Sensors & Transducers

Mounting solutions for position sensors

March 2001 Sensors & Transducers

Correctly installing a sensor, especially a photoelectric sensor, is critical to the sensor function and therefore the machine function, yet it can be a technically complex, time-consuming costly process.

IFM Electronic now offers a complete component system in handy mounting packages. The components are centred on a clamp and fitted with only one screw, which holds the elements securely in place, while allowing free movement in all axes. The type of sensor determines the brackets used, and the clamp is installed in one of three ways.

There are three basic options; free-standing (surface), mounting on a rod (at any angle) or fittings to use where there are already aluminium profiles which are popular for constructing machine frames. Options for all sensor types, including reflectors, can be supplied in different materials to suit the required needs.

A freestanding, surface mount installation uses one large bolt to support the central clamp and all that is required is a suitable hole on the available surface. The vertical or horizontal orientation of the surface is not important, as the clamp will rotate on the bolt head, while the bracket rotates on the clamp.

In the rod-mount option, the clamp simply fits around a rod of any length attached to the machine. The vertical or horizontal orientation is not important, as the clamp will rotate on the rod and the bracket rotates on the clamp. Clamps are sized to fit three common rod diameters of 10, 12 and 14 mm. If this option is chosen, the bolt is discarded.

Extruded aluminium profile is increasingly popular in machine building. Frameworks and more complex assemblies can be constructed quickly and easily. The different systems commercially available have one common feature - a slot in the profile used as the connection for different components. The IFM system components include a block designed to attach to the slot, using the profile manufacturer's proprietary nut. The block is threaded to take a bolt; the IFM clamp attaches to the bolt head and the result is a sensor mount.

A retroreflective sensor needs a reflector and this reflector also needs to be mounted. If an aluminium extrusion is being used and the bolt is not long enough, extension rods can be used to give additional reach. IFM's range includes mounting components for M12, M18, M30 and various photoelectric sensors.


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