REDwire Photoelectric sensors: benefits and best practices you can use now

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A photoelectric sensor is a device that detects objects, recognizes colours or counts components.

Garage doors have them. So do scanners at the grocery store. Even at the wave of a hand inside a restroom when dispensing paper towels, they are there: photoelectric sensors have countless applications all using a simple beam of light.

A photoelectric sensor is a device that detects objects, recognizes colours or counts components. Beyond operating inside commercial products, photoelectric sensors are also widely used for industrial applications, particularly in food processing, material handling, transportation and warehousing.

Advancement in photoelectric sensor technology and design allow for large laser distances measuring from 16 millimetres to 13 metres, which is an advantageous alternative to inductive proximity sensors.

Most notable about photoelectric sensors is its ability to identify changes in the intensity of light using sensor components including the LED light source, a receiver and a signal converter.

Benefits of photoelectric sensor operation and design

Integrated microcontrollers: produces accurate output signals proportional to measured distances.

Intelligent internal signal analysis: allows the photoelectric sensor to function accurately no matter the colour of the object or surface.

Ease and precise sensor alignment: proper placement of the visible spot of light is effective and efficient to both smooth and rough surfaces, which are consistently measured using a fine laser line in place of the laser spot to capture wider areas.

Best practices of photoelectric sensor applications

Thanks to the small, precise light spots, photoelectric sensors provide high performance in speed and versatility for complex or intricate industrial applications, including:

  • Applications involving objects with small holes or gaps, measured by a fine laser line
  • Continuous monitoring of slow changes at early stages of production processes
  • Measurement of objects with rough or uneven surfaces

From presence checks to item and colour detection, professionally designed photoelectric sensors delivers from the most determined, to the most demanding tasks. 

Baumer is the world market leader in laser and sensor equipment technological innovation. See the difference at


Baumer Inc.

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