This section provides an overview for area sensors as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 10 area sensor manufacturers and their company rankings. Here are the top-ranked area sensor companies as of November, 2023: 1.Concord Sensors LLC, 2.Monnit, 3.Trans-Tek, Inc..
Engaged in research on nitride semiconductor growth using the MBE method at Waseda University Graduate School. After graduating from graduate school in 2016, he joined a non-ferrous metal manufacturer.
Engaged in equipment maintenance and engineering work at metal smelting plants. Moved to a chemical manufacturer in 2022. Engaging in similar tasks.
An area sensor is a sensor that detects people or objects within a predefined area.
It detects objects by emitting light or sound waves and detecting their reflection or transmission. Safety light curtains are one type of area sensor.
In recent years, sensors that detect not only two-dimensional surfaces but also three-dimensional spaces have become available.
Area sensors are used for industrial or security purposes. The following are examples of applications of area sensors:
Industrial equipment includes many facilities that operate under pressure and torque that can easily destroy the human body. Presses for industrial waste disposal and conveyor belts for transporting coal fuel are examples. If workers or passersby inadvertently come into proximity to such equipment, there is a risk of personal injury.
It is common practice to surround these facilities with perforated metal or handrails to prevent easy contact, but it is inconvenient to cover areas completely where people frequently enter and leave the facility or where periodic maintenance is required. In such locations, area sensors are installed so that equipment will be shut down when a person enters. Area sensors used for such safety purposes are also called safety light curtains.
In factories and automated warehouses, AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles) are used to transport goods automatically in order to save labor and reduce costs, and area sensors are often used to detect objects in the direction the AGV is traveling and in the surrounding area. area sensors, such as those used in AGVs are also called Safety Light Scanners.
Sensors are sometimes used to detect people in order to open and close automatic doors or to turn on gate lights. Sensors that detect people are specifically called human detection sensors.
They may also be used to detect unauthorized intruders at night for security purposes. Attached to a security camera, it zooms in or triggers an alarm when it detects a person. Often sold as a security sensor light in combination with lighting fixtures.
Area sensors use infrared, ultrasonic, or visible light as the detection medium.
Infrared light is light with a longer wavelength than visible light. Since it is invisible and does not damage the landscape, it is a widely used detection medium in applications ranging from general security equipment to industrial applications. Generally, detection is performed using light with wavelengths of 1 to 1,000 μm.
Infrared rays have the characteristic of being emitted spontaneously from objects that are warmer than the outside air. This characteristic makes it ideal for detecting human bodies with body heat, and it is used for gate lights and security lighting. In addition, a detection method based on the difference in sensed temperature may be used to open and close faucets, and a mechanism that converts the temperature difference into an electrical signal after detecting the temperature difference within the detection area is used.
Sound waves with wavelengths shorter than the human audible range are called ultrasonic waves. Ultrasonic waves are sometimes used in area sensors because they are inaudible to the human ear and can detect surrounding objects by their reflected velocity. A sensor that uses ultrasonic waves to detect objects is also called an ultrasonic sensor.
After measuring the time it takes for sound to be reflected back, it is converted into an electrical signal to detect the distance to the object.
Sensors that detect objects by visible light are called photoelectric sensors. Area sensors using the same principle as photoelectric sensors are also available. They consist of a light emitting part and a light receiving part. The light receiving part detects when the light emitted is intercepted or reflected, thereby detecting an object.
The following types of area sensors exist due to differences in the above-mentioned principles.
Products that use multiple photoelectric sensors side-by-side to detect flat surfaces are called light curtains, while products that are specifically designed for safety measures are called safety light curtains. In general, this type of product is often referred to as an Area Sensor.
These sensors detect infrared rays and are often used to detect people. They are intended for crime prevention and safety.
A laser scanner is a sensor that detects surrounding objects by transmitting light rays in a fan shape. A wide area centered on the sensor can be detected in three dimensions. Laser scanners used especially for safety applications are called safety laser scanners.
In recent years, due to its wide detection range, it has been actively developed as an in-vehicle sensor.
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Monnit, a private American company started in 2010, is a manufacturer of wireless sensors and IoT data solutions for enterprise remote monitoring worldwide. The company has deep roots as a global IoT supplier with over 52,000 customers, over 39 billion data readings, and more than 2,000 product SKUs. Through modular design, dynamic production, and global distribution, they thrive in smart-device manufacturing. The actionable data they provide—anytime, anywhere—is the solution for virtually any application or use case, and it's IoT data that fuels the most rewarding business solutions.
Temposonics, founded in Ludenscheid, Germany, in 1951 is a manufacturer of linear position sensors & liquid level transmitters. The company's product portfolio includes Mobile Hydraulics, position sensors, Temposonics, and Liquid level measurement equipment. Their products are used in industries such as industrial automation, robotics, automotive, and aerospace and find applications in chemical processing, water treatment, and oil and gas. They also provide services including product selection, installation, preventative maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair.
Concord Sensors LLC, established in 2012 and based in Franklin, New Hampshire, United States, is a manufacturer of current, position and speed sensors. The company offers advanced magnetic sensors for consumer, medical, automotive and industrial applications. The company uses programmable sensor technology and hall effect technology to design and program magnetic sensors. The company uses Helmholz coils for the accuracy and precision of sensors. The company also program various devices such as Melexis Switch, Latch and Linear Hall and Triaxis Sensors, Micronas HAL series devices, AMS Linear, Rotary and 3D Position Sensors and Infineon Linear Hall Sensor.
Hamamatsu Photonics K.K., established in 1953 and headquartered in Hamamatsu, Japan, is a manufacturer of sensors and emitters for both visible and invisible light. It stocks products like LEDs, lamps, and photodiodes used in several industries, including consumer electronics, dental imaging, and environmental monitoring. The sensor and light source components are also available as modules and units that can be incorporated into systems the company develops, like optical measurement systems or imaging systems. The ISO 9001-certified company stocks over 15,000 devices, units, and systems that ship to over 100 destinations worldwide, and it has ten research and production bases.
Autonics Corporation, established in 1977 and based in Busan, South Korea, is a developer and manufacturer of automation products, which are marketed worldwide. Some of its products include sensors, peripheral connection equipment, motion devices, control devices, and process automation instruments. The automation products are used in various industries, including automotive, packaging, machine tools, metal, and marine. The company has 12 international offices spanning over 100 countries, a fully automated warehouse system, and various international quality certifications, including RoHS, CE, UL, and EAC. Its safety products meet the functional safety standards IEC 61508 and mechanical safety standards ISO 13849.
Omron Corporation, started in 1933 and headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, is a manufacturer of automation components, equipment, and systems, and it developed the first contactless proximity switch in 1960. It has four domains, including industrial automation, electronic components, healthcare, and social systems, and it provides products and services in around 120 countries and regions. Some of its products include microsensing devices, access control systems, industrial robots, surveillance cameras, and blood pressure monitors. In 1971, it developed the first online cash machine, and in 1972, it established Japan’s first welfare factory.
Trans-Tek, Inc., established in 1967, based in Ellington, Connecticut, is a manufacturer of linear and angular displacement and linear velocity transducers. The company’s main products are Linear Sensors, based on LVDT (Linear Variable Differential Transformer) technology. Services provided include finding the right position or velocity sensor to meet a customer’s demanding requirements, technical representatives to assist in problem solving, and various delivering needs. The company’s aim is to provide transducer products that measure to any tough sensing applications and delivery requirements.