Space-saving sensors

Engineer Live News Desk

The new OCF500 fibre-optic sensor modules from ifm electronic provide a convenient and reliable solution to the problem of detecting small components and transparent targets in applications where conventional sensors cannot be used because of space restrictions or challenging operating conditions.

To complement the new modules, ifm offers an extensive range of fibre-optic sensing heads including types that are suitable for operation at up to 290 ºC and are highly resistant to attack by aggressive chemicals.

An intelligent clamping system ensures that OCF500 sensor modules are fast and easy to mount on standard DIN rail. Setting up is equally straightforward thanks to an intuitive menu system, accessed via three pushbuttons, and an integrated OLED display. Two switching outputs, which can be configured as dark-on or light-on, are provided together with an IO-Link interface that can be used not only to monitor the status of the outputs but also to access diagnostic information and to aid parameterisation.

To ensure optimum performance, OCF500 sensor modules support six operating modes and automatically select the mode that is most appropriate for the current application. Other key features include a fibrelock system that ensures a reliable fibre-optic connection to the sensing head, and a ‘clean me’ function that facilitates preventative maintenance by providing a warning if the sensing head becomes contaminated.

In addition to high-temperature and chemical-resistant types, fibre-optic sensing heads for use with OCF500 sensor modules include through-beam and diffuse sensing types with very small bending radii, types optimised for long-range and short-range applications and 90º deflection types for use where space is particularly limited. Other accessories include fibre-optic mounting brackets, pre-terminated connecting cables and a USB IO-Link master for parameter setting and device analysis.