Balluff Inc. is expanding its Factor 1 series of inductive proximity sensors to include a weld immune Factor 1+ version with longer sensing distances. Factor 1+ sensors incorporate a multi-coil design that allows them to sense all metals, both ferrous and nonferrous, at the same distance, without the need to de-rate the sensing distance based on target material.

The developer stated that Factor 1 sensors were designed specifically for welding applications. The PTFE coating helps protect the sensor from weld slag and weld flash generated during the welding process. Beyond their enhanced application flexibility, Balluff Factor 1+ sensors also provide the opportunity to standardize on a smaller number of sensor designs, which can lower supply chain and tool crib stocking costs, especially for welding operations.

Balluff manufactures a range of inductive, photoelectric, vision, capacitive, and magnetic sensors. It also produces linear position transducers, RFID systems, and networking products. Its products are used to control, regulate, automate, assemble, position, and monitor manufacturing, assembly, and packaging sequences for numerous industries.

The new Factor 1 series sensors are recommended for use in applications where sensors encounter high levels of magnetic interference from welding machines, or other sources, like transformers, motors, and drives.

Among its design features, it allows greater switching distances and installs more quickly than comparable units, which improves welding process productivity. Balluff claims it is more reliable, too, indicating it delivers results even if the detected objects are vibrating.

The unit’s housing and sensor identification are optimized to match required automotive industry requirements. The developer indicated it is particularly well suited for operations that work with various metallic targets (steel, aluminum, brass, and copper, for example.)