Choosing the Right Sensor for Your Ecogate System: A Comprehensive Guide
Understanding the Role of Workstation Activity Sensors
Workstation activity sensors are a key component of the Ecogate system. They come in different options tailored to fit the needs of any industrial machine. When properly installed, these sensors monitor workstation activity, detecting when ventilation is needed. This information is relayed to the connected Ecogate, which, in turn, communicates with the greenBOX control unit.
The greenBOX control unit takes charge from here, adjusting the ventilation system's fan to deliver the required airflow, opening and closing gates as needed. It maintains the necessary transport velocities throughout the ducting, optimizing suction at active workstations while keeping inactive workstation gates closed. This process helps to avoid unnecessary energy usage, leading to an efficient and optimized system.
Exploring Ecogate Sensor Options
Ecogate provides a broad range of sensor options designed to meet the varying needs of different workstations. Our customers can select from an array of sensors such as AC Volt sensors, AC-DC Volt sensors, current sensors, and industrial wind-up timers. Additional sensor options are also available.
AC Volt Sensor
Our 110-690 V AC Sensor is a favored choice among many. Featuring input/output LED indicators, Ecogate AC Volt sensors are equipped with overcurrent and overvoltage peak protection. These sensors are suitable for industrial machines operating on 120V, 230V, 460V, or 575 V AC power. As these sensors monitor voltage, it's crucial to have an electrician install them on the correct circuit of the machine. The output of the sensor is connected to the Ecogate gate, signaling activity when voltage from the machine is detected within the 110V to 690V AC range.
AC-DC Volt Sensor
The Ecogate AC-DC Volt sensor functions similarly to the AC Volt sensor, with the added flexibility of being compatible with both direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) in the 24 V to 230 V range. Like its AC-only counterpart, it also comes with input/output LED indicators and overcurrent and overvoltage peak protection. As with all electrical installations, we recommend having a qualified electrician handle the setup.
Our offering also includes Hawkeye current sensors. The installation process for these sensors is straightforward: open the current clamp, insert a single-phase wire, and close the clamp. Note that only a single-phase wire should be inserted, not a complete 3-phase cable. This sensor detects AC/DC current between 0.5 to 175A, which can be adjusted using a multi-turn potentiometer. It's a great option if you prefer not to connect anything directly to the workstation or if the machine has an internal VFD.
The Intermatic industrial wind-up timer is a practical solution for situations where electrical panels are unavailable for wiring a volt or current sensor. Commonly used in welding and fume extraction booths, these timers can be connected in parallel with a VOLT, current, or another sensor.
The Omron Proximity Sensor, one of our four premium sensors, is often utilized on conveyor lines to detect material passing a certain point. With a maximum sensing range of 0.3”, it eliminates false triggers and ensures the Ecogate system only activates when needed.
The Keyence Laser Sensor, our newest addition, boasts an impressive detection range from 2.5” to 196”. This versatile sensor can be used on various machines and comes with a simple programming process for setting your desired range. It can be used on an array of machines including CNCs, edgebanders, welding booths, wide belt sanders, sanding tables, polishers, and more. This sensor is capable of detecting both material entering the workstation and the presence of an operator. Comprehensive instructions for wiring and setup are provided with this sensor.
The Pepperl + Fuchs Occupancy Sensor mirrors the functionality of our other two occupancy sensors, albeit with a different programmable range. It has a range of 3” to 22”, making it an ideal choice for polishers, sanding tables, and welding booths. We provide detailed instructions for wiring and setting up this sensor.
Safety Contact Mat
The Safety Contact Mat is an excellent alternative to ultrasonic or laser sensors, primarily used to detect the presence of an operator. It's particularly handy for machines that lack an electrical panel, such as those operated with a pneumatic hand tool. The Ecogate system can also be programmed to stay open for a specific period after the signal is no longer active, so there's no need to worry about stepping off the mat prematurely.
Other Sensor Options
Beyond the eight workstation activity sensors we offer, our system is compatible with all industrial sensors with a 24V DC power supply and NO dry contact output. So, if you prefer to use another type of industrial sensor, or if your workstation has a dry contact that activates when dust collection is needed, our system can accommodate that too.
Guiding You in Choosing the Right Sensor
Selecting the right sensor is crucial for ensuring the optimal operation of your Ecogate system. If you're unsure about the best choice, our team is always ready to provide recommendations. Often, there are multiple sensor options that could work well for your machines.
For more information on the different activity sensor solutions we offer, check out this blog post. Feel free to reach out to us if you need further information or have additional questions. We're here to help!
Author: Daniela Petrescu