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IO-Link Enabled Contrast Sensors

DK12-11-IO Series contrast sensors reliably detect differences in two colors of media, with a powerful three-color light source that solves even the most difficult contrast applications. Most significantly, these sensors are IO-Link compatible enabling them to provide enhanced configuration options, visibility of the sensor’s color evaluation, and a deeper level of control than is attainable with conventional contrast sensors.  Additionally, these sensors include our powerful 4-in-1™ output that reduces costs and stock requirements by delivering four output options from a single sensor.

“IO-Link opens up an entirely new dimension of configuration and communication of and with sensors,” says Jeff Allison, Product Manager. “The DK12-11-IO series contrast sensors provide users with more configuration options, enabling them to be uniquely customized to the application at hand.  They also offer unparalleled visibility and control to see how different colors are quantified and how they compare to each other, while enabling users to ‘tweak’ certain color attributes to better fit an application.”

DK12-11-IO with IO-Link offers more setup options than conventional contrast sensors, including customizable and highly visible diagnostic LEDs, the ability to invert the output state and disable the adjustment potentiometer for tamperproof requirements, and logging the output.

“A conventional contrast sensor indicates if a contrast is seen or not seen, but with IO-Link it is also possible to quantify a colored object and its background color based on how both reflect light from red, green, or blue LEDs.  In addition to enhanced configuration and visibility, IO-Link also offers significant advantages in communication and online control.  For example, IO-Link sensors do not interfere with existing fieldbus topologies, and they can be used either with an IO-Link master or as a standard transistor output sensor without IO-Link,” explains Allison.

DK12-11-IO contrast sensors with RGB (red/green/blue) LEDs are especially well-equipped to detect contrasts of yellow colors; a weakness of competitive contrast models that use white LEDs.  Even if the contrast to be detected is not yellow, the level of configuration and control that is possible using IO-Link makes the DK12-11-IO the most powerful contrast sensor on the market.

“DK12-11-IO contrast sensors deliver from 20 to 75 percent faster response times compared to competitive models.  This means that the trigger point is identified sooner and less waste is incurred.  For example, when cutting Mylar paper based on registration marks, identifying the mark that starts the cut faster means less material passes before the cut is made,” says Allison.

These UL and cUL listed contrast sensors have a rugged, metal-framed housing with a connector that swivels for easy mounting in space-restrictive applications.  They offer static and dynamic teach modes, in addition to manual and remote teach methods, in a single housing.  They have no color jitter, as the light spots from the three color LEDs are lined in a row for positional accuracy.

Contrast sensors, also known as color mark or print mark sensors, are designed to detect a difference in two colors or media, making them especially significant in the printing, paper and packaging industries.  The most frequent application for these types of sensors is registration mark, or “eye-mark,” detection.  They can also be a useful sensing tool in customized applications; for example, an automotive application may involve verifying the presence of a seal or gasket around a door panel, and a material handling application could use the sensor to confirm the presence of a label on a brown cardboard box.

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