch processing as their primary process application. A little over a quarter of respondents use discrete products manufacturing. 59% of respondents apply proximity sensors to machinery. 38% apply proximity sensors on packaging/palletizing operations.
• Inductive and photoelectric are currently the most widely used proximity sensors. Results indicate this will continue over the next year, but at a lower rate.
• Short-circuit protection is the key criterion to Control Engineering subscribers when selecting proximity sensors. Alignment/set-up aide, reverse-polarity protection, corrosion resistance were also considered important.
• Almost two-thirds of respondents prefer both AC and DC as the modes of operation for proximity sensors.
• Thirty-seven percent of respondents use sensors on a device network. Within this segment, 78% use standard sensors with interface modules.
• Currently, Ethernet (any protocol) is the most widely used communication protocol. However, respondents foresee declining usage of this protocol (as with others) over the next year.
• A little over half of respondents purchased proximity sensors from Rockwell Automation / Allen-Bradley and Banner Engineering in the past 12 months. 47% mentioned having purchased from Turck.
• The largest grouping of respondents (31%) purchased between 16– 50 proximity sensors in the last 12 months. The average spending on proximity sensors by each respondent in the past year was $3,550. Twenty-nine percent of control engineers’ need for proximity sensors will grow over the next year.