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Industrial Sensors

Nimsiri Abhayasinghe

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


Industrial Sensors
Input devices in industrial environment
Two main types
Sensors used for Industrial Automation
To detect objects
To measure distance to an object
Sensors used in Process Control
To measure physical quantities such as Temperature,
Pressure, etc.

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Sensors Used in Industrial Automation
Optical Sensors
Inductive Sensors
Capacitive Sensors
Magnetic Sensors
Ultrasonic Sensors

Reference: http://www.pepperl-fuchs.com

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Output Types
Proximity Sensors
Transistor Outputs (DC 24V)
PNP
NPN
Relay Outputs
DC 24V
AC 110 / 240V

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Output Types
Distance Measuring Sensors
Analog Output
Voltage Output: 0 / 2V to 10V
Current Output: 0 / 4mA to 20mA
Digital Output
8-bit Outputs
Serial Outputs such as RS232
Combination of above types
Analog O/P + One or more Digital O/P types

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Supply Voltage
DC Supply
24V DC

AC Supply
110V or 240V depending upon the main
supply voltage

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Optical (Photoelectric) Sensors
Single Path Light Beam Switches
Reflex Light Beam Switches
Reflection Light Scanners
Distance Measuring Optical Sensors
Special types of Optical Sensors

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Single Path Light Beam Switches
The emitter and receiver of the single path
light beam switch are housed in different
cases that are separated from each other.
The emitter (E) transmits directly to the
receiver (R). If an object (O) interrupts the
light beam, the receiver voltage drops and
the switching function is initiated.

Typically, single path light beam switches are


used to monitor production and packaging
lines to measure full state in transparent
containers or as a safety measure for doors
and hazardous areas.

Also known as Through-Beam Sensors

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Single Path Light Beam Switches
Characteristics
Detects opaque and reflecting objects
Large operating range and high stability control, since
the light beam only covers the signal path once
Not significantly affected by interference, and
therefore suitable for applications in difficult
conditions, for example applications outside of
buildings or in dirty environments
Additional installation expense, since both units need
to be mounted and wired

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Special Versions of Single Path Light
Beam Switches
Fork type light beam switches
If there is only a small distance in space to
cover, a few millimeters or centimeters,
the two can be arranged in a u shaped
housing one next to the other.
Light Grids
An array emitters are combined together
in a single housing. This also applies to all
receivers whose switch outputs are
logically connected.
- For security applications

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Reflex Light Beam Switches
The reflex light beam switch contains the
emitter and receiver in a single housing.
The light from the transmitter is beamed
back from a reflector to the receiver. If the
beam of light is interrupted, the switching
function is initiated.

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Special Types of Reflex Light Beam
Switches
Reflex Light Beam Switches with Polarization Filter
To detect reflective objects
Polarization filters are used
Reflector modifies the polarization plane by 90
Reflective objects does not modify the polarization plane

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Special Types of Reflex Light Beam
Switches
Reflex Light Beam Switches with Polarization
Filter
Characteristics
Detects opaque objects even with glossy and reflective
surfaces
With reduced stability, it is also possible to detect clear
glass
Minimal time and expense for installation since the
electrical connection is only necessary on the light beam
switches side.

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Reflection Light Scanners
Based on the same principle as a
reflex light beam switch
No reflector is used
Light reflected from the recorded
object is evaluated by the receiver
Detection range is less compared
to reflex light beam switches due to
diffuse reflection
Also known as Diffuse Mode
Sensors

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Special Types of Reflection Light
Scanners
Reflection light scanners with background suppression
Designed to achieve a defined detection range with any objects,
independent of its brightness, color or other properties such as
the brightness of the background
Characteristics:
A nearly constant detection range on diffusely reflecting materials
with sharply differing re-emission levels
Dark objects in front of a bright background are reliably recorded
Not sensitive to interfering reflections of objects outside the
adjusted detection range
High stability control
Inexpensive installation since the sensor consists of only one unit and
no reflector is required

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Special Types of Reflection Light
Scanners
Reflection light scanners with background suppression

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Special Types of Reflection Light
Scanners
Reflection light scanner with background analysis
In addition to background suppression foreground evaluation is
used
No blind areas

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Special Types of Reflection Light
Scanners
Print mark scanners or contrast sensors
Evaluates differences in brightness between a material and the
markings made on it
Luminescence sensors
Uses modulated Ultraviolet light
Color sensors
Detects colors

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Distance Measuring Optical Sensors
Emitter generates sinusoidal intensity
modulated steady light with a modulation
of the order of magnitude of several MHz
Phase difference between the emitted and
reflected waves give a measure of the
distance to the object
With or without reflector
Maximum detectable distance is higher
when reflector is used

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Distance Measuring Optical Sensors

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Inductive Proximity Sensors
An inductive proximity switch consists
mainly of three functional blocks:
Oscillator
Trigger circuit
Output switching device

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Inductive Proximity Sensors
Oscillator begins Oscillations and takes on a defined current
The electromagnetic field produced by the oscillator coil is
oriented by a ferrite core
The effective field of the sensor is thereby focused through the
active face of the sensor
If a target made of an electrically conductive material is positioned
near the active face, eddy currents are induced within this target
The resulting power loss leads to a reduction in the quality factor
of the resonant circuit and the oscillator amplitude consequently
falls
This is evaluated by the relayed trigger circuit, which activates the
output switching device once a certain amplitude is reached
Since the quality factor of the resonant circuit and hence also the
oscillator amplitude are dependent on the distance of the
conductive target from the active face of the proximity switch, an
output signal is obtained whenever this distance falls below a
certain value

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Inductive Proximity Sensors
Restrictions
Only Conductive materials can be detected
Eddy current generation depends upon the
material and hence the fall of the oscillator
output

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Capacitive Proximity Sensors
Active component of a capacitive
proximity switch consists of a disk-shaped
sensor electrode and a cup-shaped shield
These two electrodes form a capacitor
with a base capacitance of CG
The capacitance changes by the amount
C as a target approaches the sensor

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Capacitive Proximity Sensors

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Capacitive Proximity Sensors
The capacitor is part of an RC generator
Its output voltage U is dependent on the
effective capacitance Ca = CG + C
between the sensor electrode and the
shield potential
A threshold detector detects whether
the object is closer than a certain limit
and it triggers the output

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Capacitive Proximity Sensors
Advantage
Can detect all types of objects

Disadvantage
High false alarm probability in hash conditions
such as dust, grease, etc.

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Magnetic Proximity Sensors
Used to detect the presence of magnets
or ferromagnetic objects
Have a greater operating range and
smaller in design than inductive proximity
switches
Can be fully encapsulated inside metal
housings

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Magnetic Proximity Sensors

Magnetic flux density B of permanent magnet depending on axial coordinate z


(r = 0)

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Magnetic Proximity Sensors

Magnetic flux density B of permanent magnet depending on radial coordinate r


(z = 0)

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Magnetic Proximity Sensors
Operation
The impedance of a coil is measured and evaluated
This is considerably influenced by the coils inductivity, which in
turn is dependent on the reversible permeability of the core
material
The higher the superimposed (external) magnetic field, the
lower the reversible permeability
The lower the reversible permeability, the less the coil
impedance a measure of the intensity of the external magnetic
field
If the sensor coil is supplied with an alternating current I with a
constant amplitude, the resulting voltage U is proportional to the
value of the coil impedance and therefore a measure of the field
intensity

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Magnetic Proximity Sensors
Response Curves
The response curve depends on the
orientation of the magnet

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Magnetic Field Sensors for Hydraulic / Pneumatic
Cylinders Consisting of Ferromagnetic Materials
The magnetic field sensor allows the position of the
piston to be detected in normal steel cylinders as used
in hydraulics / pneumatics
A ring of magnets is installed on the piston in order to
produce a magnetic field within the cylinder wall
The sensor is not designed for use in cylinders made of
non-ferrous materials
The sensor is mounted externally on the cylinder so
that no stationary holes are required and so that the
sensor has no contact with the pressure medium
The position of the switching point can be changed by
simply repositioning the sensor

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Magnetic Field Sensors for Hydraulic / Pneumatic
Cylinders Consisting of Ferromagnetic Materials

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Ultrasonic Sensors
Ultrasonic sensors enable detection, without contact, of any object
irrespective of its:
material (metal, plastic, wood, cardboard, etc.)
nature (solid, liquid, powder, etc.)
colour
degree of transparency
Operating principle
The principle of ultrasonic detection is based on measuring the time
taken between transmission of an ultrasonic wave (pressure wave) and
reception of its echo (return of transmitted wave)
They comprise:
high voltage generator
piezoelectric transducer (transmitter and receiver)
signal processing stage
output stage

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Ultrasonic Sensors

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Ultrasonic Sensors

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Ultrasonic Sensors
Nominal sensing distance (Sn)
Conventional value for indicating the sensing distance. It does not
take into account manufacturing tolerances nor variations caused by
external conditions such as voltage and temperature.
Sensing range (Sd)
Zone in which the sensor is sensitive to objects.
Minimum sensing distance
Lower limit of the specified sensing range.
Maximum sensing distance
Upper limit of the specified sensing range.
Assured operating distance (Sa)
This corresponds to the operating zone of the sensor (activation of
outputs), and is included in the sensing range.
Its limits are fixed:
- at the factory for fixed sensing distance sensors,
- when setting-up within the application for sensors with teach
mode.

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Ultrasonic Sensors
Blind zone
Zone between the sensing face of the sensor and the minimum
sensing distance in which no object can be reliably detected. Avoid
any passing of objects in this blind zone during operation of the sensor.
This could lead to instability of the output states.
Differential travel
The differential travel (H) or histories is the distance between the
pick-up point as the standard metal target moves towards the
sensor and the drop-out point as it moves away from the sensor.
Repeat accuracy
The repeat accuracy (R) is the precision of reproduction between
two successive measurements of the sensing distance, made in identical
conditions.
Overall beam angle
Solid angle around the reference axis of an ultrasonic proximity
sensor.

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Ultrasonic Sensors
Types of Detection
Through beam type
Double sheet detection
Reflex type
Reflex type with separate
receiver
Distance measuring

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Sensors Used in Process Control
Temperature sensors
Pressure sensors
Humidity sensors
Flow sensors
Load Cells

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Electrical Connections
Two wire

Three Wire

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Electrical Connections
Four wire

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Rotary Encoders

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Rotary Encoders

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Temperature Sensors
Resistance Temperature Detectors
(RTD)
Thermistor
Thermocouples
IC sensors

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Temperature Sensors
Resistance Temperature Detectors- RTD
Operate on the principle that the electrical resistance of a metal
changes predictably and in an essentially linear and repeatable manner
with changes in temperature
RTD's are commonly used in sensing air and liquid temperatures in
pipes and ducts, and as room temperature sensors
RTDs are typically characterized by their resistance in Ohms at 0 C
and by their temperature coefficient of resistance (commonly know as
"alpha")
The resistance of a RTD can be expressed mathematically by the
following equation (source i):
R(T) = R0 [1 + (T - T0)]
Where:
R(T) = the resistance at temperature T
R0 = the resistance at reference temperature T0
= temperature coefficient of resistance (alpha)
T0 = a reference temperature (usually 0 C)

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Temperature Sensors
RTD

R0 from 10 to 2000 are available


The accuracy of a RTD sensor is typically
expressed in percentage of R0
accuracies of 0.2% to 0.01% are commonly
available

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Temperature Sensors
RTD wiring diagrams

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Temperature Sensors
Thermistor
Commonly used for sensing air and liquid temperatures in pipes
and ducts, and as room temperature sensors
The term "thermistor" evolved from the phrase thermally
sensitive resistor
Thermistors are temperature sensitive semiconductors that
exhibit a large change in resistance over a relatively small range
of temperature
two main types of thermistors
Positive temperature coefficient (PTC)
Negative temperature coefficient (NTC)
NTC thermistors are commonly used for temperature measurement
Non-linear and cannot be characterized by a single coefficient
Manufacturers commonly provide resistance-temperature data in
curves, tables or polynomial expressions.

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Temperature Sensors
Thermistor
Mathematical expression for thermistor resistance:

R(T) = R0 exp[ (1/T - 1/T0)]


Where:
R(T) = the resistance at temperature T, in K
R0 = the resistance at reference temperature T0, in K
= a constant that varies with thermistor composition
T = a temperature, in K
T0 = a reference temperature (usually 298.15 K)

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Temperature Sensors
Thermistor wiring diagram

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Temperature Sensors
Comparison of Common Temperature Sensors
Sensor Type NTC Thermistor RTD IC Sensor Thermocouple
Measured Property Resistance Resistance Voltage or Current Voltage

Advantages Large Resistance Linear resistance Linear high level Widest operating
change with with temperature output vs temp. range
temperature Good stability Low cost Simple
Rapid response Wide rage of Low cost
time operating temp. Rugged
High resistance Interchangeable No external power
eliminates difficulties over wide supply required
caused by lead temperature range
resistance
Low cost
Good stability
Interchangeable

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Temperature Sensors
Comparison of Common Temperature Sensors
Sensor Type NTC Thermistor RTD IC Sensor Thermocouple
Disadvantages Non-linear Small resistance Limited operating Non-linear
Limited operating change with temperature range Low stability
temperature range temperature Power supply relative to other
Interchangeable Response may be required types
over relatively slower Subject to self Reference junction
narrow temperature Subject to self heating compensation
range heating required
May be subject to Additional wires
inaccuracy due to needed for lead
self heating resistance
Current source compensation
required Some types easily
damage by shock
and vibration
External power
required

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Pressure Sensors
Capacitance Pressure Sensors
Uses a capacitance cell
consists of a diaphragm exposed to the pressure
medium separated from another plate by a fill fluid
When the applied pressure deflects the diaphragm,
the capacitance characteristic of the sensing element
changes
Capacitance cell is a part of an oscillator and the
capacitance change results in a frequency change
Accuracy to 0.1% of full scale is available

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Pressure Sensors
Capacitance Pressure Sensors
The Capacitance Cell

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Pressure Sensors
Variable Resistance Pressure Sensors
Occupies Strain gauges, Piezo-resistive or
Piezoelectric elements
Accuracy better than 0.1% of full scale is
available

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Humidity Sensors
Most common are Relative humidity
sensors
Relative humidity is the ratio of partial water
vapor pressure in an air-water mixture, to the
saturation vapor pressure of water at the
same temperature

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Humidity Sensors
Thin Film Capacitance type
Operate on the principle that changes in relative humidity
cause the capacitance of a sensor, made by laminating a
substrate, electrodes, and a thin film of hygroscopic
polymer material, to change in a detectable and repeatable
fashion
0-100 % relative humidity range with application
temperatures from -40 to 200 F
Common accuracy values of 1%, 2%, and 3%
Affected by temperature such that accuracy decreases as
temperature deviates from the calibration temperature
Sensors with long term stability of <1% per year are
available

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Humidity Sensors
Bulk Polymer Resistance type
Use the principle that resistance change across a polymer
element varies with relative humidity and is measurable
and repeatable
0-100 % relative humidity with application temperatures
from -20 to 140 F
Accuracy values of 2%, 3%, and 5%
Some manufacturers rate their published accuracy to the
20 - 95 % RH ranges
Affected by temperature such that accuracy decreases as
temperature deviates from the calibration temperature
Sensors with long term stability of <1% drift per year are
available

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Flow Sensors
Hot Wire Anemometer
Hot Wire or thermal anemometers operate on the
principle that the amount of heat removed from a
heated temperature sensor by a flowing fluid can be
related to the velocity of that fluid
Usually constructed with a second, unheated
temperature sensor to compensate the instrument
for variations in the temperature of the air
Available as single point instruments for test
purposes, or in multi-point arrays for fixed installation
Better at low airflow measurements

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Flow Sensors
Turbine Based Flow Sensors
Operate on the principle that fluid flowing through the turbine or
propeller will induce a rotational speed that can be related to the fluid
velocity
Available in
Full bore, line mounted versions
Insertion types
Full bore turbine and propeller meters generally offer medium to high
accuracy and turndown capability at reasonable permanent pressure
loss
Turndowns to 100:1 with 0.1% linearity are available
Typical performance of insertion type is 1 % accuracy at 30:1 turndown
Commonly used where good accuracy is required for critical flow
control or measurement for energy computations
Insertion types are used for less critical applications

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Flow Sensors
Magnetic Flow Sensors
Operate based upon Faraday's Law of
electromagnetic induction
E=kBDV
E Induced EMF
V Velocity of the conductor
D Width of the conductor
B Strength of the magnetic field
Used to measure the flow rate of conducting liquids
(including water) where a high quality low
maintenance measurement system is desired
Cost is high relative to many other meter types
Typical performance is 30:1 turndown at 0.5%
accuracy

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Flow Sensors
Magnetic Flow Sensors

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Flow Sensors
Ultrasonic Flow Sensors
Measure the velocity of sound waves
propagating through a fluid between to points
on the length of a pipe
Operate on the Doppler Effect
Non-intrusive and available at moderate cost
Accuracies of 1 to 5%

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Flow Sensors
Target Flow Sensors
Consists of a disc or a "target" which is centered in a pipe
Target surface is positioned at a right angle to the fluid flow
A direct measurement of the fluid flow rate results from the
force of the fluid acting against the target
Useful for dirty or corrosive fluids
Require no external connections, seals, or purge systems
Commonly used for liquid flow measurement and less
commonly applied to steam and gas flow
Offer turndowns up to 20:1 with accuracy around 1%

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Flow Sensors
Target Flow Sensors

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Homework
Find the construction, operation, types
and other details of following chemical
sensors.
pH
Conductivity
gas

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