Editorial Feature

What Sensors Are Used in Automatic Doors?

Automatic doors for architectural applications have grown in popularity since the late 1950s. Today, these doors can be seen in a variety of settings, including hospitals, airports, luxury malls, corporate buildings, and hotels.

What Sensors are Used in Automatic Doors?

Image Credit: Locomotive74/Shutterstock.com

In addition to providing consumers with convenience, automatic doors have several other advantages, such as energy efficiency, security, and cleanliness. This article discusses the development, benefits, and importance of sensors used in automatic doors.

History and Development of Automatic Doors

A sensor module and motors work together to open and shut an automatic door. The motor opens the door when the sensor module detects a person or any other item.

American inventors Dee Horton and Lew Hewitt created the first automated door in 1954. The first commercially available automated sliding doors arrived on the market in 1960, inaugurating a new industry. In the 1970s, motion detectors for sliding doors were created. The idea of energy-efficient swinging doors was developed, and the first handicapped access doors were installed.

In the 1980s, infrared motion presence sensors were adopted for safety purposes and motion sensor activation for sliding doors became the mainstream technology. The first automatic folding doors were created in the 1990s as the automated door market became a global powerhouse. 

Nowadays, automatic doors can be seen in almost every office building, opening as we enter and closing quickly behind us.

Automatic Doors: Why are They Important?

Automatic doors are often utilized in high-traffic areas such as commercial buildings, restaurants, and government offices. These doors provide convenience to everyone, including those carrying luggage in both hands or a cart, since they can be opened without the need for hands.

The hands-free operation of automatic doors is an ideal option for hospitals and food plants where hygiene and sanitation are extremely important.

Automatic doors also help save energy and cut yearly heating and cooling expenditures. Doors open and shut automatically to minimize cool air from leaking and outdoor air and dust from entering.

The Crucial Role of Sensors in Automatic Doors

Sensors in automatic doors detect movement, pressure, or infrared pictures, causing the doors to open or shut. The doors will open as soon as pressure or movement is sensed, and they will shut when the detectors can no longer sense anything.

Different kinds of sensors operate in various ways. Some sensors detect the movement of someone approaching the doors. Others detect pressure, while some employ infrared technology to detect when an image deviates from its normal settings.

Sensors are the easiest approach to detect motion, pressure, or changes in infrared light without monitoring the door. They are durable, efficient, and straightforward to operate. However, it is essential to ensure that the sensors are properly installed to function automatic doors properly.

What Sensors are Used in Automatic Doors?

A wide variety of sensors may be found in automated doors, and each kind of sensor serves a specific function that is best suited to that sensor.

Pressure sensors operate by sensing the weight of an object or person. When these sensors establish sufficient pressure being applied by the weight, they transmit a signal to the automated doors, causing the doors to open.

Motion detectors and optical sensors are the most cutting-edge, widely utilized, and popular sensors available for automatic door systems. They are often positioned on the top or sides of doors and work by detecting movement in real-time. The doors will unlock when they detect motion in the form of either a person or an object going past them.

Movement sensors that employ infrared technology to visualize their surroundings are called passive infrared movement sensors. In the event that there is a change in the picture, these sensors will send a signal to the automated doors, causing them to either open or shut.

Commercial Suppliers of Automatic Door Sensors

BEA Group is the industry leader when it comes to the production of sensor solutions for automated door systems. The current location of the company's headquarters, which dates back to its founding in 1965, is in Liège, Belgium. The company’s flagship product is the LZR-Widescan industrial automatic door motion sensor.

LZR-Widescan is a time-of-flight sensor that is based on LASER technology and is used for detecting motion, safety, and proximity in several industrial door applications. This all-in-one solution gives the advantages of activation and safety while minimizing the amount of time needed for installation.

Hotron, which was founded in 1968 in Tokyo, Japan, is another market leader in the design and manufacture of sensors, safety devices, and switches for the automatic door industry. The firm provides a comprehensive supply of products for automated sliding, swing, and industrial doors, as well as a wide selection of touch and touchless door switches.

Horton's automated sliding door sensors feature long-range activation, monitored security, unidirectional recognition, and "door-learn" capability. In addition, Hotron's automated swing door safety sensors have the highest density infrared detection point. These sensors are also available in various lengths to ensure door safety during both the open and shut cycles.

Future Outlook

Several commercial places, including hospitals, restaurants, government buildings, and cooperative offices, are investing in sophisticated automatic door technology to improve their operations with advanced equipment and provide better services to clients.

The market for automated door sensors was valued at $1,257.23 million in 2019 and is expected to reach $1,857.27 million by 2027, at a CAGR of 5.1 percent. This is because rising industrialization in emerging countries and increased reforms by various governments for residential development are propelling the global sensor market forward.

Continue reading: Applications of Infrared Motion Sensors

References and Further Reading

Automatic Access Limited (2022) How Do Automatic Doors Work? Automatic Access Limited. https://www.automaticaccess.co.uk/blog/how-do-automatic-doors-work/

Hotron (2022) Hotron: Pioneers of Automatic Door Sensor Technology. Hotron.  https://hotron.com/

Mehta, A (2022). How Do Automatic Doors Work? ScienceABC. https://www.scienceabc.com/innovation/automatic-sliding-doors-working-motion-detector-pressure-sensor-infrared.html

Northern Dock Systems (2022)  Motion Sensors for Industrial and Commercial Automatic Doors. Northern Dock Systems . https://www.northerndocksystems.com/automatic-doors/automatic-door-motion-sensors/

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the author expressed in their private capacity and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited T/A AZoNetwork the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and conditions of use of this website.

Hussain Ahmed

Written by

Hussain Ahmed

Hussain graduated from Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad with Bachelors in Aerospace Engineering. During his studies, he worked on several research projects related to Aerospace Materials & Structures, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Nano-technology & Robotics. After graduating, he has been working as a freelance Aerospace Engineering consultant. He developed an interest in technical writing during sophomore year of his B.S degree and has wrote several research articles in different publications. During his free time, he enjoys writing poetry, watching movies and playing Football.


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