Rockwell Automation’s Newest Allen-Bradley Photoelectric Sensors

August 16, 2022 by Seth Price

Rockwell Automation releases two new cost-effective, small form-factor photoelectric sensors that take advantage of visible and infrared spectrums for use in material handling, packing, and assembly operations. 

Rockwell Automation introduced two new photoelectric sensors to their catalog: the Allen-Bradley 42EA RightSight S18 and the Allen-Bradley 42JA VisiSight M20A. Both sensors are cost-effective, small form-factor sensors designed for small object handling, packaging, and assembly in the pharmaceuticals, life-sciences, and food & beverage industries. 


Rockwell Automation Allen-Bradley Photoelectric sensors

The Allen-Bradley 42JA VisiSight M20A (left) and the Allen-Bradley 42E RightSight S18 (right). Image used courtesy of Rockwell Automation


The two sensors take advantage of visible and infrared light spectrums and have status LEDs that can be viewed from all sides of the sensor, meaning an operator can quickly determine how the sensor is performing at a glance. A visible, red light source is also used to speed up the calibration, alignment and the setup process. 

The new sensors have been developed with industrial considerations in mind and are rated to Ingress Protection 67 (IP-67) meaning they are waterproof and dustproof. The sealed packages have very few cavities for dust and contamination to collect. For food and beverage manufacturing, this is a tremendous advantage, as contamination is much less likely to occur when particles have no places to accumulate. 


Allen-Bradley RightSight Sensors

The Allen-Bradley 42EA RightSight S18 is a compact photoelectric sensor designed for tight areas and small parts handling. The sensor itself is capable of detecting light changes in both the infrared and visible spectrum, using diffuse, light, polarized retroreflective light, or transmitted infrared beam with built-in background suppression.


Rockwell Automation Allen-Bradley 42E RighSight S18 photoelectric sensor

The 42EA is smaller and cheaper than the 42EF. Image used courtesy of Rockwell Automation


The 42EA is a scaled-down, more cost-effective version of the 42EF, Rockwell’s earlier RightSight photoelectric sensor. While the 42EF has a few more capabilities, such as the ability to connect to an I/O link and fiber optic sensing at a cost, Rockwell’s newest model, the 42EA, is designed to give customers a lower-cost yet high performance sensor in a small package. 


Allen-Bradley VisiSight Sensors

The Allen-Bradley 42JA VisiSight M20A photoelectric sensor is geared towards being able to adjust sensing parameters to meet a wide variety of industrial needs. Like the 42EA, the 42JA can detect both visible light and infrared light. The 42JA has adjustment knobs for setting the background suppression, as well as a light/dark adjustment knob. Instead of a pushbutton, the knob offers the operator a little more control over fine-tuning the sensing system.


Rockwell Automation Allen-Bradey 42JA photoelectric sensor

The compact size of the 42JA makes it a good choice for small parts and materials handling. Image used courtesy of Rockwell Automation


The 42JA is perhaps the most adjustable and versatile of three VisiSight models. It can detect in diffuse light from farther away (1 m, versus 800 mm for the 42JS and 42JT), can detect clear objects from farther away (2.5 m, versus 1 m for the 42JT), and can be tailored to a number of industrial settings with the adjustable background reflection and suppression capabilities. 


Rockwell Automation and Allen-Bradley

Rockwell Automation has been a leader in industrial automation products for over a century. Their products can be found in virtually any manufacturing industry in dozens of countries. Their fully owned subsidiary, Allen-Bradley, specializes in control and information solutions, and produces logic controllers, sensors and other industrial hardware.