Because of the high usage of¬†sensors in today’s manufacturing and how they have facilitated and improved our production processes, a dedicated page is under development to specify the categories within sensors and switches. We are currently still combining the available information. We would like to request your input in order to create this page. You can do this via this link. In case you are using specific sensors in your process, feel free to inform us if you have some pictures in order to support these lists by visual means.

1. Physical contact sensors

  • limit switch: used to control presence and position of parts
  • micro switch: used to count if there are any missing components
  • touch switch: used to control presence and position of parts
  • differential transformers: used to control presence and position of parts
  • toggle switch
  • timetrons: used for measurement confirmations. Often used in control fixtures.
  • pin-push button
  • panel-mounted roller push button
  • hinged lever
  • hinged lever-roller
  • hinged one-direction lever-roller
  • roller-leaf spring
  • liquid level relays

These sensors physically touch something. This something can be for example a component of a machine or the part being produced. They send an electronic signal when triggered by contact and can result in shutdown or warning.

Contact sensors differ from each other in characteristics like: motion before operation, motion after operation, force required and impact of vibration.

2. No physical contact sensors

  • proximity switch: use for presence and position checks by confirming distance of objects by differences in magnetic force. Proximity switches can only be used with materials that are magnetic.
  • photoelectric switch: this sensor is used for counting, labeling, thread break detection, etc.
    • a light source and receiver are placed opposite to each other. The object to be detected goes through the light beam.
    • the receiver is part of the light source and light will be reflected back to the receiver. This system is one-sided and easy to align. It is often used for color difference detection.
    • a reflector is positioned opposite to the light beam and reflects back the light. This is also one-sided and easy to align.
    • fiber optic sensors: use a different way to transmit light
    • polarized photoelectric sensor: prevents false triggering in case of shiny defects
Reflection sensor
Reflection sensor
Transmission sensor
Transmission sensor
  • reed relay
  • beam sensors: make use of electron beams for example to detect liquid levels, height levels, etc.
  • vibration sensors:
  • fiber optic sensor: used for detecting colored markings or the number of turns, shapes, …
  • inductive (electromagnetic) sensor: this sensor works with metal. It is also called Eddy Current Killed Oscillator
  • capacitive sensor: works with all materials but metal. The change in electric field is noticed.
  • area sensors: prevent passing into dangerous areas or count falling objects.
  • positioning sensors: used for presence and absence checking and positioning checking.
  • dimension sensors: used for confirming the size and dimensions of objects
  • displacement sensors: used for detecting cracks, loops, levels,…
  • metal passage sensors: used for counting metal in motion
  • color marking sensors:
  • double-feed sensors: detect two or more products fed at the same time
  • welding positions sensors: detect changes in metallic composition
  • tapping sensors: detects by inserting the sensor in a screw hole

These non-physical sensors do not physically touch the part or component. This can be applicable when the paint layer should not be damaged or when quick reply is needed. They work by means of energy to detect if an error has occurred. We differ reflection type and transmission type devices.

3. Additional detection measurement systems

Other systems are also available for detecting pressure, temperature, current, vibration, count and time.



Note: Multiple sources were used for summarizing the content on this page. You can find these sources on the following page: References.