Reliable measurement of long distances: time-of-flight sensors

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SensoPart’s F 55 sensor family has welcomed a new addition: the compact FR 55 distance sensors with time-of-flight technology offer a scanning range of up to 70m – the best in their performance class – along with a high level of repeatability, and they only require a standard reflector. Thanks to two switching outputs and an optional additional analogue output, they open up extensive application possibilities, such as collision protection for conveyor shuttles or use in the positioning of high bay stackers in warehouses.

The new distance sensors are available in two different versions: FR 55-RLP is equipped with two switching outputs with a window function; FR 55-RLAP also comes with an additional analogue output. Up to four switching points can be defined, whose functionality can be enhanced through appropriate mapping or logical combination. It is possible, for example, to set up different proximity ranges for speed control of automated guided vehicles (AGV). The analogue characteristic curve of FR 55-RLAP is scalable so that any section of the measuring range can be selected between 0.3 and 70 m. An outstanding switching point repeatability of 10mm can be achieved within a measuring window of up to 20 m. The blind area is just 300mm, which is minimal for a sensor with this range capacity. Despite their long range, sensors from the FR 55 series have a very compact design (housing dimensions 50 × 50 × 23mm) and only require a standard reflector. They also operate with laser safety class 1 which presents no hazard to the eye, enabling easy integration in an installation.

Short laser light pulses are emitted with time-of-flight measurement and the time that elapses until the reflected light is received by the reflector is then evaluated. This procedure enables very reliable detection and long scanning ranges. Typical applications of retro-reflective distance sensors with time-of-flight technology are e.g. positioning of high bay stackers or collision protection for conveyor shuttles and automated guided vehicles. Proximity switches with scanning ranges up to 5m (FT 55) are also available in the same series and sensor size as the time-of-flight sensors with a reflector. All sensors in SensoPart’s F 55 family are characterised by a hermetically-sealed plastic housing (IP67 and IP6PK) and a standardised teach-in operating concept.

Further information about the F 55 sensor family can be found online at

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