Photoelectric sensors are devices which are being utilized for detecting the shape, size, color, distance, presence or absence and any other attributes of the target entity. These devices utilize light for performing their designated task. A typical photoelectric sensor device generally consists of a light transmitter and a receiver. Infra-red light sources are used in general in these devices. The light is emitted by the transmitter towards the target and the reflected light beam is received by the photoelectric receiver, thus activating the sensor output. Photoelectric Sensors are deemed to be the best substitutes for inductive proximity sensors.
This is because photoelectric sensors can detect non-metal objects also, apart from their ability to function over long sensing distances. Only the optical components are present in photoelectric sensors used for remote sensing while the electronic components are generally contained in a control panel elsewhere. This is advantageous since the sensor can be developed with a minimalistic design while the controls can be designed to make it more accessible to the user. On the other hand, self contained photoelectric sensors are designed to contain both the optics and the electronic components together. These sensors are designed to perform the modulation, amplification, demodulation and other functions simultaneously. Advancement of technologies has led to decrease in size of these sensors while adding increasing embedded intelligence.
The increasing demand for photoelectric sensors is mainly driven by their use in the automotive industry, food & beverages and manufacturing industry. The increasing demand for information-based manufacturing and sensor-based data from production line machines are driving the demand for photoelectric sensors. Additionally data from certain industrial applications can be obtained systematically and cost effective manner only by deploying photoelectric sensors.
Effectiveness of photoelectric sensors, in controlling the movement of products during the manufacturing process, has made them indispensable in manufacturing plants across all the sectors. The high economic growth coupled with increased automation of plants in emerging markets has significantly boosted the photoelectric sensors market. The market has also been boosted by increasing automation investments in US and Mexico which is again due to positive government initiatives. One of the biggest driver of this market is the advent of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). This is because IIoT performs analysis and decision support tasks for an organization by depending on sensor based measurements. Furthermore, the capability to function over long distances, decreasing size and increasing functionality among others has also positively impacted the market for photoelectric sensors. Lack of sensing capability of photoelectric sensors and lack of scope of product differentiation are major restraints for the photoelectric sensors market.
The global photoelectric sensors market can be segmented, based on functional types, into through beam, diffuse-reflective, retro-reflective and distance-settable. On the basis of end user, the market can be segmented into defense & aerospace, healthcare, food & beverages, automotive and others. Furthermore, photoelectric sensors market can be geographically segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific (APAC) and rest of the world.
Some of the key companies leading the photoelectric sensors market are Omron (Japan), Rockwell Automation (US), Schneider Electric (France), Balluff Inc. (US), Sick AG (Germany), Keyence (Japan), Hokuyo Automatic Co. Ltd. (Japan), Takenaka Corporation (Japan), Baumer Group (Switzerland) and Contrinex (Switzerland) among others.