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Lead Contents

Proximity Sensors

Proximity Sensors are available in models using high-frequency oscillation to detect ferrous and non-ferrous metal objects and in capacitive models to detect non-metal objects. Models are available with environment resistance, heat resistance, resistance to chemicals, and resistance to water.

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Primary Contents

Operating Principles

Detection Principle of Inductive Proximity Sensors

Inductive Proximity Sensors detect magnetic loss due to eddy currents that are generated on a conductive surface by an external magnetic field. An AC magnetic field is generated on the detection coil, and changes in the impedance due to eddy currents generated on a metallic object are detected.
Other methods include Aluminum-detecting Sensors, which detect the phase component of the frequency, and All-metal Sensors, which use a working coil to detect only the changed component of the impedance. There are also Pulse-response Sensors, which generate an eddy current in pulses and detect the time change in the eddy current with the voltage induced in the coil.

<Qualitative Explanation>

The sensing object and Sensor form what appears to be a transformer-like relationship.

The transformer-like coupling condition is replaced by impedance changes due to eddy-current losses.

The impedance changes can be viewed as changes in the resistance that is inserted in series with the sensing object. (This does not actually occur, but thinking of it this way makes it easier to understand qualitatively.)

Detection Principle of Capacitive Proximity Sensors

Capacitive Proximity Sensors detect changes in the capacitance between the sensing object and the Sensor. The amount of capacitance varies depending on the size and distance of the sensing object. An ordinary Capacitive Proximity Sensor is similar to a capacitor with two parallel plates, where the capacity of the two plates is detected. One of the plates is the object being measured (with an imaginary ground), and the other is the Sensor's sensing surface. The changes in the capacity generated between these two poles are detected.
The objects that can be detected depend on their dielectric constant, but they include resin and water in addition to metals.

Detection Principle of Magnetic Proximity Sensors

The reed end of the switch is operated by a magnet. When the reed switch is turned ON, the Sensor is turned ON.