Ultrasonic sensors for distance ranging applications - Environmental
Distance measuring applications are numerous and ideally suited to the flexibility and high performance of our ToughSonic sensors. Used both indoors and outside, these applications include everything from measuring roll diameters and controlling web loops in converting machinery, to scanning plant heights for phenotyping, to measuring the flying height of America’s Cup boats. Our General Purpose ultrasonic sensors are fully user-configurable and connect with all types of industrial equipment. Cross-talk prevention is built-in for multi-sensor applications such as conveyor belt load profiling or multiple sensors on converting machinery with both unwind and rewind sensors.
Senix ToughSonic Ultrasonic Sensors measure distance to target objects or materials through the air using “non-contact” technology that does not touch or damage the target. They are easy to use and reliable, and used in hundreds of applications around the world in all industries. For liquid level measurement please see our Tank Level Applications or Water Monitoring Applications.
- Factory Automation
- Material Handling
- Paper, Foil, Film
Whether used indoors or out, ToughSonic sensors can take abuse. Solid state electronic components are epoxy potted into stainless steel housings, and there are no mechanical parts to break. IEC compliant electrical interfaces are protected from reversed connections and over-voltages.
These distance measurement sensors connect with all common types of automation and telemetry equipment. Applications range from simple analog connections to sophisticated multi-sensor data networks. Our sensors are cost effective because flexible connectivity is embedded in the sensor’s software – power that you can unlock with the SenixVIEW PC software included with every sensor. Push-button “teach” is also included in many models.
- Type 316 stainless steel housings
- Sealed epoxy potted construction
- Ruggedized piezoelectric ultrasonic transducers
- Liquid tight IP68 immersion rating
- IEC compliant electrical interface protection
- Hardened ToughSonic internal electronics
- UV-resistant, potted-in cable
- CE compliant
- Multiple simultaneous outputs: analog, switch and serial data
- Adjust, optimize and manage setups with SenixVIEW PC software
- Connect remotely to, and work safely with sensors embedded in an application
- Filters, timing, initialization and lost target features to optimize performance
- RS-232 or RS-485 serial data options
- RS-485 multi-drop addressable networks
- Multi-sensor synchronization eliminates cross-talk
- Quick sensor duplication without re-calibration
- Push-button “teachable“
- A wide range of materials can be measured, including hard or soft, colored or transparent, flat or curved. Maximum range depends on target size, shape, orientation and sound absorption.
Roll Diameter is measured during the unwinding and re-winding of material rolls ranging from paper and plastics to steel and aluminum. Analog and switch outputs signal motor drives, brakes, clutches or controllers to manage web motion in production. ToughSonic sensors include synchronization features to prevent cross-talk from multiple sensors in close proximity. A typical converting slitter-rewinder is shown at the right.
Loop Control is used to synchronize material webs, tubing or cables moving between different machines. For example, an extruder may form a hose that is then wound onto a take-up reel. The ToughSonic sensor measures the loop’s vertical position from above or below to control either the feed or take-up machine. A continuous analog output can provide a feedback signal to a motor drive or machine controller to maintain a constant loop position, preventing the material from either breaking (tight loop) or reaching the floor and causing damage.
Web Break detection is used in printing and converting machines to shut down the process as quickly as possible to minimize jamming and prevent machine damage if the web breaks. ToughSonic sensor measurements can be as fast as 5 milliseconds and are user configured with SenixVIEW setup software, yielding fine control over the range of detection distance, filtering and timing parameters to provide quick and precisely timed shut-down commands.
Objects on a conveyor can be dimensioned, selected or rejected based on their height, width or length if the object is properly orientated. Roller conveyors can align rectangular boxes to determine the cubic volume while in motion using only three sensors. Such measurements can be used to calculate dimensional weight to select the most economical shipper.
ToughSonic sensors measure the Stack Height of material to detect empty or full conditions, or to provide an estimate of stacked items. Materials may be manually or robotically stacked, with feedback provided electrically or by visual or audible alarms. Materials can be anything from paper in a feeder to boxes or construction materials being accumulated for shipment.
Positioning of objects is a common application for ToughSonic ultrasonic sensors. The measured distance can be used to display, verify and/or control an object’s position in real-time. They are used in material handling and vehicle positioning applications, such as vehicles on a scale, loading dock or car wash. Objects can be discriminated by height, such as the size of a truck at a loading dock. Applications can detect the presence, absence or set off an alarm based on time delays.
The Width of objects can be determined in open air using two sensors if the object is properly aligned. One such application is measuring roll width to confirm proper size when loading a press or converting machine. Width (or any dimension) can also be measured with a single sensor if the object is always positioned against a “zero” reference surface such as a conveyor belt when measuring height.
The ToughSonic General Purpose and ToughSonic CHEM product lines all have multiple analog and switch outputs compatible with most industrial equipment, plus a serial data communications interface for SenixVIEW software setup or user applications.
Analog outputs can be proportional to tank level or volume. Switch outputs can control pumps and valves, or indicate low or high alarm conditions. Simple level controls can be created with only a sensor and an external relay option. Outputs are user-configured with SenixVIEW setup software. Setups are permanently stored in the sensor, and can be saved and duplicated in other sensors without re-calibrating. Some models have 5 simultaneous outputs while others have 2 SenixVIEW selected outputs. All sensors have a serial data interface, and all outputs operate concurrently.