Miniature optical sensors in a choice of variants

Paul Boughton
New miniature optical sensors from IFM Electronic, known as the O7 series, are suitable for detecting very small parts even in tight spaces, which makes it suitable for use in part feeding and handling machines.
While the overall dimensions of 15 x 20 x 9mm mean the sensor takes up very little volume, it is notable that the 9mm dimension is measured in the sensing axis. Furthermore, the small visible light spot allows the detection of small objects with high precision. With their fixed setting, the sensors are ready for operation immediately after installation.
O7 sensors are available from IFM Electronic as diffuse reflection sensors with background suppression, retroreflective sensors with polarisation filter or as through-beam transmitters or receivers.
IFM Electronic offers the background-suppressed diffuse variants with three different fixed ranges of 30, 50, and 100mm. Retroreflective units work up to 1m, and 1.5m is achieved with the separate transmitter/receiver through-beam model. In each case the light/dark switching function is provided by the unit selection. The light spot diameter as small as 2.5mm in some units, making the sensor almost laser-like without the cost or safety concerns associated with lasers.
Reliable operation is ensured in industrial conditions with functions guaranteed from -25 to 60 degrees C, and the sensors are sealed to IP65.
Connection to the sensor is made using a standard M8 connector on a short 200mm cable for ease of access. A broad range of accessories ensures quick and flexible integration into the system and therefore quick installations and alignment.
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