Why Sensors are Needed in Manufacturing Environments
Sensors used in manufacturing play a critical role not only in ensuring overall quality but also in helping companies confirm the performance of their manufacturing processes. They achieve this through two common functions:
- Detection — Fluctuations in the process are often undetectable to the human eye, so sensors are needed to identify them. Even a very minor variation can indicate that an upstream process is at risk. It’s important to catch these as soon as they occur before they cause more voluminous and costly problems.
- Verification — In addition to catching potential issues, sensors used in manufacturing are also integrated into production environments so they can confirm that current processes are accurate. This helps manufacturers know that everything leading up to verification is working as it should be.
Here, we’ll explore several different types of sensors used in manufacturing, whether for detection or verification and provide additional resources that you can use to determine if this sensor type is right for your application.
Sample, select, succeed — Unsure which sensor is right for you? Get a complimentary sample analysis and recommendation. Learn more about sample testing here.
1. UVX Luminescence Sensor
The UVX luminescence sensor is ideal for detecting and verifying the presence of materials or markings that fluoresce (glow) when they are hit with ultraviolet light. Examples include greases, inks, paints, adhesives, and optical brighteners. The sensor sees this reaction and can trigger an output response as needed. A number of models are available depending on your specific application and detection needs.
- See how the UVX is used in the automotive industry
- Learn the difference between luminescence and phosphorescence
- Explore two UVX models commonly used for glue detection
2. ColorMax Color Sensor
Countless applications require confirming the value and luminosity of color on parts and components. The ColorMax color sensor line is ideal for these and is available in two models based on the need: one for standard color detection needs and one for translucent materials (ColorMax VIEW). Multiple models are available within these categories, allowing you to choose from models that detect up to 15 colors, different outputs, and different spot sizes. The sensor comes with PC-based configuration software, enabling extremely precise thresholds and usage settings.
- Learn how the ColorMax is used to verify color on automotive trim and parts
- Explore various applications for the ColorMax sensor in an industrial setting
- Learn the differences between color sensors and contrast sensors
- See how the ColorMax is used for detection in 3D printing applications
3. BriteX Brightness Sensor
Applications requiring an understanding of the brightness level of a material — such as paper, textiles, and even sugar — will benefit from the BriteX brightness sensor. The BriteX line can detect differences in color, brightness, and surface texture and features up to 99 different levels of relative brightness, allowing for precise measurements and thus greater quality control. It’s fast and easy to set up, configure, and operate, and even has greater operating range options than any competing sensor in the market.
- Learn what makes the BriteX an ideal solution for multiple applications
- See how the BriteX sensor is used to detect transparent tape
- See how the BriteX sensor measures ICUMSA values for sugar
4. CNTX Contrast Sensor
Contrast sensors are ideal for a number of high-speed verification and detection purposes. They help to measure not only different levels of grayscale (for example: registration marks in printing, bar codes, etc.) but also the differences in surface sheen (glossy vs. matte). This makes them incredibly flexible. At EMX, our CNTX contrast sensor is one of our fastest solutions available with a rapid 40 kHz switching speed. Multiple models are available with various spot sizes, gain selections, and more.
- Watch a few videos showcasing different use cases for the CNTX sensor
- Learn how contrast sensors are used in the pharmaceutical industry
- Learn about sensor switching speeds (with a CNTX example) and why it matters
- See how the CNTX sensor is used for detecting tamper-evident safety seals
5. LabelX Label Sensor
The LabelX label sensor is ideal for applications requiring the detection of different label types. The sensor is configured to measure the gap between labels and can be used on a variety of label types and adhesive backings. Two models are available: one for standard, low-contrast labels (LBX-50) and one for nearly-clear or more difficult labels (LBX-100). The latter model also features a Custom Teach-In mode for more precise configuration.
- Watch a video showing how LabelX works and how to configure it
- Learn why the LabelX is the sensor of choice for splice detection
- Learn how the benefits of LabelX translate into production success
6. OPAX Opacity Sensor
In industries such as food, pharmaceutical, and personal care, understanding how light interacts with packaging and affects the products within is crucial to maximizing longevity and protecting them. The OPAX opacity sensor helps you do exactly that. Consisting of a transmitter and receiver, the OPAX measures how much light passes through materials such as HDPE, LDPE, films, and more.
- See the OPAX in action in two application example videos
- Learn how the OPAX is used to verify opacity in plastic film
- Explore three distinct advantages of using an opacity sensor
7. PMX Particulate Monitoring Sensor
A number of industrial and commercial applications require understanding the amount of particulate matter, or PM, in the air at any time. Examples include commercial kitchens, production facilities, and environmental monitoring. For these applications, the PMX particulate monitoring sensor is the most ideal solution. It measures the amount of light transmission in the air; as PM increases, light decreases — and the PMX measures this difference. Additionally, it enables greater energy savings by only triggering an output once transmission levels hit a certain point versus keeping ventilation systems on 24/7.
- Learn how the PMX assists with measuring smoke density
- Learn how commercial kitchens measure PM using the PMX
- Go deeper into the features and benefits of the PMX sensor
Next Steps: Talk to Our Experts
Whether you already know what kind of sensor you need or you’re just getting started in your search, our team is here to assist you. We offer complimentary sample testing on our sensors to help you find the right model and to identify the best configuration settings for your material and application.