Mike Robardey

by: Mike Robardey

QX3 reg mark detection

Sensors can be challenging to specify, install and program causing extra work for engineering and maintenance. Two new laser sensors from Banner Engineering address some of the most common issues we have run into over the years, offering advantages that no other laser sensor range provides.

 1.  Sensors are often limited to one just function

There are plenty of programmable sensors on the market, but not many with all of the options that these new sensors provide. This class of sensors can do most anything under 12 inches. That includes features for on/off delays, Bipolar output (unless analog) and multiple teach modes.

2.  There are environmental concerns.

These sensors are rated for difficult environments where high vibration, and high temperatures are present. They are IP69K rated (the crème de la crème of specifications) for resistance to high temperature, washdown environments. Their metal body construction can take more impact than a plastic body sensor.

3.  Ease of use and programming.

Most programmable sensors have either dip switches or push buttons to configure the range, output, time delay, etc.  This process can be confusing and time consuming. Often, when you have buttons on the sensor, you lose some of your environmental rating. Not so with this range. The Banner laser sensors have a large LED display to aid in programming, and the programming trees for both the Q3X and Q4X are almost identical, a benefit if you’re deploying both classes of sensors.


Banner Q4X laser discrete sensor  Announced earlier this year, the Q4X offers versatile sensing distance and is able to detect distance changes of as small as 1mm across its 25 to 300mm range. It’s well suited to difficult distance sensing because it detects targets regardless of surface reflectivity, such as black foam on black plastic or rubber. EECO experience with this sensor confirms that it is intuitive to set up, providing high readability from its 4-digit display.

Q4X laser sensor

Q4X laser sensor

The Q4X is also recently available in an analog version, which adds averaging, analog output slope, loss of signal and trigger modes.

  • The averaging function – usually available only through PLC programming – minimizes programming requirements. This function enables it to measure across uneven surfaces such as capsules, washers, vials and cap lids to provide an average measurement for more accurate fill level monitoring.

This enables the Q4X to perform complex tasks such as stack height monitoring and to signal the automation system when more inventory is needed. Constructed of durable FDA-grade stainless steel, it is well suited to food and beverage and pharmaceutical environments. It carries IP67, IP68 and IP69K ratings The remote input functions allow a single sensor to solve a wider range of applications. Response times of 1.5 to 50 milliseconds further expand its adaptability to a variety of industrial applications. Q4X offers a unique combination of benefits at a competitive price. Our experience indicates that its durable construction and feature rich design make it a smart choice for a wide variety of applications. Its unique set of functions will also allow customers to reduce their inventory of sensors.

Check out the Q4X analog sensor video

Banner Q3X laser contrast sensor For contrast based part detection applications where small differences in contrast are important, the Q3X offers some real advantages we think are worth a look for customers who are confronted with these types of challenges.

Q3X laser sensor

Q3X laser sensor

Designed for high speed detection with a user-settable response time down to 250 microseconds, the Q3X is able to capture up to 2,000 events per second, making it ideal for applications where speed and accuracy are paramount. It can detect small changes in contrast at 25mm to 300mm range. Applications the Q3X can address include high speed registration mark detection, black O-ring detection against a shiny surface, and verification of labels on bottles where reflective and non-reflective backgrounds are present, which typically presents a challenge for standard diffuse mode sensors. Its fixed background suppression functionality overcomes the main problem with diffuse-mode sensors where objects in the background affect sensor performance. Out of the box, the Q3X operates like a fixed-field sensor, detecting targets within its 50mm range. The sensor can be programmed for low-contrast sensing in this range while ignoring objects at least 60mm away. In a typical labeling line, this could be a shiny metal rail on the line that could cause a false trigger. Made of durable nickel-plated zinc housing suitable for environments where cutting oils or other fluids are present. It is rated for IP67, IP68 and IP69K environments.

Q3X laser sensor video


Q4X Laser Sensor brochure

Q4X Analog Sensor brochure

Q3X Laser Sensor brochure

For a demonstration of these versatile sensors call 800.993.3326, or send an email to Mike.Robardey@eeco-net.com

Mike Robardey

Mike Robardey
Sensors and Industrial Controls

Mike is a self-confessed nerd fascinated with technology of all kinds. He is a self-taught electrical engineer with an in-depth knowledge of how sensors work and interface with various applications and equipment. Mike entered this industry not being able to spell PLC. Not to be defeated, he went to every available technical training, read every catalog and took every online class he could take.

Eighteen years later, 8 of them with Electrical Equipment Company as the Product Manager for Sensors and Industrial Controls, Mike strives to stay on the cutting edge of new technologies, whether it be sensing technologies or industrial networks, safety standards or modernization of control products.

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