Glossary of Sensors, Switches & Automation Terms

Thanks to the Sensor, Switch, Smart Camera, and Machine Vision device OEM's who've helped us compile our listing here.

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Washer - A thin disk-shaped plate with an ID hole, normally used to distribute the tightening loads as sensors and switches are secured/bolted to brackets and mounts.

Washer, anti-vibration - A thin disk-shaped plate with an ID hole, as described above, but with special surfaces that increase the locking forces between the connected joints, see Lock nut

Waveform - A geometric shape as obtained by displaying a characteristic of voltage or current as a function of time. AC line voltage produces a sine wave shape.

Wavelength - Distance traveled by light while completing one complete sine wave. Is expressed in nanometer (nm). Each color has a specific wavelength.

Weld field immunity (WFI) - The ability of a sensor not to false trigger in the presence of strong electromagnetic fields.

White paper response - A calibration procedure performed on retroreflective sensors to eliminate all response to white paper with 90% reflectance.

Wide angle diffuse - A photoelectric sensing mode where the lenses spread the emitted/received light over a large area. The angle of these lenses is typically 60° or greater. The sensor’s maximum range is reduced, but allows for small object sensing in a wide field of view.

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