Sensors for the Machinery Sector – Summary

Sensors used in the machinery industry comprise proximity sensors, position sensors, force sensors, pressure sensors, flow sensors as well as cameras and electric current sensors.

 

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Summary

Sensors used in the machinery industry comprise proximity sensors, position sensors, force sensors, pressure sensors, flow sensors as well as cameras and electric current sensors.

The use of sensors in the machinery industry is stimulated and determined by sensors for internal as well as external functions. Sensors used for internal functions are needed to increase the positional accuracy and ease-of-use of these machines. The global demand for these sensors is determined by the quantity of machinery axes and drives. External sensors are needed in the machinery periphery to receive information on the surroundings and to enable fully automatic feeding of workpieces. Robots may adjust themselves to variations in object locations.

Machine tools are expected to become smarter, faster and more energy efficient. The major sensors demand is coming from manufacturers of CNC machine tools. Manufacturers of PLC controlled machine tools, too, are requiring a multitude of sensors. Proximity sensors, rotary and linear position sensors, temperature sensors and light curtains are examples of sensors used in machine tools and flexible manufacturing cells. Sensors in conjunction with sophisticated drives and controls enable machine tools with higher degrees of automation, higher versatility as well as improved safety and energy efficiencies.

Industrial robots are expected to become smarter and more versatile. Robots may serve mass production as well as mass customization purposes. The latter application is increasing rapidly. High-precision handling applications are using self-verifying vision guidance systems. Deburring and assembly robots may use force- or torque-guided insertion. Robots used in pipelines for inspection purposes make use of ultrasonic sensors.

Other machinery comprises woodworking machines, textile machines, paper and printing machines, plastics and packaging machines, agricultural machines, construction machines, testing machines, cleaning machines and many more. Sensors used are proximity sensors, position sensors, temperature sensors, vibration sensors, tilt sensors, thickness sensors, industrial cameras and pressure sensors. Besides flexible automation, faster speeds and higher precision, sensors serve to improve resource and energy efficiency as well as to enable condition-based monitoring of machines and machinery components.


Conclusion

The sensors demand in the machinery industry is stimulated by the demand for higher automation, higher energy and resource efficiency requirements, improved safety standards and higher machinery versatility. Generally, a trend towards safer and smarter machines can be observed.

Proximity sensors, position sensors, cameras, temperature sensors, pressure sensors as well as vibration and thickness sensors play a major role. Some machinery applications require force sensors, load cells, torque sensors and tilt sensors. Mobile machines are increasingly using navigation sensors.

 

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