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Increasing the range of an inductive proximity sensor generally requires increasing its size. This results in bulkier sensors that may be more costly and more difficult to mount in confined spaces. Balluff Inc. of Florence, Ky., said that it has designed a method to increase the target range to 97 mm, or 3.8 inches, with an inexpensive, small-diameter sensor.

The system, called Prox Actuator, uses a threaded stainless steel actuator mounted in the traditional through-hole style, so that the extended end of a spring-loaded plunger comes into contact with the target. The other end mounts in an anodized aluminum-mounting clamp along with a 4- or 8-mm prox sensor, depending on the model. When contact with the target is made, the plunger is pushed back and the change is detected by the prox. As the target moves away, the spring returns the plunger to its original extended position.

The system saves money by requiring only a small, inexpensive prox that is isolated from damage that might occur by accidental target contact. The sensors are designed for limited space or hazardous environments, as well as for situations in which the target is of a nonmetallic material and not detectable by an inductive prox. Actuators can withstand impact to 100 newtons. Approximate cost of the system, including bracket and extender, can be under $50. Mounting clamps enable the actuator to be mounted either straight or at right angles.

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Title Annotation:developed by Balluff Inc.
Comment:LONGER-RANGE PROXIMITY SENSING.(developed by Balluff Inc.)
Author:DeGaspari, John
Publication:Mechanical Engineering-CIME
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2001

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