Sensors for Tight Spaces: Balluff Releases Inductive High-Temperature Sensors

November 13, 2020 by Robin Mitchell

Recently, Balluff announced its latest high-temperature sensors for semiconductors and hydraulic sectors.

Balluff is a medium-sized company that focuses on developing sensor and automation solutions for use in a wide range of different applications. The company was founded in 1921 and has 38 subsidiaries, and ten production sites for producing products. Recently, Balluff announced its latest range of inductive sensors designed for use in tight spaces with applications involving hydraulic systems.



Balluff products are targeted for mobility, packaging, and the food industry. They also work with technology, supply chains, and quality control.  Balluff produces sensors, RFID systems, machine vision systems, networking, power supplies, HMIs, and safety devices. 


What are Inductive Sensors?

Inductive sensors use electromagnetic induction to detect and measure objects. In most cases, an inductive sensor uses a small inductor with a high-frequency AC current passing through it. When the magnetic field from the inductor interacts with a nearby metallic object (i.e., a detection), the resulting eddy currents formed in that object interact with the generated magnetic field. 


Inductive proximity sensors. Image courtesy of SICK Sensors


The inductor load is changed, which results in a change in the frequency of oscillation. This can be detected using various circuit components, and thus a change in oscillation can be used to trigger a switch circuit. Inductive circuits are not affected by non-conductive surfaces. They are only suitable for applications with metallic objects. Their use of no moving parts makes them highly ideal for wet, oily, dusty, and explosive environments, and inductive switches can be easily sealed. 


Balluff's Latest High-Temperature Sensor

The new range of inductive sensors have an M5 housing, can withstand dynamic pressures up to 10 bar and static pressures up to 100 bar. 

Unlike other inductive sensors on the market, the new range of sensors produced by Balluff can operate up to 135°C. This is one of the highest on the market, and the sensors' IP67 rating allows for operation in most environments.


The new miniature inductive sensors in the 5 mm housing. Image courtesy of Balluff


An LED on the connector enables one to see the sensor's detection status. The sensor is available in different cable lengths, depending on the application. The sensors are available in both NPN and PNP operation (i.e., normally open and normally closed) to allow for any switching action, and mounting brackets for the sensors are available separately. The size of the housing is also available in 27mm and 47mm, while both use the same M5 width sensor.


Sensor Specifications

All sensors in the range have the same specifications, with the only varying specifications being the cable length and switching action (NPN or PNP). 

The sensors have a switching frequency of 1.5KHz. They can operate on a wide voltage range between 10V and 30V. These sensors also have an operating temperature range of 0°C to +135°C.

The sensors' housing material is made of stainless steel 1.4104. The material used on the sensor surface is ceramic, and each sensor uses an M8 3 pole connector (two power, one sensor output). All sensors in the range have CE, EAC, and cULus ratings, and cable sizes for the sensors ranges from 1 meter to 10 meters.