Photoelectric Sensors

Photoelectric sensors detect and measure physical objects or quantities by emitting a field or beam of electromagnetic radiation, an object is detected by measuring alterations in the return signal. There are 3 main types of photoelectric sensors which provide reliable detection, these are through-beam, retro-reflective and diffuse. The basic function of each is to detect the presence or absence of objects or measure the distance to the object.

Through-beam Sensors

Through-beam sensors (aka thru-beam) rely on two separate housings, one for the transmitter and one for the receiver, with the transmitter providing a continuous beam of light to the receiver. Each time an object passes through the beam this interrupts the signal between the transmitter and receiver, which in turn causes the receiver to send an electrical signal to the output. Through-beam sensors are suited to long-distance sensing and are capable of detecting almost any object, irrespective of colour or angular motion.

Retro-reflective Sensors

Retro-reflective photoelectric sensors (retroreflective) have both the transmitter and receiver contained within the same housing but require a reflector opposite to the sensor. The reflector bounces the light beam back to the transmitter until an object breaks the beam. Objects which are highly reflective such as aluminium require sensors with polarising filters. The filter allows the sensor to acknowledge that the reflected light from reflecting materials is different from the reflector.

Diffuse Sensors

Diffuse sensors (proximity sensor) are easier to install as only one device has to be mounted. This is because the transmitter and receiver are contained within one housing. Diffuse sensors use the reflection from the target object within a predetermined sensing range. The transmitter sends out a continuous beam of light, once this hits the target it is diffused in all directions, a part of this light is reflected back and recognised by the receiver, the receiver then sends an electrical signal to the output.

A special type of diffused mode is background suppression which enables the user to precisely control the sensing range. A diffuse mode sensor with background suppression is less sensitive to the target colour. They can also use a visible red light or infrared light sources.


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Description Price Sensor Style Detection Type Detection Range Output Type Electrical Connection Maximum AC Voltage Maximum DC Voltage Optical Technology Terminal Type Light Source IP Rating Maximum Current Interface Response Time
RS Stock No. 877-7391
Mfr. Part No.HG-C1100-P
BrandPanasonic
kr 4 270,82
Each
Units
Block Background Suppression 100 mm NPN/PNP 5-Wire Cable 2m - 24V - - Laser Light IP67 - - 1.5 (High Speed) ms, 5 (Standard) ms, 10 (High Precision) ms
RS Stock No. 431-2010
Mfr. Part No.EQ34PN
BrandPanasonic
kr 1 409,65
Each
Units
Block Retroreflective 0.1 2 m PNP 3-Wire Cable 2m - 30V - - Infrared IP67 100 mA - <=2 ms
RS Stock No. 877-7398
Mfr. Part No.HG-C1050-P
BrandPanasonic
kr 4 270,82
Each
Units
Block Background Suppression 50 mm PNP Cable - 24V - - Laser Light IP67 - - 1.5 (High Speed) ms, 5 (Standard) ms, 10 (High Precision) ms
RS Stock No. 812-8226
Mfr. Part No.CX-442-P-Z
BrandPanasonic
kr 1 192,12
Each
Units
Block Diffuse 800 mm PNP 4-Pin M8 Connector - 24V - - LED IP67 20 mA - 1 ms
RS Stock No. 480-4985
Mfr. Part No.EQ501
BrandPanasonic
kr 1 626,58
Each
Units
Block Diffuse 0.1 2.5 m Relay 4-Terminal Screw 250V 30V - Screw Infrared IP67 3 A - <=20 ms
RS Stock No. 812-8092
Mfr. Part No.CY-122A-P-Z
BrandPanasonic
kr 522,69
Each
Units
Barrel Diffuse 600 mm PNP M12 Connector - 24V - - Infrared IP67 35 mA - 1 ms
RS Stock No. 480-4991
Mfr. Part No.CX421P
BrandPanasonic
kr 783,98
Each
Units
Block Diffuse 300 mm PNP 2m Cable - 24V - - Infrared IP67 100 mA - <=1 ms
RS Stock No. 812-8213
Mfr. Part No.CY-192A-P-Z-Y
BrandPanasonic
kr 279,54
Each
Units
Barrel Retroreflective 4 m PNP M12 Connector - 24V - - Infrared IP67 35 mA - 1 ms
RS Stock No. 877-7389
Mfr. Part No.HG-C1030-P
BrandPanasonic
kr 4 270,82
Each
Units
Block Background Suppression 30 mm PNP 5-Wire Cable 2m - 24V - - Laser Light IP67 - - 1.5 (High Speed) ms, 5 (Standard) ms, 10 (High Precision) ms
RS Stock No. 812-8222
Mfr. Part No.CY-192B-P-Z-Y
BrandPanasonic
kr 271,46
Each
Units
Barrel Retroreflective 4 m PNP M12 Connector - 24V - - Infrared IP67 35 mA - 1 ms
RS Stock No. 812-8099
Mfr. Part No.CY-111B-P-Z
BrandPanasonic
kr 496,07
Each
Units
Barrel Through Beam (Emitter and Receiver) 15 m PNP M12 Connector - 24V - - Infrared IP67 35 mA - 1 ms
RS Stock No. 812-8187
Mfr. Part No.CY-191A-P-Z-Y
BrandPanasonic
kr 425,09
Each
Units
Barrel Retroreflective 2 m PNP M12 Connector - 24V - - LED IP67 35 mA - 1 ms
RS Stock No. 812-8156
Mfr. Part No.CX-412A-P-C05
BrandPanasonic
kr 649,40
Each
Units
- - - PNP - - - - - LED IP67 - - 1 ms
RS Stock No. 361-5554
Mfr. Part No.EX-14A-PN
BrandPanasonic
kr 871,68
Each
Units
Block Retroreflective 2 25 mm PNP 3-Wire Cable 2m - 24V - - LED IP67 50 mA - <=0.5 ms
RS Stock No. 901-2891
Mfr. Part No.CX-493-P-Z
BrandPanasonic
kr 1 100,00
Each
Units
Block Retroreflective Maximum of 5 m PNP 4-Pin M8 Connector - 24V - - LED IP67 - - 1 ms
RS Stock No. 136-5666
Mfr. Part No.EX-Z13B-P
BrandPanasonic
kr 1 394,11
Each
Units
Block Through Beam (Emitter and Receiver) 500 mm PNP Cable - 24V - Wire Lead LED IP67 20 mA - 0.5 ms
RS Stock No. 125-4574
Mfr. Part No.PM-R65
BrandPanasonic
kr 196,49
Each
Units
Fork Through Beam (Fork) 6 mm NPN 4-Pin Connector - 24V - 4-Pin Connector Infrared IP40 50 (Sink Current) mA - 20 (Received) μs, 80 (Interrupted) μs
RS Stock No. 808-9418
Mfr. Part No.CX-411-P-C5
BrandPanasonic
kr 1 066,11
Each
Units
Block Through Beam (Emitter and Receiver) 10 m PNP 2m Cable - 24V - - LED IP67 100 mA - 1 ms
RS Stock No. 361-5655
Mfr. Part No.EX-23-PN
BrandPanasonic
kr 1 301,28
Each
Units
Block Through Beam (Emitter and Receiver) 2 m PNP 3-Wire Cable 2m - 24V - - LED IP67 50 mA - <=0.5 ms
RS Stock No. 480-5001
Mfr. Part No.CX411PZ
BrandPanasonic
kr 887,06
Each
Units
Block Through Beam (Emitter and Receiver) 10 m PNP M8 Connector - 24V - - LED IP67 100 mA - <=1 ms