Understanding Color Detection Sensors and Their Applications

Color detection sensors are a critical part of manufacturing lines in multiple industries today. From small parts in automotive production lines to bottles and packaging in pharmaceuticals and consumer goods, using a color detection sensor not only ensures high-quality parts but also helps to confirm manufacturing and quality control processes. And in these industries, accuracy and quality are foremost requirements.

At EMX Industries, our ColorMax line of color detection sensors leads the industry in a variety of ways. With options ranging from opaque color and luminosity detection to sensors designed for translucent materials, our ColorMax sensors are a rugged, high-speed, and high-performance solution for today’s rapid manufacturing lines. Here,  we’ll provide several important considerations to help you navigate finding the right color sensor for your application.

Key Considerations for Choosing the Right Type of Color Detection Sensor

  • Spot size — Understanding the size of the target object or space is crucial because sensor spot sizes vary widely. It’s important that the spot size you choose isn’t larger than the object/area being measured, otherwise the sensor will read the nearby environment. With the ColorMax line, spot sizes of 4 mm, 8 mm, and 25 mm are available. Pick the spot size that is closest to your target while keeping the sensor’s light within the target area size (e.g. for an object or area that is 5 mm, pick a 4 mm spot size sensor — not an 8 mm sensor).
  • Max number of colors recognized — The number of colors that your sensor can be taught is important because you want to ensure those colors are covered. For example, if you need to detect six colors, you would not select a four-color sensor. The ColorMax sensor line offers 1, 4, 7, or 15 color detection options. Note that with ColorMax, sensor performance is consistent across these models but sensors with fewer color outputs are more cost effective.
  • Analog outputs — If your application requires seeing the specific RGB signal levels or values that sensors can detect (and not just a simple Yes/No as to whether a color threshold is met), analog outputs will be required. However, if you’re simply trying to verify the presence of a specific color, analog is not needed.
  • Serial output — If your application also requires the ability to communicate with your sensor (such as via an RS232 cable), serial output will be required. This is a form of electronic communication (RS232 being the standard) that enables you to interface with the color detection sensor without needing to modify it separately.

Explore More Insights into the ColorMax Sensor Line

Browse a variety of application overviews, research, thought leadership, and more regarding our ColorMax sensors and other related industrial automation equipment.

Unsure What Your Application Demands?

Get in touch with our team today. Our expert engineers will help you assess your application to identify the right ColorMax color detection sensor for your production needs. A number of models are available, and it’s important to select the right one using the details above along with other application-specific parameters.

To support you even further, we also offer complimentary sample testing. Simply reach out to us and let us know some details about your application, then send in a sample of the target material. We’ll use the ColorMax line of sensors on it and recommend the type and model that will best suit you. You’ll receive a report with details on how the sensor performed, any integration or usage recommendations, and photos where applicable. 

Connect with us now to get started.