Wherever Detection and Confirmation Are Needed, Our Sensors Are Ready to Step Up to the Challenge

EMX Industries offers a complete line of automotive sensor types for multiple applications. But depending on the part, line speed, and other factors, you might be unsure which sensor to use — and why it’s the right one for your application. Here, we’ll break down several common applications along with the ideal automotive sensor types. 

5 Automotive Sensor Types to Consider

1. Tire Splices

Automotive sensor type used: OPAX Opacity Sensor

Tire manufacturers working with rubber will often lay the material out in a sheet. The ends of two separate sheets will overlap one another. It’s this overlap that must be detected as the material passes along a production line. There are two specific detection needs: 1) recognizing material thickness and 2) keeping up with a fast line speed.

The OPAX opacity sensor shines in this application because it shoots an infrared light through the rubber material. As the overlap passes underneath, the sensor recognizes less light transmission — thus triggering the sensor and identifying the presence of a splice. And because the OPAX has a 100-microsecond discrete output response, it can easily keep up with faster automotive production lines (e.g. 1.5 meters per second).

2. Robotic Arm Integration

Automotive sensor type used: ColorMax Color Sensor

As robotics grow in adoption due to labor shortages and an increased desire for more automation, the need to integrate sensor solutions into them has also increased. In the automotive industry, manufacturers use robotic arms to automate color verification — an example of which includes verifying the color of trim materials. Whether the sensor is being integrated into the arm itself or the arm is placing components in front of a sensor, what matters is accuracy, speed, and consistency.

In this application, the ColorMax series of color sensors is often used thanks to its ease of integration and rapid detection speed. The ColorMax can provide a relative RGB reading that determines a percentage of each color. If the color reading is within the manufacturer’s acceptable threshold, then the part is good to go. The ColorMax also provides color and luminosity, which is useful for obtaining color readings between glossy and matte materials.

3. Grease, Inks, and Other Marks

Automotive sensor type used: UVX-600G-C Luminescence Sensor

In the automotive industry, a variety of parts and components either have materials that contain luminescent tracers — such as inks, greases, and adhesives — or have a luminescent mark applied to them for quality control. A sensor is needed to verify the presence of these luminescent materials as they pass along production lines. 

The UVX luminescence sensor — in particular, the UVX-600G-C — is used thanks to its ultraviolet light emission that causes the luminescent material to fluoresce, or glow. It’s this reaction that is detected, allowing the manufacturer to confirm the presence of the material. The 600G-C is often used thanks to 0-99 display range, which allows manufacturers to verify luminescent strength based on a set figure, as well as its extremely high sensitivity and operating range.

4. Tin-Side Glass

Automotive sensor type used: UVX Tin-Side Sensor

Glass is used in multiple automotive applications. During the manufacturing process, molten glass is floated over a bed of tin. Some of this tin is absorbed into the glass, but it’s not visible to the human eye once the glass is cooled and formed. It’s this tin-side that must be detected, as it can cause adverse effects during subsequent manufacturing processes. 

To ensure the tin-side of glass is identified before coatings are applied to the glass or when shaping it for another product, the UVX Tin-Side sensor is often integrated into production environments thanks to its mounting hardware. This is a far more reliable method than hand-held options as it allows manufacturers to set a specific threshold on a 0–99 reading scale. If a reading exceeds the acceptable figure, the sensor is triggered.

5. Matte vs. Glossy Detection

Automotive sensor type used: CNTX Contrast Sensor

A number of automotive materials feature glossy and matte surfaces. Examples include interior trim, vinyl, leather, fabrics, and plastics. Identifying these materials and even verifying the level of the matte or glossy surface is crucial to ensure that production processes are moving smoothly and the resulting product matches quality standards.

Here, the CNTX contrast sensor series is most valuable, as it can rapidly distinguish between matte and glossy surfaces thanks to the latter reflecting more light. The sensor provides an output reading on a scale of 0–50, allowing manufacturers to set a specific threshold that indicates an acceptable or target level for specific products. And because it’s one of the fastest sensors we offer, it can keep up with virtually any production line speed.

Find the Right Automotive Sensor Types for Your Application

EMX Industries offers complimentary sample testing on any material. Simply reach out and let us know what you’re looking to identify, verify, or measure. Our expert engineering team will find the right automotive sensor types for your application, conduct testing, and provide a full report detailing the results along with recommendations for use.

Get in touch today to request a sample and to learn more about our automotive sensor solutions.