EMX Announces Compact UV Sensor for Limited Space And Difficult Application Environments


Cleveland, April 17, 2006 – EMX Industries Inc., a manufacturer of sensors for industrial automation, announced the UVX-300G-REM, the first remote UV (ultraviolet light) luminescence sensor that combines small size with long range, high resolution, and ease of use in demanding applications. The UVX-300G-REM has a remote sensing head that is easily mounted and measures just 0.7x0.8x1.2 inches, a volume of less than 0.7 cubic inches – 87% smaller than previously available UV sensors of this type. The new sensor uses patented technology to provide high sensitivity and long-range target detection that is more reliable than many other vision systems costing up to ten times as much. The 87% size reduction, achieved via remote sensing, allows the sensor head to be positioned near rollers and spray nozzles where others will not fit, while its long detection range allows positioning away from debris contamination and physical damage.

The UVX-300G-REM is an ideal sensor for detecting adhesives applied in assembly, manufacturing, and packaging operations. The output of the remote sensor head is connected to a control unit through a one-meter cable. The sensor control unit provides a visual readout and sends signals (0-5V analog and discrete on/off) to a master controller through a separate cable. As part of a feedback control loop, the UVX-300G-REM can precisely measure the amount of applied adhesive, check for the presence of a material or part, and alert operators to problems such as mis-application, omitted items, and improper equipment operation.

Why UV?

UV (ultraviolet light) sensors can detect the presence of seals, adhesives, and other assembly components for quality assurance and manufacturing process feedback. Glues and other materials that are not naturally luminescent can be made UV light responsive by sensitizing them with special additives or markings, without affecting the manufactured product’s appearance. Because UV sensors can easily discriminate targets in any orientation from similarly colored backgrounds, they are often more reliable than vision systems costing $6000 and more.

The UVX-300G-REM is the latest in EMX’s UVX-300 line, unique among UV sensors, providing the longest range, smallest sensor size, fastest response time/sensitivity specs, and a solution for the longstanding problem of tuning a sensor to light that is invisible to the operator. Its high sensitivity allows it to detect subtle differences in assemblies and packages, and is adjustable for different materials. It can even detect transparent materials.

Longest Range, Fastest Speed

The control unit of the UVX-300G-REM provides five user-selectable gain settings and relative reflection readings from 0 to 99 – twice the reading range of earlier general-purpose UV sensors. It allows adjustable light projection (370 nm UV LED; min. life of 100,000 hrs) and its high resolution delivers pinhead accuracy. Users can set the detection threshold, but a lockout feature prevents unauthorized adjustments.

The UVX-300G-REM extends the useful operating distance of UV sensors to 350 mm – three to six times the distance of competing sensors. Nevertheless, its small size allows it to be mounted almost anywhere so that problems such as debris contamination and physical damage by a moving target can be avoided. For optimal machine control, its feedback response frequency of 6kHz is at least three times faster than any other UV luminescence sensor. This is particularly important in glue dispensing machinery, which often operates at speeds on the order of 200,000 CPH / 650MPM, and has applicators that are subject to clogging. (A sensor with slow response time can miss gaps in adhesive application and have a negative impact on product quality.)

Fast, Convenient Set-up and Use

Because UV luminescence is invisible under a normal lighting conditions, UV sensors are difficult to tune without some indication of what they are reading. The UVX-300G-REM solves this problem by providing a numerical readout of the detection threshold and relative reflection intensity of each reading. This EMX-exclusive feature makes it easy for an operator to tune the sensor and saves valuable engineering time compared to competing sensors that require “blind” adjustments of UV intensity, and then checking of reflection results over multiple test runs.

Unlike competing sensors, the UVX-300G-REM includes both auto-teach and manual calibration. This makes it easy for operators to fine-tune and calibrate the sensor without any special training. The 0-5V analog output provides a measure of reflected UV intensity, and its 20mv resolution allows the tracking of process variations for SPC and SQC applications.

LED indicators for power, programming, and detection functions aid in setup and troubleshooting. The control unit features an IP67-rated housing suitable for a wide range of operating environments, plus short-circuit and overload/reverse polarity protection. Connections are made via a standard M12 5-pin connector.

Price and Availability

The EMX UVX-300G-REM luminescence sensor is available immediately at a cost of around $1000.00. Optional accessories include mounting brackets, and a 5-meter control unit cable with an M12, 5-pin connector.

About EMX Industries

Since 1987, EMX sensors have been trusted in industrial automation and for gate and door control. EMX sensors are used in automotive, packaging, labeling, metal stamping, paper and wood processing, plastics, electronics and pharmaceutical manufacturing.
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