Advantages of Photoelectric sensor | Disadvantages of Photoelectric sensor

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Photoelectric sensor. It mentions Photoelectric sensor advantages and Photoelectric sensor disadvantages.

Definition of Photoelectric sensor:
The photoelectric sensor does conversion of light into electrical signal and vice versa. It uses transmitter (e.g. light emitting element) and receiver (e.g. light detecting element). There are different types of photoelectric sensors based on its construction and applications of use viz. reflective, thrubeam and retroreflective.

Light Sensor

Reflective or diffuse photoelectric sensor: Sensor has transmitting and receiving part in the same housing package. Transmitter part transmits light and receiver part receives reflected light from the target.
Thrubeam photoelectric sensor : In this type, transmitter (Tx) and receiver (Rx) parts are separately placed. Hence when target comes in between the transmit and receive part, light gets interrupted.
Retroreflective photoelectric sensor : This mechanism uses Tx and Rx in the same housing and also uses reflector which is placed in LOS (Line of Sight) of the sensor. The lights are continuously transmitted and received after reflection from the reflector. When there are no target objects in between the light path, received reflection is high. When any object comes in between, the light gets interrupted and hence received light energy is less than the transmitted one.
The photoelectric sensor or light sensor is used for variety of applications viz. material handling, packaging, detection of parts etc.
Refer Light sensor basics and types >> for more information.

Advantages of Photoelectric sensor

Following are the advantages of Photoelectric sensor:
➨It senses all kinds of materials.
➨It has longer life.
➨It has long sensing range and very reliable.
➨It has very fast response time.
➨It is less costly.
➨Diffuse photoelectric sensor detects small objects including color mark and label detection.
➨Retro-reflective type can detect transparent objects.
➨Thru beam type can detect long range and it is tolerant of dirty environment.

Disadvantages of Photoelectric sensor

Following are the disadvantages of Photoelectric sensor:
➨Over coarse of time lens get contaminated.
➨It's sensing range is affected due to color and reflectivity of the target.
➨Thru beam type requires transmitter (Tx) and receiver (Rx) at two separate locations. Retroreflective type requires reflector in addition to Tx/Rx. This makes system installation complex.

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