Capacitive sensors can detect solid, liquid or granular objects. With these sensors highly structured and non-dimensionally stable objects e.g. the fill levels of liquids or bulk materials can also be detected in direct contact with the medium or through a non-metallic container wall. They are also suitable for completeness inspections. Capacitive sensors also function reliably in an extremely dusty or dirty environment. An array of different designs and large operating ranges enable the use in practically all areas of application in industrial automation.