Industrial controllers use data from sensors to sense various factors such as object presence and physical variables like temperature and humidity. Photoelectric sensors are used to detect objects and determine the distance to them. The E3FA series by Omron is one of the most popular series of photoelectric sensors that can be found in industrial applications.

What is E3FA-DP13

The E3FA-DP13 is a PNP-output diffused-type photoelectric sensor manufactured by OMRON corporation. This belongs to the E3FA lineup, which is one of OMRON’s popular lineups of industrial photoelectric sensors that are widely used in object detection, counting and distance measurement applications.

There are three major types of photoelectric sensors:

  • Through-beam type photoelectric sensors
  • Retro-reflective photoelectric sensors
  • Diffuse photoelectric sensors

Through-beam and retroreflective sensors have two parts in the assembly that are mounted separately. Through beam sensors have a transmitter and a receiver and retro reflective type has a transmitter and receiver in one housing and a retro reflector as the secondary unit. Diffused sensors come in single assemblies where all the components are housed in a single housing.

The E3FA series is a set of photoelectric sensors that are simple and easy to mount. The series has all the different types of sensors including through-beam, retro-reflective, coaxial retro-reflective and diffuse reflective models. In addition to the mode of operation, there are many physical packages options available to choose from including straight and radial versions.

The sensor series has a nomenclature of E3FA-XXXX where the ‘XXXX’ denoted the sensor characteristics. For example, E3FA-DP13 denoted the E3FA series photoelectric sensor that is a diffuse reflective type which has an effective range of 1 meter.

Let’s have a look at E3FA-DP13’s technical specifications and the construction.

E3FA-DP13 Manual

The E3FA-DP13 is a diffuse-reflective type photoelectric sensor in the E3FA sensor lineup. This particular model has a maximum operating range of 2 meters and has an output type of PNP drive. The transmitter is a high power LED where the beam is visible to the eye.

The E3FA series sensors are made with high quality materials to have high EMC protection and better ambient light immunity to be used in any demanding environment.

All the E3FA series sensors come equipped with either open-ended wires or with an M12 4-wire connector pre-installed for easy installation.

While the open-ended wires can be directly connected to an electrical system, the models that come with M12 connector pre-equipped must be interfaced with a separate mating connector like the XS2F connector. These are available in both straight and right angle configurations. 

Let’s have a look at the E3FA-DP13 datasheet to have a better understanding of the sensor.

E3FA-DP13 Datasheet

The E3FA-DP13 diffuse photoelectric sensor has a maximum sensing distance of 1m for a standard white paper target. It has an infrared emitter that has a wavelength of 850nm.

The sensor has operation and stability indicators and has a single-turn adjuster to adjust the sensor trigger range.

The sensor has a typical 500ms latency in terms of switching the output upon detecting an object.

E3FA-DP13 Electrical Characteristics

The sensor operates on a 10-30VDC supply and has a PNP type output. It can control a load up to 100mA. Since the  sensor is PNP, the sensor sources current from the output pin.

The sensor wiring has a special wire that can be shorted with ground/supply voltage to select light-on or dark-on mode.

The input of the sensor is protected by a reverse polarity protection circuit and the output is protected using short circuit and output reverse polarity protection circuits.

E3FA-DP13 Wiring

Since this sensor is a PNP type sensor, it can drive a small load by sourcing current. The sensor can act as a high-side driver sourcing up to 100mA.

The figure below indicates the typical wiring diagram for a load directly driven by the sensor.

In addition to the above circuit, this sensor can also be easily connected with a programmable controller or any compatible interface.


E3FA series is a robust and versatile series of photoelectric sensors by Omron. The series has a multitude of sensor options from physical construction to mode of operation to output type to choose from for almost any application that requires optical sensing.

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