Longer-range sensors target applications

August 07, 2000

Designed for unique environmental conditions found in specific applications, the efector m series of proximity sensors incorporate features, materials, and testing criteria that extend life and performance reliability. The three families in the series are aimed at industrial automation, with its high shock and vibration levels; metalworking, having exposure to metal chips, oils, and synthetic coolants; and washdown applications, where high-pressure cleaning, steam, cleaning solutions, and thermal shock are the norm. Efector stresses that its non-metal-face proximity sensor switches have inherently greater range, up to twice that of metal-faced devices, reducing the risk of contact with targets.

Ernie Maddox, product manager for position sensors, emphasizes the company's "quality through automation" program that sees extensive automation in production and testing of the devices-such that every sensor made is tested for sensing and electrical characteristics as well as seal integrity.

Just how demanding were the sensors' designers? Well, for example, all the m series can withstand 500g shocks and 40g vibrations up to 2kHz. For zero leakage, the metalworking sensors were submerged in industry-standard oils and coolants at 176F with no change in sensing range. These were also put under 1m of water for seven days. The washdown type was blasted from four inches away for 30 sec with 4 gallons/min of 176F water at 1,500 psi, at angles from head on to perpendicular. The latter also underwent thermal shock cycles between 60 min at 100C followed by 10 min at 0C.

An added touch: Laser part etching eliminates labels that can come off under severe conditions, allowing correct replacement if need be.

Additional Details...Contact ifm efector Inc., 805 Springdale Dr., Exton, PA 19341; Tel: (800) 441-8246; FAX: (610) 524-2745; www.ifmefector.com.

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