Hygienic Sensors Hygienic Sensors for the Food Industry

Editor: Dominik Stephan

All machines that process food have areas that pose different levels of contamination risk: the product-contact area, the splash area and the product-free area. A new series of hygienic sensors by Pepperl+Fuchs tries to meet the requirements for cleanliness and hygiene of the food industries with three different technologies: Ultrasonic, inductive and optical sensors.

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Ultrasonic hygienic sensor UMC 3000 by Pepperl+Fuchs with 200 mm to 3000 mm sensing range. (Picture: Pepperl+Fuchs)
Ultrasonic hygienic sensor UMC 3000 by Pepperl+Fuchs with 200 mm to 3000 mm sensing range. (Picture: Pepperl+Fuchs)

The product-contact zone requires the highest standards of hygiene making proximity sensors the method of choice. For this purpose, Pepperl+Fuchs has developed the UMC3000 ultrasonic sensor, which the company claims to be the first proximity hygienic sensor that can detect objects directly. The UMC3000 is manufactured entirely from FDA approved materials and designed according to EHEDG guidelines. The application of IP69K protection for thermal shocks is essential in harsh applications of the food industry.

The MLE76 optical sensor is chemically resistant to cleaning agents and offers IP69K protection of the tough ambient conditions in the food industry. The gap-free enclosure and smooth stainless steel surface satisfy cleanliness requirements outlined in EHEDG guidelines.


Inductive sensors available in a 12 mm or 18 mm design fulfill all product-contact zone requirements. Pepperl+Fuchs has developed a mounting concept for all three technologies, which fulfills all the cleanliness and gap requirements specified in EHEDG.

For the splash zone Pepperl+Fuchs has developed sensors that are capable of withstanding vigorous cleaning processes. Nevertheless, these rugged sensors are as easy to install as standard units, the company says. Since food products that adhere to the sensors during the production process do no reach the packaging process, they do not pose a risk of contamination. Because of this, ease of cleaning is more important here than extreme hygiene requirements are. The standard installation concept reduces manufacturing costs of this sensor series considerably.