Balluff Releases New Range of Red Light Photoelectric Sensors for Harsh Industrial Environments

January 12, 2021 by Robin Mitchell

Recently, Balluff released their latest family of red light photoelectric sensors, the BOS 21M.

New Sensor Family from Balluff

With the increased use of automation and PLCs in industrial systems, reliable sensors are essential. In response to the increasing demands on sensors, Balluff released its latest range of sensors, the BOS 21M. 

The BOS 21M sensors are red-light sensors with different configurations for specific industrial applications. All sensors integrate options for engineers to change the sensor’s settings. Users can access these settings using a potentiometer, indicator options, and a rotating connector.

All sensors integrate IO-Link, which allows sensors to be installed and provide diagnostics.

Detection beams are more visible during setup by using a red light. This is crucial as it allows engineers to determine where the light detection beams are quickly and make adjustments to the sensor head. 


Video courtesy of Balluff


The BOS 21M family also uses a common form factor, meaning that sensors can easily be installed and placed using standard connectors and fittings.

The sensors have a range of up to 20 meters, are housed in a rugged unit, Ecolab approved, and have IP67 and IP69K ratings covering most industrial applications. The range of sensors supports a wide operating temperature range of -25°C to 60°C. They also have a wide operating voltage from 10V to 30VDC, and a switching frequency of 1,000Hz.


The BOS 21M Family

The BOS 21M family includes four sensors, but because two of these sensors work with each other, the family consists of three devices. The family devices are the BOS027N, BOS027M, BOS027P, and the BOS027R.

The BOS027N is a diffused sensor, meaning that the beam from the sensor diverges as it leaves the device. This means that the BOS027N is ideal for detecting reflective objects at a distance, such as boxes on a conveyor belt or workers walking by an area.

Diffused sensors can be suitable when objects passing by are varying in size.

The BOS027M is a retro-reflective sensor, meaning that it sends out a beam of light with divergence, but requires the placement of a retro-reflective material at the extreme of detection. 


The BOS 21M sensor family. Image courtesy of Balluff


This creates a beam barrier that, when crossed, will interfere with the sensor and trigger a detection. Unlike divergent sensors, this method works with non-reflective objects.

The BOS027P and BOS027R are a through-beam emitter/receiver pair. The emitter creates a beam of light, while the sensor is fixed at the extreme end of the detection field. Any objects that cross the beam will interfere with the beam, and the sensor will detect this.


Where Can Users Apply Balluff BOS 21M Range?

When creating beam detection systems, there are a few factors to consider. The first is choosing the correct sensor for the application; if non-reflective objects are to be detected, diffused sensors should be avoided. 


The BOS 21M sensor family. Image courtesy of Balluff


The BOS 21M range provides all sensor types, meaning that any system designed can use multiple different technologies and detection methods. Balluff’s sensors also utilize IO-Link, supported by other Balluff products and PLCs that support IO-Link.

These sensors are currently available to the general public for purchase.