Contrinex has developed a range of rugged inductive sensors that has been specifically designed for dealing with the hazardous environments found in the food industry. Although the food handling process itself does not always present an aggressive environment, the cleaning and wash-down routines required to meet hygiene standards usually involve caustic chemicals that can cause severe damage to control sensors.
When a production line is stopped due to failure the in-process products often have to be scrapped and, in many cases, the line has to undergo a time consuming cleaning routine before it can be re-started. In addition to being extremely expensive, these delays put pressure on production managers to make up quota targets and deadlines after repairs are completed.
The Contrinex Series 700 range of rugged inductive sensors is available in food-safe stainless steel (V4A/AISI 316L/DIN 1.4435) and is designed specifically for aggressive process environments. The range has a locking ring with spanner flats so that a moisture-tight connection can be achieved offering protection up to IP69K, often an essential benchmark in food processing plants.
It is important that the complete system of sensor and connecting device satisfies this requirement and to achieve this Contrinex has introduced a range of rugged IP69K plugs for use with the food sensors and these will be particularly useful in dairies and similar plants where high levels of protection are required and pluggable sensors are preferred to simplify and speed up maintenance procedures.
Contrinex food sensors, including the sensing face, are machined from a single piece of stainless steel and therefore can withstand extreme impact and high shock levels and are highly resistant to corrosion by cleaning and disinfecting agents and organic acids. The cable and connector assembly is fully pressure-resistant up to 80 bar on M12 sensors, 60 bar on M18 and 40 bar on M30 making them suitable for virtually all processes likely to be met in the food industry.
In some food plants physical damage to sensors can be an additional hazard that can result in line stoppages. The application of innovative Contrinex sensing technology produces a sensing distance that is three times that of conventional sensors thus reducing the possibility of collision damage. This increased range is the same on all metals, even stainless steel and aluminium, unlike some brands where the sensing clearance from a target can be significantly reduced by alloys.
Supplied in M12, M18 and M30 sizes and in embeddable and non-embeddable formats, the sensors have a built-in LED plus short circuit, voltage reversal and overload protection as well as being stable over the full temperature range from -25ºC to +85ºC.