Sensors • Ultrasonic Sensors

Used to generate high frequency sound waves to calculate the time interval between sending and receiving the signal to determine distance to an object.

 Ultrasonic sensors are devices that convert energy into sound waves that cannot be heard by humans (i.e., ultrasound). The term applies to piezoelectric transducers that convert electrical energy (rather than air pressure) into sound, which moves toward a target and reflects back to the sensor; because they can both send and receive, they are sometimes referred to as tranceivers. They are used in medical probes, tank level controls, and automated factories, generally as proximity or distance sensors.Leading manufacturers: Parallax, Migatron, Keyence America and Senix Corp. 

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  • Madison Co.

    Madison Co. offers a variety of ultrasonic level sensors, including: sensors with a range of up to 90', sensors with an LCD display, and compact/short range sensors. Sensors have voltage ratings ranging from 18 to 24 VDC, resolutions ranging from 0.04" to 0.27", and a maximum operating frequency of 180 kHz. Housing material options include: Aluminum PVC-94V0, POM rings, stainless steel, tempered glass, etc.

  • Schneider Electric

    Four types of ultrasonic sensors: Barrel sensors come in 12, 18, and 30 mm diameters, as well as in plastic or metal housing, and provide proximity, analog, or dual-level sensing. Dual mount sensors are 18 mm diameter, and can be configured with a flat profile for specific mounting needs, while miniature flat profile sensors are 33 mm x 12 mm and offer ranges up to 304.8 mm. Tthe subcompact flat profile sensor is 74 mm x 30 mm with a standard silicone rubber face and sensing window up to 305 mm.  UL, CE, and RoHS approved.

  • Automation Products Group, Inc. (APG SENSORS)

    APG mfrs. an array of ultrasonic sensors. The network/web-enabled unit, with a 2" NPT mounting,  offers a 1 to 25 ft. detection range to calculate the level or volume of a tank or vessel. Loop-powered sensors provide a 1' to 25' measurement range and 1' to 10' detection range on granules and bulk solids. The IRU-2000 Series sensors are designed for applications such as presence/absence detection, proximity detection, and level control, and offer programmable filtering options. Ultrasonic controllers and collision avoidance system are also offered.

  • Gems Sensors & Controls

    Gems ULS Series of ultrasonic sensors are designed for sensing both viscous and light liquids, such as acid, fron, paint, and lacquer. With welded, sealless stainless steel probes, they can withstand high temperatures and pressures without risk of leaking. The sensors are housed in cast aluminum and are NEMA 4/NEMA7 explosion-proof and water tight. Single-point and mult-point level sensors include the company's smallest model, the ULS1, for pressures up to 250 psig, as well as the ULS10 and ULS100 explosion-proof models, and space-saving ULS11 model, all with lengths to 99".

  • Omega Engineering, Inc.

    Omega Engineering carries four models of ultrasonic sensors that are not sensitive to changes in viscosity, density, or conductivity. These sensors come with a 1A SPST relay standard, and are also NEMA 6-, IP68-rated, resistant to vapor and turbulence, and compatible with LVM-50 Series single switch fitting assemblies. The four models are the PP, with either 3" x 0.75" NPT or 4.5" x 0.75" NPT, or PFA, with the same choice of NPT measurements. The company also carries single- and dual-sensor level controllers and other sensor controllers.

  • Baumer Ltd.

    Baumer Ltd. offers a variety of ultrasonic sensors with many performance options. Product families include proximity sensors with switching output, through beam sensors, retro-reflective sensors, and distance measuring sensors, while sensing distance maximums begin at 100 mm and go up to 3,000 mm. Sensors come in either cylindrical or rectangular types, and can come with special features like chemical resistance and 2 switching points. Response times are all <160 ms.

  • Fife Corp.

    Fife offers four types of ultrasonic sensors. The SE-37 model is the company's largest ultrasonic sensor; it provides a 1" control range, 3" sensing gap, and temperature stabilization, and is unaffected by optical variation or ambient light, eliminating the need for multiple sensors. The TruWide SE-45 features 16 bit resolution and accommodates center or edge guiding with proportional band widths ranging from 2.6" to 20.28". The SE-31 mini sensor is the company's smallest ultrasonic unit, and guides both clear and opaque materials with a control range of 0.3" and sensing gaps of either 1" or 2". Lastly, the SE-31 is intrinsically safe for performance in hazardous locations, Class I, Division 1, Groups C and D. Its control range of 7.62 mm and its sensing gap is 50.8 mm.

  • Migatron Corp.

    Migatron's ultrasonic sensors are used for range measurements, tank level control, web brake, and proximity detection, even in difficult environments and with challenging reflection surfaces. Self-contained products include the RPS models, from the RPS-150 broad beam sensor with 2" to 40" or 5" to 80" ranges, to the RPS-450 and 475 proximity sensors with 5" to 30" and 10" to 72" ranges. Intrinsically safe models are also available with ranges from 4" to 18', as are high accuracy sensors that feature +/-0.002" accuracy and +/-0.001" resolution. Lastly, the company carries seven types of close range sensors, with either broad or narrow beams, for objects within a 30" range.

  • SICK, Inc.

    SICK manufactures several models of ultrasonic sensors, including the UM30-2, UM18, UC4, and UM18. The UM30-2 has short housing and increased measurement performance, with 0.18 mm resolution and 6,000 mm sensing range. Next, the UM18 is housed in metal and meets IP67 standards, while the UC4, the company's smallest ultrasonic sensor, provides excellent detection of optically difficult targets (e.g., shiny, clear, etc.) up to 250 mm away. Finally, the UM18 is a double sheet detector for use with foils, metal sheets, and ultra-fine corrugated cardboards; it has an operation area of 40 mm +/-3 mm.

  • Automation Direct

    Automation Direct offers three lines of ultrasonic proximity sensors. First, the SU Series are 18 mm plastic sensors with adjustable ranges of 100 to 600 mm and 200 to 1,500 mm. They feature complete overload protection, LED status indicators on DC models, and IEC IP67 rating. Second, the TU Series of 30 mm proximity sensors has a sensing range from 300 to 2,500 mm, in addition to many of the same features as found on the SU models. Lastly, the UHZ Series are rectangular, miniature sensors with dimensions of 30 mm x 20 mm x 12 mm. Within this series are four models of through-beam sensors for applications with limited mounting space.

  • Balluff, Inc.

    For position detection, distance measurement and detection of solids, powders, or liquids, Balluff makes five series of ultrasonic sensors. Available series are the 200 mm range M12, 1,500 mm range M18, 3,500 mm range M30, 250 mm range 40.5x26x12, and 6,000 mm range 80x80x50. Particular features carried on certain models include hysteresis and Window functions, synchronization function, variable slope, and remote teach-in.

  • Carlo GAVAZZI Automation Components

    With both M18 and M30 housings, Carlo Gavazzi's UA Series ultrasonic sensors are designed for both distance measurement and object detection in challenging environments. Discrete output types are available for presence and absence detection of even transparent objects, while analog output types are available in 0-10 VDC or 4-20 mA outputs, for measuring target objects such as fluid level in a tank. The UA18 sensors are constructed in 18 mm cylindrical housings with sensing distances up to 2 m; the UA30 come in 30 mm cylindrical housings with sensing up to 3.5 m; and the UC80 Series are made in block style housings for detection up to 6 m.

  • Engineering & Manufacturing Services (EMS)

    Engineering & Manufacturing Services offers Sonarange ultrasonic sensors with a variety of ranges and configurations. The basic SR Series comes in four models with different sensing ranges: the SR6 (10"-72"), SR12 (12"-144"), SR25 (18"-300"), and SR35 (18"-420"). Other options include the Sona Prox ultrasonic proximity sensor that has a range of either 5" to 12" or 10" to 24", 25/s update range, and +/-2% accuracy; Sonarange dual close proximity ranging sensor, with 0.5" to 2" or 2" to 12" range, 100/s update range, and +/-2% accuracy; and Sonarange TBS through-beam ultrasonic switch that senses up to 48".

  • Keyence Corp. of America

    Keyence manufactures the FW Series of multi-reflective ultrasonic sensors that are unaffected by a target's material, color, or luster. The sensors have a maximum detection range of 39.37", as well as a high level reliability due to the new Active Wave Stabilizer (A.W.S.) algorithm that stabilizes detection while avoiding the influence of target vibration or external disturbances.  In addition, their bodies are IP67 rated, and their heads are designed to detect only the nearest object, eliminating the need to consider the background luster or shape, or how the sensor is tilted.

  • Omron Electronic Components

    Omron Industrial Automation features ultrasonic sensors to enable stable detection of transparent objects, such as films, glass bottles, plastic bottles, and plate glass, using through-beam or reflective sensors. The E4C-UDA digital amplifier ultrasonic sensor handles targets of all types, colors, and patterns, with a total measurement range from 50 mm to 1,000 mm and response speed range from 30 ms to 125 ms. The E4B uses an ultrasonic beam (<8 degrees) to detect objects as small as 2 cm x 2 cm at a distance from 5 cm to 1 m, while the E4C is a column-shaped sensor that comes in either through-beam or reflective sensing methods. The final ultrasonic sensor is the E4A-3K unit that has an adjustable sensing distance of 0.3 to 3 m; its operate time is 0.25 s and its release time is 0.5 s.

  • Parallax, Inc.

    Parallax carries PING))) ultrasonic sensors for low-cost, easy distance measurement. With basic pulse in/pulse out communication, they provide non-contact distance measurements within a 2 cm to 3 m range while a burst indicator LED indicates that measurement is in progress. Each sensor is 0.81" x 1.8" x 0.6", with an operating temperature range from +32 to +158 degrees Fahrenheit, and comes with a 3-pin header for soldering-free connection to a servo extension cable.

  • Pepperl + Fuchs, Inc.

    Pepperl+Fuchs features through-beam, direct detection, separate evaluation, and double sheet ultrasonic sensors. These products can be used in any industrial area where environmental conditions such as dust, smoke, or steam may affect the sensor. Through-beam sensors feature long, one-way detection ranges between the transmitter and receiver, and short response times. Direct detection sensors come in both single and dual transducer systems that have a sensing range which depends on the reflectivity of the object, including surface properties and angle of incidence. Finally, sensors for separate evaluation use a separate panel mount controller as an interface between the transducer elements and the user system, while double-sheet sensors are used in the printing industry to measure sheet thickness, from paper (10 g/m2) to cardboard (2,000 g/m2)

  • SSI Technologies, Inc.

    SSI offers three families of ultrasonic liquid level sensors: Fluid-Trac, Acu-Trac SMART 485, and Acu-Trac. Fluid-Trac sensors come in 2-wire/resistive emulation and 3-wire/voltage output models, each with a distance accuracy of +/-0.125", range up to 32" and resolution to 0.07". The Acu-Trac SMART 485 gasoline and diesel level sensors, meanwhile, are designed as direct replacements for level senders on gasoline tanks with depths up to <1.9 m for gas and <2.5 m for diesel; accuracy is within 2% of tank volume. Finally, the basic Acu-Trac is available as regular, NEMA4, or Kynar package NEMA6, for real-time processing of fuel data and messaging over the RS-485 bus. They can be used for tanks with depths of <1.5 m, <1.5 m, and <3 m, respectively, with an accuracy to 2% of tank volume.

  • Allen-Bradley, a Rockwell Automation Brand

    Allen-Bradley ultrasonic sensors are self-contained, solid-state devices for non-contact sensing of solid and liquid objects. The 873C proximity style sensor has a range up to 1 m, and is able to monitor the level of water in a tank or complete similar tasks. The 873P analog/discrete output sensor is meant for sensing solids and liquids, while being protected against shock, vibration, and contamination. Available in 18 and 30 mm barrel diameters, they are constructed from PBT plastic and meet IP67 enclosure standards. The 873E RightSound sensors are designed for demanding environments,  constructed from FDA-compliant silicone rubber for maximum durability and protection, and rated for 1,200 psi washdown and NEMA 4X and 6P standards.