Industrial Automation is quintessential in many industries to upheave production rates and resourcefully utilise materials, with better and more secure production processes. Industrial Sensors play a crucial role in industrial automation and in narrowing down factory lead times. With the rise of modern industrial technologies like IoT, IIoT, Digital Twin, AI, Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics, and more, the chances of employing the best out of Industrial Sensors have never been this high. These devices are vital in making products. An Industrial Sensor (also known as an Industrial Automation Sensor) is an input device used in industrial sites built to trigger output signals concerning a pre-wired, more secure input quantity. They are extensively used to detect fluid needs of process flows that must be smartly calibrated to fit the accuracy and healthy conditions of assets.
Today you are connecting with the Cerexio Blog Archive to learn about the 15 most vital Industrial Sensors used by industrial giants in the world.
Industrial Sensors can be used to evaluate intrinsic characteristics and qualitative features of products like colour brightnesses and variations. These types of sensors are used in textile, home decor, cosmetics, computer colour monitors, and other colourful product-centered sectors. It analyses spectral content that is reflected from products and uses algorithms to compare it against the internal references to output a result. The colour of an object is detected by analysing a mark anywhere in the RGB indices. These types of sensors are all under the photoelectric sensor type.
Condition Monitoring Sensors are gaining prominent recognition with the emergence of IIoT networks and automation technologies. Condition Monitoring Sensors are wireless or wired devices used in asset-dependent companies to gain OEE standard readings and other real-time parametric readings to ensure that the assets of an industrial site or vast infrastructures are performing optimally and are in good health. It encompasses humidity, pressure, vibration, level, pressure, temperature readings that can help gain insights into the asset conditions of industrial assets. These sensors have the capability of capturing environmental changes, corrosion, and varying levels of asset parts, and other changes in the asset conditions. It helps industrial asset custodians troubleshoot asset defects and prevent expensive and detrimental asset breakdowns.
There are many types of Data Sensor types that help almost all industrial players worldwide. Some of the most commonly used Data Sensors are QR code readers, RFID Tags, Barcode Readers. Data Sensors screen results on the Human-Machine Interface (HMI) in critical instances of tracking assets conditions or maintenance purposes. Data captured from these sensors are saved to the controller and correlated with other sensor data or used during manufacturing operations to enrich the monitoring, managing, and maintaining operations in busy industrial ecosystems.
Many Image Sensor names have crossed our ears when talking about security and medical devices, like CCTV (Closed-Circuit Television), CCD (Charge-Coupled Device), Medical Imaging, Active Pixel Sensors, Radar and Sonar Devices, Thermal Imaging Devices and a plethora of other Image Sensors. These sensors use the image pixels and direct information to the user’s screen. It is used to monitor processing events, ensure the safety of industrial premises, and also in counting items, inspecting authorised product shapes, calculating weights, and more. These sensors can be advanced with high-performance sensors, Lens Shading Correction (LSC) algorithms, Auto-focus features, and more.
Leak sensors play an important role in critical industrial sites, for it has the propensity to measure fluid leakages, air or gas leakages in machinery and equipment. There are two main types of Leak Sensors; they are Spot Leak Sensors and Flow Leak Sensors. The leak detection systems embedded in these devices observe patterns of fluid flows or air behaviours, and whenever these patterns or behaviours are abnormal or rapidly disturbed, it triggers an alarm or sends a notification. They can either monitor the stored quantities, elements passing through the sensor or sonically measure delays to detect leakages before they lead to unprecedented operational failures.
Light Sensors are a type of photoelectric sensor that monitors, detects, and converts ambient light or photons detected into actionable data (electrons). Light Sensors sensitive to variations of light brightnesses and convert them to electric sensors as needed. There are many types of Light Sensors; three of the main types are Photodiode, Photosresister, and Phototransistor. It uses light to detect the absence or presence of an object or use light resistance thresholds to trigger activities. For example, Light Sensors can be used to detect the light levels of a room; when the light is too bright, they can send the message to the curtain controllers to bring down the shades of the room to control the room light.
These sensors are mainly used in packaging and printing products during production processes and are commonly known by other names, like Eye Sensors or Contrast Sensors. It is a specialty sensor that uses a light sensor to detect registration marks on materials. It elevates the field of view by contrasting colours rather than processing the image itself, and compares it to a set switching threshold, and delivers results respectively. Luminescence Mark Detectors and Subtle Colour Mark Sensors, Optic Registration Mark Sensors are some examples of sensors that fall under this industrial sensor type.
This is one of the most used contactless technologies to find the presence or absence of an object that concerns the user. Presence or Absence Sensors report results to the user by analysing the light, moisture, shock, temperature, or contaminants of a metal target. This technology is used to save energy and provide the luxury of not using manual methods to save energy. For example, these sensors can be used in an office space to detect the presence or absence of a person in a room, to switch the power on or off. Presence or Absence detectors are used on many occasions, such as in ventilation systems, light systems, air conditioning systems, and more.
Pressure Sensors (also known as Piezometers, Pressure Transmitters, or Pressure Transducers) have the capability of measuring the pressures of gas, water, and air and output signals to the controller. Vacuum Pressure Sensors are a type of this category too. These sensors are mainly embedded in intricate systems that need to be strictly leveled in favourable conditions to gain optimal performances. Some of the systems that use pressure sensors are hydraulic systems, vacuum systems, pneumatic systems, and more.
This technology is used (as the name suggests) to measure the proximity of an object without measuring the distance manually. It can trigger alerts and sirens based on the inductance and capacitance of infrared or metallic targets without any physical contact. There are two main types of Proximity Sensors, namely Capacitive Proximity Sensor and Inductive Proximity Sensor. These types of sensors are widely used in everyday machinery that comes across our eyes. For example, Proximity Sensors are used in smartphones, machines, robots, industrial equipment, tablets, roller coasters, and many other devices.
This is a device that is sensitive to temperature changes; it simply understands the regular temperature behaviours from resources and transforms that intelligence to be understandable by another machine. Temperature Sensors are widely used in understanding whether machines, equipment, or products are weatherproof, getting details of the operational stability and accuracy of machines, measuring unhealthy operating conditions in industrial sites, acknowledging the complexity of industrial applications, and more. Temperature sensors can be digital or analog sensors, and they are widely used in many factories and industrial plants to ensure that they are operating under healthy circumstances.
Torque Sensors are essential in manufacturing because they play one of the prominent roles during operations and mounting. They detect mechanical stops, optimise guard and raise overload capacities, and more. Torque Sensors can mainly be of two types as Torque Transducers and Rotating Torque Sensors. This type of sensor is used in measuring masses, a moment of inertia, high rotation speeds, oscillating torque speed, maintenance needs, and more. Practically, these sensors are helpful in stopping surplus capacities and providing extra support and safety when moving heavy loads.
Tactile Sensors or Touch Sensors are electronic sensors that detect, record and trigger during physical touch. There are many types of Touch Sensors like Resistive Touch Sensors and Capacitive Touch Sensors. Everyday use of Touch Sensors can be seen in Oximeters, where it measures the oxygen levels in a human body using a touch-based sensor; this can be used even at home in the convenience of one’s own comfort. More examples of Touch Sensors are the use of software applications to operate AGV networks, turn on/off lights, control robots, elevators, doors, and many more mechanical actions.
Vacuum Sensors are devices used to compare vacuum pressures of liquids and gases against atmospheric pressure. It detects the near absence of liquid and gas pressures and triggers actions based on the user’s demands. There are many designs of Vacuum Sensors as Low and Medium-High Vacuum Designs. They can also detect additional pressure readings like the pressure of gauges, positive and negative, differential, absolute and more. Vacuum Sensors are mainly used in freeze drawings, detecting helium leaks, sterilising, monitoring metallurgical processes, chemical processing, and many other applications in various industries.
Gyroscopes, IMU (Inertial Measurement Units), e-Compasses, Accelerometers are some of the general examples of Vibration Sensors. These types of sensors are used to detect changes of frequencies closer to it using MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) accelerometer elements. It uses MEMS to measure the variations of vibrations and capture frequency fluctuations to deliver critical insights to diagnose errors, suboptimal performances, failing industrial assets, and a handful of other noteworthy measurements that industrial practitioners cannot afford to overlook to maintain their asset spreads. One of the main uses of these sensors is that it triggers real-time alarms when assets in disparate locations undergo extreme shocks or sudden detrimental environmental changes, in such occasions, the asset managers can take agile decisions.