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Proximity Sensors

Proximity Sensors are available in models using high-frequency oscillation to detect ferrous and non-ferrous metal objects and in capacitive models to detect non-metal objects. Models are available with environment resistance, heat resistance, resistance to chemicals, and resistance to water.

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What Are Proximity Sensors?

"Proximity Sensor" includes all sensors that perform non-contact detection in comparison to sensors, such as limit switches, that detect objects by physically contacting them. Proximity Sensors convert information on the movement or presence of an object into an electrical signal. There are three types of detection systems that do this conversion: systems that use the eddy currents that are generated in metallic sensing objects by electromagnetic induction, systems that detect changes in electrical capacity when approaching the sensing object, and systems that use magnets and reed switches.

The Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) define proximity sensors in JIS C 8201-5-2 (Low-voltage switch gear and control gear, Part 5: Control circuit devices and switching elements, Section 2: Proximity sensors), which conforms to the IEC 60947-5-2 definition of non-contact position detection switches.

JIS gives the generic name "proximity sensor" to all sensors that provide non-contact detection of target objects that are close by or within the general vicinity of the sensor, and classifies them as inductive, capacitive, ultrasonic, photoelectric, magnetic, etc.

This Technical Guide defines all inductive sensors that are used for detecting metallic objects, capacitive sensors that are used for detecting metallic or non-metallic objects, and sensors that utilize magnetic DC fields as Proximity Sensors.