Basics of Automation
Basics of Automation

Man as a paradigm for automation

A machine works – to put it simply – like a person. Just as we humans perceive our surroundings using our sensory organs, a machine detects its environment using sensors, devices and distance measurement systems. The machine continually picks up signals and sends them over the network to the controller. The controller interprets them as input signals and sends them as output signals to the actuators. For example to valves, drives or stack lights which in turn trigger an action and set the machine in motion.

Our body and its technical counterpart

A machine is the technical counterpart to the human body:

  • Sense of sight, taste, smell, touch – Vision, pressure, photoelectric, inductive, capacitive sensor, position/distance measurement system
  • Sense of hearing – RFID read head, ultrasonic sensor
  • Nerves – Network, cable, connector
  • Brain – Controller, PLC
  • Language – RFID read head, horn, SmartLight
  • Muscles – Valve, drive, motor, stack light, horn

Suitable Products

Photoelectric sensors from Balluff

Photoelectric sensor for object detection using light/laser

Pressure sensors from Balluff

Pressure sensor for detecting pressure in liquids and gases

Network modules from Balluff

Network module for connecting to the controller

Valve terminal connectors from Balluff

Valve connector for linking values to the controller

Topic overview:

Function, construction and technologies of sensors

Electrical wiring of sensors

Difference between switching and measuring sensors

Resolution, non-linearity and accuracy

Powering sensors