Ultrasonic Proximity Sensors and Fill Level Sensors

Hoffmann-Krippner ultrasonic position, level, and distance sensors capture measurements with pinpoint accuracy.

Ultrasonic sensors – by using high-frequency sound waves to detect the position and distance of objects – excel in industrial environments and applications that can frustrate other sensors. Ultrasonic detection can monitor objects whose surface structure, material, or color/translucence might distort the readings of other sensors. Even miniscule objects can be measured. Regardless of application – ultrasonic distance sensor, ultrasonic level sensor, and more – measurements can be captured with fine-tuned precision. The full line of Hoffmann-Krippner ultrasonic sensors have been exceptionally engineered and designed to accommodate an enormous array of needs, scenarios, and situations. In all cases, the exacting accuracy and ease-of-use of our ultrasonic sensors help users to achieve efficiency gains and streamline processes. Further, our sensors include popular and widely used designs that have been discontinued elsewhere. If your organization already uses ultrasonic sensors, we likely have the same sensors available for replacement parts and new objects. Please see the cross-reference charts at the bottom of this page for more information.

Why use a Hoffmann-Krippner Ultrasonic Proximity Sensor?

Our ultrasonic sensors offer unbeatable accuracy and service specifications. The use of high frequencies as well as modern signal treating, along with world-class engineering and design, means our ultrasonic sensors offer:

  • High resolution
  • Optimum precision
  • Long detection range
  • Very short minimum distance

Our ultrasonic sensors withstand a variety of harsh environmental factors. Many environmental factors can frustrate other sensors, but issues like humidity, dust, and smoke do not interfere with ultrasonic measurement accuracy. Even better, Hoffmann-Krippner ultrasonic sensors come in a variety of designs and form factors that can accommodate even very demanding settings; the P53, for example, is built in a durable stainless-steel enclosure that can withstand the high temperatures and pressures of a food production facility. Our ultrasonic sensors accommodate almost any object. Virtually all sound-reflecting materials can be detected, including clear and translucent objects like glass, as well as liquid or even powdered objects. Even sound-absorbing materials such as wadding or rubber foam can be detected with a reduction of the maximum sensing range.

Our ultrasonic sensors fit a huge array of applications. With a variety of form factors and designs, Hoffmann-Krippner ultrasonic sensors range from compact and convenient to robust designs hardened against even extreme environments. They come with analog and/or digital standard switching outputs, while RS232- and RS485-interfaces allow further connection to a PC. Multiple sensors can even be synchronized for simultaneous use to scan larger structures. Our ultrasonic sensors are supported by Pil and Hoffmann-Krippner’s world-class engineering. Our ultrasonic sensors are designed and built by industry-leading experts whose expertise is reflected in their multiple patents for leading technology included in our ultrasonic sensors. In addition to outstanding quality, reliability, accuracy and extended life expectancy, all Hoffmann-Krippner sensors are supported by expert consultation, as needed.

If you’d like to speak with one of our consultants to solicit input about your project or to inquire about our ultrasonic sensors, please send us a message here.

You can also skip right to our catalog of ultrasonic products here, or keep scrolling down to learn how and where our ultrasonic sensors can improve your applications.

Where to use our Ultrasonic Sensors: Areas of Application

Ultrasonic Level Sensor Ultrasonic sensors can provide fill level control. For example:

  • Verify product completeness (e.g., bottles in cartons)
  • Measure liquid levels in silos/tanks

Ultrasonic diameter detection Ultrasonic sensors can measure object diameters. For example:

  • Ultrasonic sensors can measure object diameters. For example:

Ultrasonic sag sensor Ultrasonic sensors can identify sagging belts, wires, or cables. For example:

  • Spot sagging conveyor belts

Ultrasonic object detection Ultrasonic sensors can identify the presence (and proximity) of objects, even in motion. For example:

  • Count objects of various shapes
  • Surveil inaccessible areas
  • Avoid collisions (e.g., self-driving vehicles)

Ready to start shopping? Skip right to our catalog of ultrasonic products here or keep reading to learn how our ultrasonic sensors work.

How Do Ultrasonic Sensors Work?

Ultrasonic sensors use the same sonar-based “echolocation” that bats and dolphins use to navigate. These animals emit high frequency sounds (greater than 20KHz, which humans cannot hear) and, by sensing the echoes reflected back to them, can identify the position and distance of objects relative to them. Similarly:

  1. Our sensors use an ultrasonic transducer to convert electrical energy into ultrasonic (high frequency) sound waves that are transmitted in a set pattern.
  2. Objects in its path will partially reflect the emitted signals, which are then received back by the sensor and decoded.
  3. The sensor compensates for temperature (which can otherwise distort readings), and the recorded time of flight is converted into position and distance data.

Technical Considerations:

Blind Zone – Ultrasonic sensors use a single transducer for transmission and receipt. Because the transducer cannot transmit and receive simultaneously, each sensor faces a small “blind” zone in which the position of a target cannot be determined.
Maximum Sensing Distance & Range – Maximum sensing distance is the distance in which a sufficient echo can be received by the transducer. In turn, maximum sensing range is determined by the amount of ultrasonic sound reflected from the object, which depends on the object’s size, surface structure, and orientation to the beam axis. Any objects deviating from the ideal flat vertical target, however, reduce the maximum distance and stability of the measurement.
Measurement Range – Note that the transit time of the sound pulse cannot be clearly measured in close proximity to the sensor.
Measurement Rate – The ultrasonic transducer can only transmit a new pulse after the pulse echo has reached the ultrasonic transducer. Therefore, ultrasonic sensors with large measurement distances have low measurement rates, and ultrasonic sensors with small measurement distances high measurement rates.

General Product Nomenclature

Note: When reviewing individual Hoffmann-Krippner sensors, the product nomenclature helps to communicate important information about the design, as illustrated below:

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