Color is one of the most influential attributes of light, although we may not be aware of this fact and its importance. Nonetheless, color plays a distinctive role of immense importance in our daily life and quite a few industrial and scientific applications. The number of sensors dedicated to sensing color is minimal, and the existence or operation of such sensors are little known to the public.
Color detection sensors emit light onto an object and measure either the direct reflection or the output. Many of these sensors have integral light sources (fiber optics, lasers, LEDs and halogen lamps are among these light sources) to achieve the desired effect. Colour detection sensors are used to grade colored products, distinguish coded markings, verify or detect the presence of adhesive or date codes on a package. These sensors are powerful sensing devices which can sense light, color and differentiate accordingly. The grid of the color-sensitive filters and sensors array perform color sensing, which assists in providing the information about color which is present in the image or on a specified object.
Based on the sophistication, the sensor can be programmed to identify only one color or multiple colors or shades for sorting operations. Accurate color mark detection and color recognition are the two specific applications of color detection sensors.
Colour detection sensors find their applications in observing consistency of colors in the production of textiles and these sensors are deployed as a part of industrial automation. Rising capital expenditures in industries such as automotive, oil and gas and power are fuelling the demand for industrial automation and are also boosting the associated automation markets including color detection sensors.
Several industries such as food and beverages, commercial and consumer printing, consumer electronics, automotive, pharmaceutical and healthcare, chemicals, textiles are employing these sensors for the identification of minute variations of color.
Luminescence sensor, RGB sensors, contrast sensor, are the various color detection sensors by product type. Among which, RGB sensor contributes to a significant share of color detection sensors as a large percentage of the visible spectrum can be created using these colors.
The growth of the food packaging market is also an imperative driver for global color detection sensor market to monitor safety and for quality control in meat production. Rising demand for the color sensors in textile industries is also prominent since these sensors can detect the color tone of fabric and likewise for quality control of the fabric. Pressing demands and regulations with regards to safety and efficient packaging, food, and beverage industries are actively deploying color detection sensors especially in the color mark and registration detection applications.
Furthermore, the growth of the smartphone and tablet markets is set to increase the demand for color detection sensors. These sensors form an integral component of mobile devices for detection of color brightness, temperature, and RGB components of ambient light.
Customization, probability, and the ease of the usage of these products have boosted the penetration of these sensors in end-user industries especially textile and other manufacturing industries.
There are a few pitfalls regarding accuracy when operating under extreme conditions of the industrial environment. As these color detection sensors are usually made up of plastic and other less sustainable materials owing to reduce the overall price of the components, these sensors are incapable of providing long-time service; this is further leading to the frequent replacement. Costs incurred in setting up color detector systems coupled with maintenance costs required impedes the SMEs to invest in this technology. Another challenge that could hamper market growth is when color differentiation becomes challenging as these sensors are prone to encounter shades usually from sunlight or industrial lighting. However, increasing number of stringent regulations with regards to product quality and sustainability have been pressurizing the manufacturers to enhance product quality and to make them feasible for all sort of environmental conditions.
Advanced technologies such as accurate color sensing and spectral sensing are emerging as new trends. Atlas Scientific is among the companies involved in the manufacturing of high-quality sensors for environmental monitoring. Atlas solved the market challenges by embedding the light sensor in a rugged housing below a layer of transparent epoxy which protects the sensor from moisture and performs efficiently.
SICK combines a contrast sensor and a color sensor into a single device: the KTS/X Prime to overcome the problems relating to color sensors owing to their slow response speeds plus these color sensors usually cost a lot more than the standard contrast sensors.
The supreme players operating in the global color detection sensor market include AMG AG, Atlas Scientific LLC, Banner Engineering Cor., Baumer Holding AG, Balluff GmbH, Hamamatsu Photonics K.K., HiTechnic Products, Keyence Corporation, Omron Corporation, Pepperl+Fuchs GmbH, SensoPart, SICK AG and Nidec-Shimpo Corporation
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