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Ultrasonic sensors - Switch

Ultrasonic sensors made of stainless steel.

40 ... 300 mm
103.75 *

Online -5.50%

60 ... 800 mm
110.86 *

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80 ... 1200 mm
119.07 *

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Ultrasonic sensors

Ultrasonic sensors made of stainless steel, with switching and analogue output.

50 ... 400 mm
121.83 *

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100 ... 900 mm
137.79 *

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150 ... 1600 mm
155.01 *

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200 ... 2200 mm
172.34 *

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250 ... 3500 mm
177.92 *

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350 ... 6000 mm
219.54 *

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600 ... 8000 mm
284.99 *

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Ultrasonic sensors

What is an ultrasonic sensor? How do ultrasonic sensors work and for which applications are they used? What has to be observed when using ultrasonic sensors? You will learn (almost) all about ultrasonic sensors in the following.

What is an ultrasonic sensor?

Ultrasonic sensors detect objects and liquids with the aid of ultrasonic waves and calculate the distance to the object according to the principle of travel time measurement. They are used when large detection ranges are involved. In applications in which photoelectric sensors reach their limits of capability, ultrasonic sensors are the solution. The sensors operating according to the ultrasonic principle can reliably detect transparent, strongly reflecting, and contrast-rich objects. Ultrasonic sensors from autosen are available as ultrasonic sensors and ultrasonic probes. They differ as to their outputs and IO-Link compatibility.
Ultrasonic sensors
Ultrasonic probe
Analogue output, switching output normally open / normally closed programmable
Switching output normally open / normally closed contact programmable

Typical applications of ultrasonic sensors

Ultrasonic sensors are used for example when working with:
  • Glass
  • (Transparent) liquids
  • Films/foils
  • Items that can tear (detection)
  • Quality inspection
  • Empty tank detection
  • Level measuring
  • Position monitoring
  • Degree of filling in supply of parts
  • Presence detection
  • Monitoring of load carriers
  • And in general for objects in solid, liquid, granular or powdery state which are transparent, semi-transparent or optically difficult to detect


Double-sheet detection using ultrasonic sensors

Double-sheet detection

Level measuring using ultrasonic sensors

Level measuring

Quality inspection using ultrasonic sensors

Quality inspection

Deflection surface for ultrasonic sensors

Deflection surface

Monitoring of load carriers using ultrasonic sensors

Monitoring of load carriers

Volumetric flow measuring using ultrasonic sensors

Volumetric flow

Ultrasonic sensors for level measuring

Level measuring using ultrasonic sensors is one of the continuous measurement methods. The sensor is mounted at the top inside the tank and emits ultrasonic pulses reflected by the surface of the medium. The device calculates the distance to the surface and thus the filling level from the travel time from sending the pulse up to pickup of the echo.

Level measuring using ultrasonic sensor
Ultrasonic level sensors measure levels up to 8m contactless for:

  • Liquids
  • Paste-like media
  • Powder
  • Bulk materials

How ultrasonic sensors work

Ultrasonic sensors contactless detect objects and fill levels by generating a short high-frequency ultrasonic pulse by an oscillating ceramic and cyclically emit this pulse. The pulse is propagated in the air at supersonic speed. If the sound pulse hits an object, it is reflected by it and the echo is detected by the sensor. The distance between sensor and object is calculated by the sensor according to the travel time measurement principle from the time span between emission of the signal and reception of the echo. By measuring the distance using the travel time measurement instead of measuring intensity, ultrasonic sensors are characterised by excellent background suppression.

Ultrasonic sensors can detect objects of almost any material reflecting sound and with all properties, such as glass, wood, metal, plastic, liquids and even thin films with the aid of this measuring principle. Difficult working environments, such as dust, vapour, dirt or paint vapours have no influence on ultrasonic sensors.
Distance measuring using ultrasonic sensor
1. Send sound pulse, 2. Reflection, 3. Receive echo
L = distance, where T is the time between emission and reception and C the supersonic speed.

Ultrasonic sensors: Advantages and disadvantages

Detection of almost any object independent of difficult environmental conditions, object gloss, colour and transparency of the material
Unsuitable for sound-absorbing materials (e.g. cotton wool)
Insensitive to dust, humidity and extraneous light
cannot be used at inclined areas
Minimum reflective interferences due to narrow sound beams
High range up to 8 m
Self-cleaning by the emitted ultrasonic pulses
High resolution in millimetre range
Rapid response time
Temperature compensation
High process reliability
Fast and easy installation and commissioning
Very good background suppression
reliable presence detection even with complex shapes of objects (grids, springs, etc.)

Ultrasonic sensors in practice: What needs to be observed?

When you selected the appropriate ultrasonic sensor for your application, it has to be installed correctly in your application to ensure best possible functioning. This section gives a brief and clear overview about what has to be observed.

Installation of ultrasonic sensors

Ultrasonic sensors can be installed in each position if the following conditions are fulfilled:
  • Deposits on the area active to sound are avoided
  • When using several ultrasonic sensors the minimum distances have to be complied with (see operating instructions) to prevent reciprocal influencing and faulty switching

Deflections using sound deflection angles

The sound deflection angles can be used to deflect the sound beam of the sensor. However, multiple deflections shorten the range of the sensors and should therefore be avoided.

Influences by object properties

Hard and level materials and objects are best suited for using ultrasonic sensors because the sound pulses are reflected very well and properly. If you want to use ultrasonic sensors however, there are some additional aspects to be considered with regard to the object properties.
Object peculiarity
To be considered
Cylindrical and ball-shaped surfaces (convex)
The maximum range of the sensor becomes smaller the smaller the convex object is because every surface element has a different angle to the beam axis and the reflection of the sound beam diverges.
Thin films and soft material
Soft materials (e.g. cotton wool, foam material, rough tissue, films containing starch<0,01mm) absorbieren einen großen Teil der Impulsenergie. Daher lassen sie sich schlechter/>should not be detected using ultrasonic sensors.
Coarse surfaces
Very uneven surfaces may influence the scanning properties of the sensor. Structures greater than the ultrasound wavelength may not be optimally detected by ultrasonic sensors.
Liquids without great waves can be detected with ultrasonic sensors without problems.
Hot objects
Very high temperatures may deflect the sound beam due to heat convection in the air in a way that the echo is no longer received by the sensor or is weakened. Please observe the ambient temperature specified in the operating instructions.

Alternatives of ultrasonic sensors

Instead of ultrasonic sensors it is also possible to use photoelectric sensors, inductive sensors (magnetic metals only) or capacitive sensors can for position detection and presence detection.
For level measuring, you can also use our level sensors, capacitive sensors, pressure sensors and photoelectric sensors.