Sensors & Transducers

New patented miniature photoelectrics one-third the size of predecessors

March 2000 Sensors & Transducers

Banner Engineering has announced new Mini-Beam 2 sensors, an entirely new generation of ultra-miniature sensors just one-third the size of the original (and heavily-copied) Mini-Beam that debuted 15 years ago, with millions currently in use. Measuring only 20 mm high, by 36 mm long, with a thickness of 8 mm, the sensor housings are about the size of a postage stamp and easy to mount inside machinery where other photoelectrics will not fit or operate properly. The sensors feature a 12 mm threaded nose and advanced circuitry to streamline installation and set up.

Especially significant, all necessary adjustments are achieved using a single pushbutton. Combined with an advanced new algorithm, the sealed pushbutton is used to digitally adjust the sensors for excess gain for specific applications. Users simply hold the button in to achieve maximum sensitivity (excess gain) and then click the button for seven other settings without the need for cumbersome and leak-prone, screw potentiometers or knobs.

The Mini-Beam 2 sensors utilise a visible red beam and are available in six sensing modes to solve applications in all industries. These modes include regular and wide-angle diffuse (proximity mode), regular and polarised retroreflective, convergent beam and opposed (through beam), to provide accurate and reliable sensing at ranges up to 4 m.

Advanced sensors also feature Banner’s smart new status indicators – green and amber LEDs that wrap around the sensors to provide operating status from any angle. In addition to indicating 'power on' and 'output conducting', the LEDs will flash to signal 'maximum gain', 'gain reduced one step' and 'minimum gain' conditions.

Despite their small size, these 10 to 30 V d.c. sensors have the power to switch a 150 mA load and include protective circuitry that guards the sensors against reverse-polarity and transient voltages, short circuits and false pulse on power up.

The new sensors are just as rugged as their predecessors. Featuring housings constructed of black polycarbonate/ABS alloy, they meet IEC IP67 environmental standards and operate in temperatures of -20 to +55°C. The sensors are available with a 2 or 9 m prewired cable or a 4-pin picofast pigtail connector.

Readers can download specific product information on the Mini-Beam 1 from


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