Types of the Most Popular Electronic Sensors

You’ll find electronic sensors and their supporting accessories in everyday objects such as lights and elevator buttons. They are widely used in some traditional fields such as the measurement of flow, pressure, and temperature. However, their applications have been expanded into more complex areas such as medicine, robotics, aerospace, airplane, and more with the advanced development in micro-machinery and microcontroller platforms.

Electronic sensors

What are Electronic Sensors?

It is an electrically operated device that identifies and responds to particular inputs from physical environments. The inputs can be any of the environmental phenomena such as heat, light, air flow, water flow, pressure, etc.

Sensor Accessories

Sensor accessories are tools and devices that support the installation, adjustment, or operation of sensor devices. A wide selection of sensor accessories is available in the market such as mounting brackets, adhesive backing, retroreflectors, conduit adapters, and more.

Types of Sensors Produced by Various Manufacturers

There’s a broad range of electronic sensors are available in the market. All the renowned manufacturers have their own line of sensors and their supporting accessories. Some of the most popular types are discussed below:

Inductive Proximity Sensor

You’ll see extensive use of these sensors in today’s automation industry. Their functions are to identify the presence and position of metal objects without any direct physical contact to help in process control. An inductive sensor can provide a long-term service because of having less mechanical parts.

Photoelectric Sensor

These sensors are used for identifying the presence, absence, or distance from a particular point of an object. They use an infrared light transmitter and a photoelectric receiver for their operation.

Laser Distance Photoelectric Sensor

They are used in applications where it is required to measure distance or a small spot size. They can provide high-resolution measurements and a high-level of accuracy even if employed in a fast moving process.

Fiber Optic Sensor

Such sensors are suitable for smaller systems. They are widely used in various industries as they are cost-effective, durable, and not affected by electromagnetic interference.

Position Sensor

These sensors are extensively used in a vast range of fields such as aerospace, security systems, hydraulics, nuclear, power generation, military, automotive, and a lot more. They can identify the movement of an object and transform it into signals appropriate for control, transmission, or processing.

Pressure Sensor

Mainly used in machine functions, factory automation, and steel mills, these sensors are used for detecting subtle changes in applied pressure.

Temperature Sensor

As the name suggests, these sensors do the job of metering the temperature in environments like wind farms, chemical plants, power plants, and machine automation systems.

Force Sensor

Such electronic sensors are widely used in general machine systems, power plants, and steel mills. They can measure both dynamic and static force and torque.

Electrical Raceways: Common Facts about their Types & Installation

Electrical raceways or raceway systems are an enclosed conduit that works as a passageway for electrical wiring. They mainly provide protection for wires and cables from various types of external damages and injuries caused by heat, weather, and water.

electrical raceways

Raceways also add to the aesthetics of a room by concealing those ugly wires mounting on a wall or behind your desk. It’s a versatile cable management tool used by both professionals and amateur home users.

Some of the various uses of a raceway system are:

  • Concealing wires and cables
  • Adding to the aesthetic of a space
  • Useful for installing new switches, telephone lines, and more
  • Acts as an essential part of the design of blade servers and sophisticated data centers
  • Used in indoors for data wires or electrical and telephone wires

Electrical Raceway Types

A raceway system can be defined just as a track for hiding cables. However, it’s features and functions are much more complex. There is a wide variety of raceways, each suited for a unique application.

Let’s take a look at the type that is most commonly used:

Surface Mounted Raceways

Sometimes, you need to install wiring in finished areas such classrooms, offices, a room in your home, or other similar places. In that case, you need a pathway that can aesthetically cover the wall-mounted cables without requiring you to drill holes in the wall and hide them inside. Surface mounted raceway (also known as wire raceway or cable raceway) comes in handy in such applications.

Secured to the surface, these raceways have an open face with a removable cover. They are effective when it’s not practical to drill through a concrete block or difficult to remold the existing wires placed inside a wall.

Depending on commercial, industrial, and outdoor applications, you’ll also find a couple more varieties of specialty raceways.


  • Allows adding new wiring to a finished area without requiring drilling through or cutting the surface
  • Makes removal or upgrade of circuits easier
  • Improves the aesthetics of any place by hiding ugly wires

Installation of Electrical Raceways

You have to maintain some rules and regulations for the installation of electrical raceways. Besides, it has to meet the requirements of NEC and NECA “Standard of Installation”.

Raceways have to be installed at the proper elevations, and coordination with other work including metal and concrete deck work is required. However, remember that you have to complete the installation before putting cables or wires within the raceways.

Raceways are suitable for moist or humid atmosphere. So, you can install them in exterior locations, particularly when the wiring is supposed to come in contact with water spray, grease, or dripping oil.

In all the cases, you have to provide secure fastening and support of conduit systems from the building’s structural system. Raceway installation requires professional skills. So, hire a professional electrician or a company for any such project.



Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) and Its Types

They are digital computers used to control mechanical automation in industries by monitoring outputs and inputs. They make logic-based commands for electro-mechanical processes and industries. They are made in a special way to survive unfriendly conditions such as moisture, dust cold, and heat.

Programmable Logic Controllers

How a PLC is developed

Inside the PLC, there is a programmed microprocessor which uses computer language. The program is usually developed on another computer then sent to the controller via a cable. There is a specific language known as Ladder Logic that is used in the programming of a PLC.

Components of a Programmable Logic Controller

A PLC has a well-designed hardware system that makes is highly effective in its work areas. These consist of a CPU, microprocessor, input and output sections, power supply unit and memory. Each of this component has its functions that keep the controller at work.

  • CPU- This is also known as “the heart of the controller”. It is responsible for keeping the computer in check as well as performing functions such as arithmetic operations, managing computer interfaces, and logic operations.
  • Microprocessor- This device is used to feed the computer memory with the program.
  • Memory- Data is usually stored in this part. The system ROM stores the fixed data used by the CPU. There is also a Random Access Memory (RAM) that stores output and input data, time values and internal device’s functioning.
  • Input and Output Devices- PLSS use either analog or digital devices. These includes visual systems and robots. The output devices are tools such as solenoid valves and motors, lights and pumps.
  • Power Supply Unit- Many PLCs work under the normal power of about 220 VAC or 24 VDC. However, there are certain controllers that work under isolated power supply.
  • System Bus- There are four system buses that maintain the flow of digital signals within the controller. These buses are
  1. System Bus
  2. Data Bus
  3. Control Bus
  4. Address Bus

Types of Multiple Controller Systems

There are 3 types of PLCs.

Large Control Systems

They are made to suit your personal automation requirements. These include modular architecture, network options, and other Input/ Output functions. They are the most powerful and deliver top-range services if used effectively. They are made under maximum supervision in order to provide maximum performance and reliability.

Micro and Nano Control Systems

They are designed to provide a solution to basic control needs. They are used on simple machines to perform light duties such as compact packaging, simple logic, and control timing and relay replacements. They are also ideal for applications such as security systems, conveyor automation, and parking and building lot lighting.

Small Control Systems

They are ideal for mid-range uses. Without large systems, they give flexibility and features that maintain maximum performance. They are safety certified and standard for use, with modular, packaged and chassis-based designs. They perform activities such as building automation, batch processing, and machine control.

PLC Selection Criteria

When choosing a PLC, there are various requirements that you should consider.

Environmental conditions.

They affect the performance of a PLC. Normal PLCs should operate between 0 to 55 C. The number of I/O connections are determined by the number of analog and discrete devices.

Program Memory

Analogue devices require little program memory than digital devices. These devices include; sensors, current, voltage and temperature meters.

CPU Specifications

It is important to check the RAM and ROM specifications. Timers and counters store points in RAM. For long time data storage, there should be an appropriate CPU memory.

The Criteria to Consider While Choosing Circular Connector Types

Any electrical connector can be circular connectors if they have multi-pin interconnects featuring circular contact interface with cylindrical contact housings. A variety of circular connector types is there that are used for applications that demand high reliability such as military and aerospace.

Circular connectors are widely used for some of their unique capabilities. They can hold various types of contacts, provide solid mechanical performance, are compatible with a broad range of contact currents and voltages, and are capable of environment sealing with ease. On the other hand, their principal drawback when compared to rectangular connectors is the loss of panel space when used in groups.

Circular Connector

Selection Criteria of Circular Connector Types

Choosing the right circular connector is important to get the correct mechanical performance. There are some basic parameters that you have to consider while choosing circular connector types:


All connectors can be primarily divided into two categories – male and female. A male connector has pins that plug into a receiver with sockets while a female connector has sockets that connect to a connector with pins.


A variety of terminal options is there that determine how the conductive element connects to the connector’s electrical contacts. Termination options include tabs, screws, PCB solder, solder cup, lugs, wire wrap, insulation displacement, and crimp.


The connectors come with particular mounting types as they are required to mount on a circuit board, panel, cable end, or other points. Different mounting methods are available including inline cable mounts, jam nuts, bulkheads, and flanges.

Performance Criteria

You also have to consider several performance criteria for selecting the right circular connector types. Let’s take a look at the key performance factors:

  • Voltage and Current Ratings

The maximum rated voltage and current indicates to the highest amount of voltage and flow of electricity a connector can transmit, respectively. The size and type of contacts in the connectors typically control the voltage and current rating.

Connectors that are used for electrical signals and sensors have low amperage and voltage ratings. Power connectors, on the other hand, have a high voltage and current ratings.

The standard voltage ratings of the connectors are 50V, 125V, 250V, and 600V while the current ratings range between 1A and 50A.

  • Contact Number & Size

The contact number indicates to the number of conductive elements in a connector. On the other hand, the size of the contact can refer to either the termination size or the diameter of the contact.

The American Wire Gauge (AWG) is the standard according to which the size of the wire is measured in North America. The AWG number is conversely proportionate to the diameter of the wire. So, the thinner the wire is, the higher the AWG number.

Previously, the term circular connectors were used for circular plastic connectors (CPC), which were used in industrial applications for their ability to offer a secure connection and withstand hard environments. There are mil-spec connectors that are specifically designed for military and aerospace applications. You’ll also find DIN, micro, and nano connectors for different applications.

A Brief Guide to Understanding AC Drive System

The function of an AC Drive is to change the speed and torque of an electric motor (AC Motor) used in electro-mechanical drive systems by changing the frequency and voltage of the power supplied to the motor. An AC Drive system, which is also known as a variable-frequency drive (VFD), inverter drive, variable speed drive, and adjustable-frequency drive, mainly performs the speed adjustment of a motor.

AC Drive System

AC Drives Applications

The AC Drive system has a variety of applications in different electrical systems. Let’s take a look at some common uses:

Control Performance

AC Drives control the performance of various systems in commercial and industrial applications. They work for bringing the quality improvements of different systems’ speed, acceleration, tension, torque, flow, and pressure.

The advantage of using the drives is that they ramp up the motor to the operating speed gradually, reducing the electrical and mechanical stress on the motor and the driven equipment. On the other hand, fixed-speed load keeps torque and current surge at a high point at the beginning, creating damage risk for the motor and other equipment.

Energy Savings

The AC Drives provide the flexibility of tuning the configuration of a system to the most energy-efficient level. They help saving more energy than drives that offer the optimization of individual functions of a system.

HVAC Applications

AC Drives are most commonly used in compressors, pumps, and fans of HVAC systems. Using them other than any other tool in controlling the output of a fan, pump, or compressor system saves a substantial amount of energy.

AC Drives Working Principle

An AC Drive system converts the frequency of a power network, and thus controls the motor speed in a proportional rate to the frequency. Understating some simple basics of AC Drives will help you figure out their working principle. The procedure consists of:

Rectifier unit. The electrical network connects to the AC drive via a uni- or bi-directional rectifier unit. The AC Drive takes energy from the system and uses it to accelerate and run the motor if the rectifier is unidirectional. In the case of a bidirectional rectifier, the drive supplies energy to the network by taking mechanical rotation energy from the motor.

DC circuit. The DC circuit mainly assists the inverter by storing energy for it from the rectifier.

Inverter unit. It works as a bridge for the transmission of energy from the DC circuit to the motor. It creates the three-phase AC voltage output for the motor, which influences the motors speed aka output of the process. A higher frequency of the output voltage results in a higher speed of the motor.

Benefits of AC Drive System

AC Drives offer various benefits regarding system stress, process control, and energy savings of the motors they control. Some of the advantages are:

  • Gradually ramp up the torque and current surge, and thus reducing stress on the tools and machines
  • Reduce thermal and mechanical stresses
  • Cut the level of noise and vibrations in low load situations
  • Secure smooth flow of energy by synchronizing between different parts of the main process
  • Control the output of the process as required
  • Save energy more than the traditional methods of process control

Advantages of Cable Tray Systems and a Brief Guide to its Fittings

Cable Tray Systems

Cable tray systems are extremely popular because of having certain edges over other wiring systems such as conduit pipes. They are cost-efficient, easier to maintain, and more flexible to changes and reliable. In addition, they are designed to eliminate all the safety risks associated with other wiring systems.

Selecting the right electric cable tray is necessary. Otherwise, applying the wrong system can lead to numerous problems such as faulty installation, extra maintenance, the possibility of power outages, and high safety concerns.

Unique Advantages of Cable Tray Systems

Cost Efficiency

The initial cost of a tray cable installation can be as much as 60% less than a conduit wiring system. The prices of all the components of cable tray systems, including trays, supports, fittings, and other accessories, are budget-friendly.


Cable tray systems offer resilience and strength incomparable to any other wiring system. They need less maintenance and offer less downtime, which is critical in industries like data communications and financial services.

Besides, they are free of moisture buildup problems and are less prone to damage during installation.


Cable tray systems are super flexible to changes and modifications. You can quickly rework the current configuration or add cables to meet new requirements because cables can enter or exit a tray at any point.


Maintaining an electrical cable tray is easier and less time-consuming than conduit systems. You can inspect the physical conditions of both the cables and cable trays without requiring any extra tool. Besides, you can also see if the trays have space for extra cables.

Safety Rating

Cable wiring systems come with a high safety rating. They don’t channel moisture in addition to being resistant to corrosive, explosive, and toxic gasses.

What Is Cable Tray Fitting?

A cable tray fitting is a device that performs the task of changing the elevation, direction, or width of a cable tray system. A range of fittings makes the system fully customizable to lodge any tricky configuration.

Take a look at several types of cable tray fittings:

Flat Elbow

Flat elbows create fixed angular changes in direction in the same plane, between horizontal or vertical cable tray runs, depending on where the installation of cable tray is done in a horizontal or vertical plane, respectively.

There are also 30, 45, 60, and 90 degrees elbows.

Variable Risers

Risers create angular changes in direction between cable tray runs in various planes. You can use them in both horizontal and vertical planes.

Equal and Unequal Tees

Equal tees have an identical main width (Wm) and branch width (Wb) while it is different in the case of unequal tees.


Crosses do the job of creating right angle intersections in the same plane. The intersections are created between horizontal or vertical cable tray runs based on whether the cable tray is installed in a horizontal or a vertical plane, respectively.

Straight Reducer

The primary function of straight reducers is to produce a concentric reduction. They share a uniform width reduction along both sides.

Left Hand Reducer

Left hand reducers do the function of creating offset reductions to meet the installation requirements of different sites. They have a width reduction along the left side.

Right Hand Reducer

Right hand reducers also do the job similar to left hand reducers. However, they have a width reduction along the right side.

A/V Connectors

From helping you out in creating an all in one home theater system to enhancing the speed of your internet connection, A/V connectors can prove to be very beneficial. It is crucial to have the right cable for your devices because your connection is only as powerful as the most vulnerable electronic component involved. If the wires that are responsible for connecting your devices aren’t strong then no matter how amazing your TV and speakers are, your experience won’t be great.

So now that we have established that, you must know the importance associated with finding the right kind of A/V connector for your devices.

There are different kinds of A/V Connectors, out of which video and audio cables are the main ones, which are described below:

Video Cables

Video Cables:

Video cables are the type of cables which are used to connect your television to other devices like CD players, laptop, cameras, etc. Although people these days are more dependent upon their laptops for watching movies, there are occasions when you want to relax on the couch with your family and watch a movie. So video cables are still pretty apt. There are plenty of video cables that are out there but the most popular one is called the HDMI cable.

HDMI cables are known for the high quality and high definition. The video produced on the television is in its most original form because the cable carries the signal in its purest form. However, when you are purchasing an HDMI cable you should keep in mind that not all HDMI cables are the same. There are some which are more enduring whereas there are some which don’t last long.

There are plenty of brands available in the market which offers HDMI high quality cables.

 Audio Cables

Audio Cables:

You have the option of connecting your speakers to another source. You can do this with the help of audio cables. And just like for video, HDMI cables are available for audio as well. The HDMI cables will help you get a really good quality surround sound.

However, before buying them you should check them for their durability. It is better to invest in good quality HDMI cables rather than something inexpensive that doesn’t last long. So before you head out to buy an HDMI cable for your devices you should do your research and read reviews about different HDMI cables online so that you can make an informed decision.


For Your Safety: Electrical Layout in Your Workspace

If you are doing electrical wiring in your workspace, the key to success is in your planning and layout. Knowing what electrical supplies to use, the size of your workspace, the location of your outlets and circuits and the pieces of your larger electrically powered equipment is all key. Here are some things you may want to consider when figuring out the layout for your electrical wiring to ensure a job done correctly and safely.

Electrical Layout

Large pieces of equipment should have their own dedicated circuits. It’s a good idea to know where your equipment will be while working and make the dedicated circuits easily accessible to that area. It’s also a good idea to equip every circuit with a GFCI which will shut the power down in the event of a short and reduce the possibility of an electric shock.

Also, make sure you have enough outlets before starting. Typically, people find that they need more outlets than they first anticipated. Therefore, it’s a wise idea to plan for more outlets rather than less. Also, consider the height of your receptacles. Higher outlets may be best in workshop settings which eliminates access problems that might arise with lower receptacles when tools are placed along the walls.

When wiring overhead lights, it’s a good idea to keep them on separate circuit from the wall outlets. That way, if the wall outlets overload, you will still have light in your workspace.

The breaker box you are using should have clearly labeled switches indicating which tools are operating from which outlets. Most equipment will require a 240V outlet while pieces like air compressors or welding equipment may need a higher voltage. Your breaker box should be appropriately labeled to avoid confusion.

Adequate lighting is also key in a workshop setting. Electrical supplies offer a number of options for lighting including fluorescent overhead fixtures which are inexpensive, easy to install and offer a nice even light. Undercabinet lighting can be ideal for shelves ensuring easy access to tools stored there. Track lighting can be good for illuminating specific parts of the room because individual bulbs can be directed to light up different areas of your workspace. Portable flood lights are adjustable and very bright and can be handy if you are setting in a specific area to work.

Of course, the first step in all this is finding the best electrical supply store for your circuits, outlets and lighting. There are several electrical supply stores and houses for all your layout needs. Electrical wholesale could be useful to electricians who are looking to buy in bulk. Electrical supplies online is also a great option but be sure to read the descriptions carefully to make sure you are getting the product that suits your needs.

Those that are looking for convenient electrical wiring are advised to leave this work to an electrician for optimal safety. However, it’s a good idea to supervise as no one knows your workspace quite like you do. Good luck in making your workplace safe and easy to use!

The Roles of Cable Management Panel in Cable Management Solutions

A cable management panel is one of the most efficient cable management solutions that help organize cables on an equipment rack for easy identification. There are both horizontal and vertical cable management panels.

Cable management solutions have a significant role in communications, power distribution, and information technology (IT) sectors. They refer to products that secure the electrical cables in an infrastructure.

The Roles of Panels in Cable Management Solutions

Using panels, enclosures, and racks as a single system provide right protection for the cables and make the future repair, change, or maintenance easier.

Vertical cable management panels with cover can hold large patch cable bundles, electric wires, and data cables. Installed at the cabinet height, these panels have holes for the horizontal patch cables to pass on the vertical axis.

Both the vertical and horizontal cable management panels consist of a steel panel and plastic D-rings. Vertical D-rings are screw mounted to racks while horizontal D-rings are snapped into panels.

Cable Management Panel

Both types of panels are suitable for creating professional cabling facility. They keep bundled cables neatly organized in server hangers or racks, helping to avoid injury by tripping over unmanaged cables. They also ensure that a network performs at its level best by protecting cables from the damage caused by excessive tension.

The panels in a cable management system keep the cables in a neatly organized way, so it becomes easy to identify and manage different types of cables. Besides, the low-cost panels save money on cable maintenance.

The Advantages of Cable Management Panels

The panels provide an economical way of managing cables for current and future uses. Let’s take a look at their contributions to cable management solutions:

Secure Attachment

The panels provide a secure attachment of cable bundles to the server racks. Their adjustment features make it a breeze to manage cables in different sizes with ease.

Easy Cable Identification

The D-rings in the panels firmly hold cables, tubing, and hoses. They can function even in a limited space and can keep different types of cables separate from each other for easy identification and management.

Suitable for Rugged Environments

The panels are typically made of high-quality materials so they can perform in rugged environments and various weather conditions. Exposure to conditions like high temperature, salt water, rain, UV rays, etc. does not affect most of the panels.

Suitable for Various Applications

A huge advantage of cable management panels is that they are suitable for household, commercial, and industrial applications. So, you can use them either you need them for your garage or a large data processing center.