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Object Detection for Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals

Balluff is pleased to release a new line of M18 Factor 1 inductive sensors for use in the automotive tier supplier market. This portfolio provides extended detection ranges to enhance survivability of sensors in part loading applications, and is available with optional long and short housing form factors.

With the addition of these new Factor 1 sensors, Balluff expands its broad product line of problem solving sensor solutions designed for harsh welding applications. This is extremely valuable to tier suppliers as the trend toward automotive light-weighting has increased the use of new metal varieties, aluminum structures and multi-metal assemblies.

“The new M18 Factor 1 sensors provide more flexibility in welding applications where longer sensing ranges are needed or when a customer is working with non-ferrous materials” says Shawn Day, Product Marketing Manager for Object Detection, “and a common application includes mig welding where ferrous or non-ferrous material is used.” The new M18 Factor 1 sensors are available with weld spatter resistant coatings and weld-field immune circuitry for maximum protection in hostile welding environments.

The new generation of Factor 1 sensors offer the additional features below:

  • Extended ranges for ferrous and non-ferrous materials
  • IP68 for harsh application environments
  • Weld Spatter resistant coating
  • Expanded temperature rating (-40…+85°)

Detect objects with the same high switching distance – regardless of the material

Factor 1 sensors detect objects made of steel, aluminum or brass with the identical switching distance (no reduction factor).

This characteristic offers advantages in applications where the material of the target objects can vary, or when alloys need to be detected at a great switching distance. Factor 1 sensors are magnetic field immune. This means their function is not impaired by strong electromagnetic fields (such as from induction hardening or welding equipment).


  • High switching distance for iron and alloys
  • For harsh environments, magnetic-field immune and PTFE coated
  • Meets the highest demands – IP68 enclosure rating and extended temperature range
  • High-precision and flexible in use – even for changing objects