White paper on optical sensors

Optical and optoelectronic sensors convert optical information into signals. For this purpose, mainly visible light (red and blue), infrared and ultraviolet light are used.

Content of the white paper

This white paper gives an overview of the different types of optical sensors and their advantages and disadvantages, operating principles and areas of application.

  • How to select the right distance sensor?
  • Different types of sensors
    • transmitter-receivers
    • reflector cells
    • reflex probes or diffuser probes
  • Background information
    • Light or dark switching
    • Accuracy or reproducibility
    • Detection distance for sensors with background suppression
    • Distance measurement with triangulation
    • Distance measurement with time lapse measurement
    • Autocollimation principle
Optical sensors - Whitepaper fortop
Distance Sensors Optical Sensors - Whitepaper fortop

Distance measurements with optical sensors

A requirement in many applications

Fast and accurate measurements, precise positioning and detection of different materials: distance measurement is an important requirement in many applications. Whether it is the millimetre-precise control of a coil winding, the detection of a double sheet or the exact positioning in a high-bay warehouse.

Distance sensors are reliable tools for applications in the following industries:

  • Automotive and supply industry
  • Machine and special machine construction
  • Assembly and handling
  • Packaging industry
  • Intralogistics
  • Steel industry
  • Textile and paper industry
  • Wood industry

Technologies optical sensors

As diverse as the applications are, as diverse are the technologies used. Our optical sensors use the triangulation method for measuring ranges up to 1 metre.

For greater distances we use the light-time principle. In addition to optical sensors, ultrasonic sensors used, especially for transparent or highly reflective materials and inductive of capacitive sensors for short working distances.


Optical sensors - triangulation process - SensoPart