Smart Sensor Surfs The IIoT

BALLUFF’s BOS 21M series smart sensor is described as a versatile all-rounder that uses red light and provides four sensor modes: background suppression, energetic diffuse, retroreflective, and through-beam sensor. All sensor functions can be configured over IO-Link while the system is running, so that a remote teach-in can be initiated by the controller.


In addition, the sensor detects actual operating conditions, collects and processes information and provides more data than just the switching signal over IO-Link. Detection signals are prepared and pre-processed in the sensor. This relieves the burden on the system controller and reduces data volume on the fieldbus systems.

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Comprehensive, smart diagnostics functions provide critical info such as life expectancy, operating hours and function reserve. Increasing dirt deposits, sensor misalignment, setting errors, or other irregularities are reliably detected early by monitoring the emissivity values as a measure of the sensor signal quality.


Notably, the BOS 21M ADCAP is the first such sensor to optically monitor the output of the emitter LED directly and to determine the stress level by means of the sensor interior temperature and the supply voltage. For more details, checkout the BOS 21M ADCAP page and the BOS 21M tech brief.

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