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  1. Ultrasonic sensors
  2. Advantages

Advantages of ultrasonic sensors

Ultrasonic sensors detect all sound-reflecting objects and measure the time between sending and receiving a reflected sound signal The target’s colour, transparency and surface are irrelevant.

Advantages over other measuring principles

Object / Application Ultrasonic sensor ToF distance sensor Photoelectric
Shiny objects
Irregular objects
Objects with holes
Transparent objects
Large area
One signal
Different colour targets
Level irregular objects
(seeds, potatoes)
Long range (>1m)
Dynamic application
Angle to target
Small targets

Transparent objects are reliably detected

Blister packs, PET bottles or transparent plastic bowls in the food industry can be reliably detected using ultrasonic sensors.

Ideal for difficult surfaces

As opposed to photoelectric sensors, the target’s colour, transparency and surface reflectivity do not affect sensing. The wide beam allows reliable detection, even of mesh objects.

Reduces deposits

The vibration of the sound transducer reduces the deposit of dust. The sensors operate reliably even with light soiling and can be used in applications where photoelectric sensors reach their limits.

Outstanding performance

In all kinds of applications, ranging from batch height monitoring of cardboard boxes to “empty” detection of shiny plastic labels, ultrasonic sensors provide reliable and continuous signals. For example, the M18 type sensor offers a particularly small blind zone and long sensing ranges which are usually only achieved by sensors of a considerably larger design.

Added value by using IO-Link versions

Opting for an IO-Link version of ifm’s ultrasonic sensors offers the following benefits:

  • Virtual teach button for easy and efficient switch point setting
  • Convenient plug&play replacement
  • Parameters can be stored on the IO-Link master
  • Detailed documentation of the set parameters is not necessary
  • Output of distance values in millimetres
  • Sound beam can be adjusted to the application
  • Adjustable switch-on and switch-off delay for a reliable measurement signal
  • Key lock provides protection against tampering