A photoelectric sensor is used for detecting the presence of an object in a detection region, the position of the object, the color of the object, etc. by means of projecting light on the detection region and receiving the reflected or transmitted light from the object. Photoelectric sensors are widely used in the fields of electrical and electronic controls in a wide variety of industrial applications. Photoelectric sensors generally include a source and a detector, and can operate according to different various modes of operation, including transmitted beam sensing modes, retroreflective sensing modes and proximity sensing modes. A photoelectric sensor has a basic function of sensing whether or not an object to be detected exists in the detection area. Photoelectric sensors are typically used for detecting objects. They compare a measured quantity, such as reflected light, with a threshold value to determine whether the object is present or not. The photoelectric sensor comprises a light emitting section, a light receiving section, an amplification circuit, an A/D converter, and a processing section. A photoelectric sensor is normally enclosed in a casing with a sensor joint through which an output of the sensor is connected to an electric cable leading to an external circuit. Light emitted from a light emitting element (LED or laser) of the light emitting section controlled by the processing section is emitted to the detection area. Light passing through the detection area or light reflected on the object to be detected is received by a light receiving element of the light receiving section and is converted into an electric signal. The electric signal is amplified and shaped in waveform by the amplification circuit and then is converted into a digital value by the A/D converter. Many different types of photoelectric sensors and sensor applications have been used to monitor the movement of objects. A retroreflective photoelectric sensor is used with a reflector to together sandwich a target detection area therebetween and detects the presence or absence of a target object of detection based on the difference in the character of reflected light from the reflector and that from the target object of detection for light emitted from the sensor.
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