RFID Sensor –the SICK RFU61x, Big Ability in a Small Package

What is RFID Technology?

RFID, or Radio Frequency Identification, is a method of transferring information between two entities, these being an RFID tag that carries information and a RFID scanner or reader to decode that data. Using electromagnetic field technology, when an item adorned with an RFID tag passes a suitable scanner that information is captured, extracted, and acted upon, or not, by the control system that is interpreting the data.

RFID tags and readers do not need a line of sight to function, they merely need to pass within the detecting range of each other. RFID Sensor tags can be found in many applications, such as attached to clothing in a store, under the skin to identify pet ownership, in a car key fob or in production operations, monitoring the progress of a product through each stage of manufacture, all of them containing data that is accessible by a suitable reader.

RFID technology exists in many forms and for many purposes and SICK, world-renowned manufacturers of sensors and sensing solutions are no strangers to RFID technology, here we preview the RFU61x UHF RFID Sensor.

The RFU61x UHF RFID Sensor, Small and Powerful

The RFU61x RFID Sensor from SICK, is one of the smallest read/write device of its type on the market, ideally suited for IIoT applications involving the identification of production workpieces or components.


The diminutive stature of this RFID Sensor enables versatile application possibilities even in the most limited installation spaces, and the rugged design provides reliable operation even in demanding industrial environments.

Installation is quick and easy thanks to the integrated process logic which means data gathered by the sensor can be processed directly within the device itself, performing triggering, reading, and writing which is passed onto the control system for interpretation.

Easy to connect, the RFU61x has a wide range of interface options allowing for the direct connection of trigger sensors meaning this capable RFID Sensor can be used as a remote, self-supporting unit.


The RFU61x UHF RFID Sensor – Packed with Features:

  • Extremely compact design, ideal for demanding environments
  • Frequency band UHF 860 – 960 MHz (region specific)
  • Read range up to 0.5 metres (depending on transponder and ambient conditions)
  • Connection option for trigger sensors
  • Connectivity – Ethernet (TCP/IP, PoE, OPC UA), Profinet, EtherNet/IP, USB
  • Link option to PC control systems or directly to the cloud
  • Antenna and data processing integrated in the sensor
  • Configuration via SOPAS ET and/or AppSpace Software or integrated web server
  • Rugged design in accordance with IP67
  • Large range of differing region-specific radio approval versions available


Configuration and set-up can be simplified further by using the free-to-download SICK SOPAS ET software or the integrated web server which helps reduce commissioning time. The versatile SICK APPSpace software (available via a monthly licence), which can also be used with other SICK Radio Frequency Units (RFU), helps provide users with maximum flexibility when programming. The RFU61X is available in a range of radio approval variants to cater for the individual broadcasting demands of specific countries and regions.


Typical Fields of Application

  • Component identification on assembly lines
  • Identification of production material in machines
  • Load identification on mobile platforms
  • Material procurement in E-Kanban
  • Container identification in conveyor systems


RFID Sensor Technical Data

  • Supply voltage 18 to 30 VDC
  • RFID standard EPCglobal UHF Class 1 Generation 2, ISO/IEC 18000-6 C
  • Modulation – PR-ASK, Read range ≤ 0.5 m
  • Integrated antenna, adjustable transmitting power, circular polarisation
  • Housing construction – die cast aluminium
  • Dimensions (L x W x H) 92 mm x 80 mm x 38 mm
  • Optical indicators 4 LEDs, multi-colour (device status), 4 RGB LED (Process feedback)
  • Memory card type – microSD (for parameter cloning, data storage)
  • Protection class III
  • Weight 313 g


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EX-Z Series Photoelectric Sensors – Small is Beautiful

Photoelectric Sensors come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and variants including reflective and through beam all of which essentially perform the same purpose, the detection of objects crossing the path of the beam which then leads to a given response from the control system. This could be an alarm if an item is missing or a signal triggering another function of an automation and control process.

Big Things Come In Small Packages

For your average industrial installation there will typically be a suitable photoelectric sensor available, but when the application is very restricted in terms of available real estate, then you will need to look beyond the average sensor offering. The biggest challenge when designing and manufacturing miniaturised industrial photoelectric sensors is combining both the optical and electronic components into one housing, which as you can imagine is a complex engineering solution. Panasonic, with decades of experience with electronic design and miniaturisation were the obvious candidates to develop and manufacture a high-performance range of diminutive photoelectric sensors.

With a width of only 3mm, the EX-Z Series of Miniature Thru-beam Photoelectric Sensors is one of the smallest in the world that also contains a built-in amplifier making them ideal for mounting in tight spaces. This small but mighty range of miniature photoelectric sensors are not only small but have been designed to detect even the smallest objects with a fast response time and with the highest precision. The EX-Z series is especially suited to precise object detection within a limited and challenging installation space. Even though the housing of the sensor is only 3mm deep it contains all the essential technical elements, such as optics, electronics, indicator LEDs, and transistor output. A 2-metre cable is built-in as standard with special lengths being available upon request.

Packed with Technology

EX-Z Series - 3mm in width, fingertip sized!Although small in stature these Miniature Through-beam Photoelectric Sensors pack a powerful punch, with the ability to detect objects as small as 0.3 mm diameter without the use of an optional slit and identify objects as small as 1 mm in diameter at up to 500 mm distance (depending on the chosen model), a world class achievement among self-contained miniature photoelectric sensors. The low power consumption of these detection sensors makes them appealing to many industries and coupled with IP67 protection and their excellent vibration and shock resistance the EX-Z series is ideally suited for use in challenging and harsh industrial automation and control environments. Supplied as an emitter and a receiver pair. 3 stainless steel mounting brackets are also available separately along with a polyacetal spacer for through wall sensing, providing numerous mounting and installation options.


EX-Z Photoelectric Sensors Key Features

  • Miniature Thru-beam Photoelectric Sensor with built-in amplifier
  • Slim 3mm design – including optics, electronics, indicator LEDs, and transistor output
  • Front and side sensing types, sensing range 50, 200, 500 mm (model dependant)
  • NPN and PNP output versions available
  • Response time 0.5 ms or less
  • Detects objects with a diameter of as little as 0.3mm (EX-Z11 Version)
  • Built-in short circuit protection
  • Light-ON, Dark-ON types available
  • Voltage rating 12 to 24 Vdc
  • Typical dimensions 14 x 8 x 3mm (front sensing type)
  • Clearly visible LED spotlight, 650 nm
  • Built in LED indicator lights
  • Robust PBT enclosure, Polycarbonate lens, 2 metre cable
  • Protection rating IP67
  • Robot-cable version option
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The Wireless Alert Sensor Range from Lascar Expands!

Lascar have expanded their Wireless Alert Range with the addition of three exciting Wi-Fi enable sensor products. These capable wireless devices offer even more flexibility when it comes to remote sensing across a wide variety of industrial, commercial and domestic applications.

The Wireless Alert LD – Leak Detection

The Wireless Alert LD

The Wi-Fi-connected Wireless Alert LD detects localised leaks or flooding and sends email alerts, using the free ‘FilesThruTheAir’ mobile app (available in the Google Play and the App Store) to a user-selected email address. Once installed the Wireless Alert LD will send and alert when the probe detects the presence of fluid between the sensor contacts, allowing users to take corrective action.

This affordable product is ideal for a wide array of applications where a water leak, or localised flooding could, for example, seriously compromise and damage a valuable piece of equipment or property. Ideal for installation in kitchens, cellars/sumps, public bathroom, chilled storage, water tank overflow, etc.

Wireless Alert LD Features:

  • Leak detection sensor with 1.5 m cable
  • Wi-Fi connected, customisable email alert messages
  • Alert delay settings to prevent unwanted alerts
  • Simple to set up using the free mobile app
  • Two years’ battery life (typical) – 2×1.5V AAA included
  • No ongoing subscription fees
  • Includes sticky pad for wall mounting

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The Wireless Alert CM – Contact Monitor

The Wireless Alert CM

The Wi-Fi-connected Wireless Alert CM will remotely notify users via email when it detects a volt-free contact has changed state, using the same FilesThruTheAir mobile app as mentioned earlier. Configurable settings include, device name, alert notification message content, alert delay and Wi-Fi network connection. The Alert CM is ideal for monitoring relay contacts, float switches, door contacts, push buttons or any electronic system with a volt-free contact output.

Wireless Alert CM Features:

  • User-configurable alerts for contact open, closed or both, 1.5 m cable
  • Alert delay settings to prevent unwanted alerts
  • Customisable alert messages
  • Sends email alerts and scheduled status reports
  • Wi-Fi connected, WPA/WPA-2 Personal – 802.11bgn
  • Simple to set up using the free mobile app
  • Two years’ battery life (typical) – 2×1.5V AAA included
  • No ongoing subscription fees
  • Includes sticky pad for mounting

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The Wireless Alert TP-P – Pipe Temperature Sensor

The Wireless Alert TP-P

With a temperature range of -40 to +120°C and a probe complete with a 1.5m cable, the Wireless Alert TP-P will remotely notify users via email (using the FilesThruTheAir mobile app) when the pipe probe detects that the temperature of a pipe is outside of those defined in the user-selected limits.

Configurable settings of the Alert TP-P include, device name, temperature alert limits, alert notification message content and WiFi network connection. The perfect and affordable pipe temperature monitoring solution for countless industrial, commercial and domestic applications.

Wireless Alert TP-P Features:

  • -40 to +120°C temperature probe with 1.5 m cable,  IP65
  • User-configurable high and low temperature limits
  • Sends email alerts and scheduled status reports
  • Flashing alert indicator
  • Wi-Fi connected, WPA/WPA-2 Personal – 802.11bgn
  • Simple to set up using the free mobile app
  • Two years’ battery life (typical) – 2×1.5V AAA included
  • No ongoing subscription fees
  • Includes sticky pad for wall mounting

Learn More


Kempston Controls are the people to speak to when it comes to finding your ideal Lascar Wireless Sensor solution. Call us today on +44 (0) 1933 411 411, or email sales at sales@kempstoncontrols.co.uk, or alternatively use the enquiry form below and let us help find the perfect sensor for you.


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SicWave – 80 GHz Free-space Radar Level Detection for all Liquids and Solids

The storage of products such as grains, sugar, ore and liquids can take up a lot of space, typically utilising silo systems which can reach considerable heights. Measuring the level of product within these storage facilities can be difficult at the best of times where both the height and the media within can cause various issues with accurate level sensing. Similarly, production processes that involve stirrers and preparation tanks can create internal environments where accurately measuring the level of the contents within is challenging.

Dust and Foam Frustrations

Dust, moisture, foams, the build-up of residues and other obstructions within a storage or processing vessel can frustrate your average sensor, leading to down time, additional costs and frustration. What you need is a sensing solution that can deliver reliable level sensing results no matter how tall the silo or how demanding the process and the media involved prove to be.

To address these challenges and more, SICK, world renowned for their sensor solutions, have created the high-specification SicWave LFR and LBR ranges of level sensors, these sensors utilise an 80 GHz free-space radar technology delivered via a highly-precise narrow beam that is a thousand times more sensitive than previous generations 26 GHz radar technology.

SicWave LBR – For Solid Media Level Detection

SicWave LBR sensors

Demanding situations require dedicated solutions, the SicWave LBR free-space radar provides continuous non-contact level measurements, is highly resistant to external interference, dust and deposits and works with all solids. A high-contrast built-in LCD display option is available, aiding set-up and installation and providing the user with essential sensor feedback data. Utilising a unique non-contact 80 GHz radar technology and a highly-focused narrow beam, the LBR range is simple to install and is maintenance-free. With a wide range of options such as antenna design, process connectivity and housing material types ensures these sensors are ready for any application.

Avoiding Those False Signals

The narrow field of view also avoids the potential for false signals caused by dusts and deposits on walls or by other obstructions inside the storage vessel the LBR Level Sensor helps prevent unexpected downtime.

SicWave is accessible using bluetooth


Remote set-up and interrogation of the sensors is straightforward, either using the on-board WPAN interface to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth or through standard HART communication which also enables easy integration with control and diagnostic systems. These sensors feature a 4 – 20 mA output, allowing signals to be monitored and displayed on a cloud-based dashboard environment using IIoT gateways such as SICK’s Telematic Data Collector.




SicWave LBR Solid Media Level Sensor Range Features

  • Non-contact detection principle, continuous measurement
  • 80 GHz free-space radar with various antennas
  • Highly-focused narrow beam microwave radar pulse
  • Built-in high-contrast display option
  • Measuring range: up to 120 m
  • WPAN, HART and Bluetooth communication
  • 4-20 mA output
  • Process temperature: −40 °C to +200 °C
  • Process pressure: −1 bar to 20 bar
  • Sensor element accuracy ≤ 5 mm
  • Process connection options: thread, flange, special brackets
  • Housing: plastic (IP66 / IP67) or aluminium (IP66 / IP68)
  • Certificates: Ex d, Ex ia, Ex ta

View the Range


Typical SicWave LBR Sensor Applications

  • Crushers, belt transfer, raw meal, clinker and cement silos as well as silos for solid fuels
  • Breakers, storage silos for ore, silos in the metal and steel industry
  • Bulk material stockpiles, belt transfer, buffer and production silos in the mining industry
  • Storage and small silos in the food and beverage industry
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SicWave LFR for Liquid Level Detection

SicWave LFR Sensors

The 80 GHz SicWave LFR non-contact free-space radar sensor, with its highly-focused narrow beam, provides continuous level measurements, works with all liquids and is highly resistant to external interference, false signals, foam and deposits. Insensitive to material build-up, the LFR range of level sensors helps prevent unexpected downtime.

Up and Running in No Time!

Easy to commission, the LFR range can be put into operation quickly and easily and is maintenance-free. A wide range of options for antenna design, housing materials and a range of process connections ensure these sensors are ready for any application. A durable stainless-steel housing option is available for use in hygienic environments such as those required in the food, beverage and drug industries. A high-contrast built-in LCD display option is available, aiding set-up and installation and providing the user with essential sensor feedback data. Remote set-up and interrogation is carried out in the exactly the same way as the LBR range.

SicWave LFR Liquid Media Level Sensor Range Features

  • Non-contact detection principle, continuous measurement
  • 80 GHz free-space radar with various antennas
  • Highly-focused narrow beam microwave radar pulse
  • Built-in high-contrast display option
  • WPAN, HART and Bluetooth communication
  • 4-20 mA output
  • Measuring range: up to 30 m
  • Process temperature: −196 °C to +200 °C
  • Process pressure: −1 bar t0 25 bar
  • Accuracy of sensor element ≤ 1 mm
  • Process connection options: thread, flange, clamp
  • Housing: plastic (IP66 / IP67), aluminium (IP66 / IP68) or stainless steel (IP69)
  • Certificates: Ex d and Ex ia, WHG, shipbuilding

View the Range

SicWave LFR sensor in action

Typical SicWave LFR Sensor Applications

  • Chemical industry: large tank storage, storage and buffer tanks, reaction and transport containers
  • Oil and gas industry: mud pits, trip tanks, shakers and wastewater containers
  • Food and beverage industry: large, stirring and preparation tanks, thickener and filling tanks
  • Water industry: storage tanks for flocculants, coarse and fine screens
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Kempston Controls is the place to come to find the perfect SicWave Level Sensor for your next retrofit or installation project. Call us today on +44 (0) 1933 411 441, use the enquiry form below, or contact us via email at – sales@kempstoncontrols.co.uk.


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Safety Light Curtains with Advanced Bluetooth Interface

Safety light curtains, or as they are often known as – light barriers, light grids and light guards to mention just a few alternatives are classed as Electro-sensitive Protective Equipment. Consisting of a transmitter and a receiver head, light curtains generate a field of infrared light between these heads which is classed as the detection zone.

Invisible Light Protection

Typically, these diligent devices are situated around access points to a piece of processing machinery, shutting down the device should a person, or a part of a person, cross the beams of the safety grid.  Advantages of a light curtain include reduced operator fatigue, when compared to mechanical options such as gates and barriers, and the subsequent upkeep of these mechanisms and simplifying maintenance and set-up times.

safety light curtain installation

Utilised across numerous industry sectors for many years, light curtains come in many shapes and sizes. Schmersal, renowned for their impressive range of Safety Light Curtains decided to add yet more functionality to these popular process safety devices by adding a built-in high specification Blue Tooth interface.

The Schmersal SLC440/COM Safety Light Curtain range with built-in Bluetooth BLE (BLE stands for Bluetooth Low Energy) is an active optoelectronic protective device that can provide real-time status and diagnostic data of the light grid on a smartphone or a tablet via a Bluetooth interface.

Ideal for Predictive Maintenance

The Bluetooth interface allows easy start-up using a smartphone or tablet with the integrated set-up aid. There is also the useful option of saving the data, which can then be used to document a repeat test or for predictive maintenance purposes. The transmission of data to smartphones / tablets (Android, IOS) is facilitated by an app developed by Schmersal.

NFC technology has been used successfully in the past when it came to recording and monitoring device diagnostic data, however it is limited to only a few centimetres. The Bluetooth BLE interface contained within the SLC440/COM Light Curtains can achieve a range of up to 100 times more, around 5 metres in total.

This means the BLE interface is perfect when the safety light curtain installation is in a relatively inaccessible position. Bluetooth BLE also offers a greater range of applications because not all smartphones or tablets are equipped with NFC. As Bluetooth is an international industrial standard, the SLC440/COM range can be used all over the world.

safety light curtain installation

Safety and Efficiency

The SLC440/COM Safety Light Grid with BLE are ideal for improving efficiency and availability in manufacturing processes as their status can be accessed easily and in real-time, meaning issues can be captured early. Status information and diagnostic data enables processes to be reactivated quicker, particularly in the event of a system shutdown if a hazard is detected.

It also represents an economical innovation as, compared to classic Bluetooth, BLE is characterised by considerably lower energy consumption and reduced costs at a similarly high communication range.

All of the SLC440/COM range of light curtains are available from Kempston Controls, give our sales team a call on +44 (0) 1933 411 411 or email them at sales@kempstoncontrols.com, or use the enquiry form below and let us help you select your ideal light curtain solution.

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POG 83 rotary encoder

Baumer’s POG 83 Series Rotary Encoders, Built for a life at Sea

Rotary encoders, or shaft encoders as they are often referred to as, are a popular engineering choice when it comes to location, speed and distance monitoring of an axle or a shaft that is located within a mechanical system. Typical encoder applications include industrial control systems, robotic production lines and conveyors, cranes, radar systems and more. Typically, Rotary Encoders come in two particular variants, these being absolute and incremental, absolute encoders provide details of a shaft’s current location, incremental encoders monitor the angular motion or the position of a shaft.

Electro-mechanical in nature, angular position and motion data from the monitored shaft is detected and converted into an analogue or digital signal for interpretation by other aspects of the installations control system to gauge speed, location, distance and act upon that information.

When it comes to motion, speed and distance monitoring in demanding conditions such as those found at sea, you will need a Rotary Encoder that has been specifically designed to resist and ignore the harsh and demanding environmental it is destined to function in.

POG 83 rotary encoder Offshore

Survival at Sea

Baumer are world renowned for their technically advanced Rotary Encoders and their POG 83 range is no exception having been designed specifically for harsh marine and offshore environments. These hardwearing Incremental Rotary Encoders are the go-to device for navigating your way around the extremely harsh perils of a working life at sea.

The POG 83 variants shown below are Incremental Rotary Encoders, with optical sensing and have been specifically designed to resist the adverse conditions found on deck all thanks the materials used and the impressively robust construction which ensures they remains environmentally sealed throughout their entire lifetime. Capable and durable, these rotary encoders pass IP tests not only when new or following DNV-GL tests, but even after via additional stress tests that simulate the aging effects of the sea.

Whatever you can throw at them these Incremental Rotary Encoders are suitable for a wide range of applications including – on-board cranes, floating cranes, on-deck motors, winches and many more.

POG 83 rotary encoder offshore installations

POG 83 Series of Offshore and Marine Incremental Rotary Encoder Benefits

  • High resistance to demanding sea conditions
  • High corrosion resistance to adverse deck conditions
  • No corrosion with salt spray or salt surface drying due to the high-quality stainless-steel housing
  • Liquid tight during temporary water overflow or high-pressure cleaning
  • Resistant to shocks and vibrations caused by waves or docking manoeuvres
  • Robust housing and high-quality ball bearings
  • Maximum machine availability
  • Long-term sealed design prevents the entry of water and vapour
  • Longer service life proven by upstream stress tests and IP tests
  • Minimised service costs, less frequent servicing
  • Variations with DNV-GL approval for simplified ship approval
  • Ready for the roughest conditions on deck
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POG 83 and POG 83 DNV-GL Incremental Rotary Encoders

POG 83 Rotary encoder

POG 83, POG 83 DNV-GL Shaft Encoder Common Features

  • Specially designed for deck machinery and cranes in offshore and marine environments
  • Stainless steel construction with optical sensing
  • Solid shaft ø11 mm with EURO flange B10 (ø115mm)
  • Robust bearings for extended service life
  • M23 flange box and circular plug-in connector in stainless steel
  • Protection class IP 66, IP 67, and IP 69K, offshore and saltwater firm
  • Pulse per revolution 512 – 4096
  • Phase shift 90 ° ±10°


POG 83 Additional Features

  • Tested long-term sealing with an expanded test series beyond DNV-GL
  • Voltage supply 4.75 – 30 Vdc
  • Approvals CE, UL/E217823


POG 83 DNV-GL Additional Features

  • Tested long-term sealing with stress tests
  • DNV-GL tested for quick ship approval
  • Voltage supply 7 – 24 Vdc
  • Approvals CE, UL/E217823, DNV GL


Enquire now

You can rely on Kempston Controls to help you find the perfect Marine and Offshore Rotary Shaft Encoders specific to your application. With access to the entire Baumer catalogue of products you need not go anywhere else. Call us today on (0) 1933 411 411 or email us at sales@kempstoncontrols.co.uk, or contact us using this form to discuss your requirements.

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