Omron Releases New Time-of-Flight Photoelectronic Sensors
Jakub R. Stach posted on November 08, 2019 |
The E3AS sensors. (Image courtesy of OMRON.)
The E3AS sensors. (Image courtesy of OMRON.)

Omron Automation, a provider of industrial automation technology, has launched its new E3AS Series Reflective-Type Photoelectric Sensors. The company claims the sensors provide accurate detection with a large sensing distance and environmental robustness—all in a compact size.

The E3AS sensors use the time-of-flight (TOF) detection method, which measures the time elapsed between sending a signal and receiving its reflection. In contrast, the triangulation method of detection depends on the position where reflected light is received, which varies with the reflective properties of the target material. TOF’s dependence on time, rather than reflective properties, allows for accurate measurements of low-reflective materials (such as black rubber) without requiring additional adjustments or other specialized equipment.

The time-of-flight method (left) versus the triangulation method (right). TOF calculates the output distance based on time elapsed between the light emission and reception after it is reflected off the target. (Image courtesy of Omron.)
The time-of-flight method (left) versus the triangulation method (right). TOF calculates the output distance based on time elapsed between the light emission and reception after it is reflected off the target. (Image courtesy of Omron.)

The E3AS sensors provide a sensing range from 50mm to 1500mm, five times the distance of previous Omron models. The company claims that this wide sensing range is sufficient for most applications, eliminating the need for users to select different sensors for different tasks. The sensors are coated with an antifouling coating on the sensing surface, which reduces false detections and minimizes maintenance needs in environments with oil, dust or steam.

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