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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Background suppression sensing - A diffuse photoelectric sensing mode with a defined range limit, used in areas where a reflective background is close to the object.

Ball-end - Describes the shape at the end of a probe, on SoftNoze Proxprobe™ Adapters (PPA) and on various limit switch operators- whereby the end is a half-sphere and allows smooth actuation by passing cams and targets due to its rounded profile.

Band clamp - Strap-type fastener used to secure Capacitive Sensors into Sensor Wells and SightGlass Mounts for level detection control. The band is made smaller via a screw acting as a gear with teeth formed into the band.

Barcodes - Barcodes are black and white symbol that are optically machine-readable. The barcode image represents, contains, data relating to the object or product its attached to. Below are examples of both 2D and 3D style barcodes. They're commonly used in the Automatic Identification (AutoID) industry to control machine processes. In these large parcel handling and distribution centers such as UPS, and FedEx parcels are routed about the warehousing and distribution conveyors directed by the barcode information and "Code Readers", or image detection sensors.

Barcode, Sensor - A image capturing device that acquires or "reads" Barcodes. These devices are also called readers and smart cameras.

Barrel sensor - The shape or Form factor of a "tube-shaped" sensor or switch that may have a threaded (i.e. M18x1), or smooth (i.e. 32mm) diameter.

Barrier - See Intrinsic safety barrier

Beam-break - See Transmitted beam

Beam pattern - A sensor’s light dispersion shown graphically.

Bending radius - See Minimum bending radius

Bifurcated fiber (optic) - A fiber optic assembly that is branched to combine emitted light with received light in the same assembly.

Bipolar output - See Complementary output

Blind zone - The minimum distance between an object and a sensor in order for the sensor to be able to detect the object.

BM - SoftNoze product line used for mounting sensors and switches to machine frames, where BM stands for "Block Mount" as their shape is generally box-like. Various materials are available (plastic, metals, etc.) with different features (special coatings) to secure different shapes, diameters and brands of sensors.

BMDC - SoftNoze product line where BMDC stands for "block mount, dual clamp". The internal design mechanism of the BMDC models offers two separate features that clamp tubular sensors into a secured, locked, position.

BMQM - BMQM stands for "block mount, quick mount". The BMQM are generally block-shaped (BM) and have an internal feature to stop or index a sensor into position. This feature is called a Stop shoulder, and installers to be quick restablishment a sensor's original mounting position.

BMS - Acronym for SoftNoze Block Mounting System, a product line used to mount tubular proximity sensors (M8x1, M12x1, M18x1, M30x1.5) as well as "40mm x 40mm cube sensors.

BSA - A SoftNoze acronym that stands for "Banking Screw Adapter". The BSA components are heat-treated screw that accept an inductive proximity sensor, and create a heavy-duty (solid state) input switch for PLC-controlled machines. BSA also protect sensors from impact damage.

BSA-A - See "BSA" above. The "BSA-A" versions place the inductive sensor at a right angle to the impact screw, thus making the end product more compact.

Break - To open an electrical circuit. See Normally closed (N.C.)

Bracket - A structure to support and secure sensors and switches, in various shapes, materials and different features. SoftNoze offers Flat Sensor Bracket and Angled Sensor Bracket shapes. Some sensor installations require integration components that make sensor non-adjustable, while others benefit from high adjustability. As shown in figure below, different model permit different axis adjustments, PA (ProxArmor): None, sensor is fixed. AB sensor brackets: One axis adjustment via single through hole. RAB sensor brackets: Three axis, two via slotted patterns and a third along an installed sensor axis(threads). SoftNoze can also supply customized sensor bracket weldments to your prints.   

Burn-through - The ability of transmitted beam sensors to “see” through paper, thin cardboard, opaque plastics, and materials of similar optical density.

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