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TEST AND MEASUREMENT SENSORS AND SYSTEMS
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Position Sensor Types

Position Sensor Types

There are many different types of position sensors. We offer many of these here at Ixthus and some are available from our sister companies within Variohm Holdings.

A position sensor is a device used to measure and monitor displacement. They are used throughout many different industries for various applications; they are highly versatile and are present in applications in various industries as well as many machines and devices which we may come into contact with during everyday life.

Position Sensor Types – Linear and Rotary

Position sensor types include different measurements, technologies and types of technologies.

There are two different types of position sensor based on the measurement being taken; linear or rotary. Linear position sensors are used for linear motions; up, down or side to side. Rotary position sensors are for measuring turning movements, either linear or rotary.

Linear position sensors are able to measure a certain range, the range of your applications may help you determine the type of position sensor required.

Rotary position sensors are able to measure a certain number of degrees or turns if they are multiturn.

Position Sensor Types – Contacting and Non-contacting

Within linear and rotary position sensors there are different types of technology, these can be either non-contacting (wear-free) or contacting.

Non-contacting position sensors tend to have a longer life as there are no wearing parts involved. Contacting methods tend to be cheaper.

The application in hand usually calls for a certain type of position sensor. We can help you to make the best selection, please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Position Sensor Types

Potentiometer – Potentiometers can be either linear or rotary. They use elastomer damped wipers and a resistive track to effectively measure displacement. This type of position sensor is available from Ixthus from our sister company Variohm and other suppliers.

Cable Extension Transducer – Cable extension transducers are a type of linear position sensor. They use a cable and a spring-loaded spool to measure large ranges of position. The sensors themselves are compact so they are well suited to applications where space is limited.

Hall Effect – Hall effect technology is a non-contacting position sensor technology. Magnetic fields are used to determine position. This type of technology is highly accurate and wear-free so offers long life. We have a range of Hall Effect sensors from Variohm which can be customised to your requirements.

Eddy Current – Eddy current sensors also operate using magnetic fields. They are particularly well suited to dirty environments and are not influenced by other materials in the vicinity of the application. They can also withstand high temperatures. See our Eddy current sensors.

LVDT and RVDT – LVDT (linear variable differential transformers) and RVDTs (rotary variable differential transformers) are both non-contacting sensors. They use a metal core and coiled wires to take their linear measurements. They are very popular sensors as they are known for having a long life whilst being highly accurate. See our LVDTs.

Positek PIPS – PIPS (Positek Inductive Position Sensor) come from our sister company Positek. They operate on a similar principle to LVDTs and RVDTs but use fewer coils which gives them a better stroke to length ratio.  They offer high accuracy and are suitable for intrinsically safe environments and submersible applications.

Positek sensors are fully customisable and have a very short lead time.

Laser Position Sensors – These are also non-contacting, the sensor emits a laser which is reflected off of the object in question back to the sensor and the feedback will give the position of the object. These are used in production lines and factories for a wide range of applications.

Capacitive Sensors Capacitive sensors use 2 parallel conductive plates, they are brought near each other and a charge is placed on one of the plates. Current will then flow across the gap between them. The amount of current that flows across the gap is determined by the voltage, the area of the plates, the material that separates the plates and the distance between the plates

Capacitive sensors are non-contacting; the system never makes contact with the part so there is no chance of wear.

The non-contacting system also allows for high volume measurements because there is no sensor cycle time. Capacitive sensors are used in demanding measurement applications such as; diamond turning fast tool servo, high precision spindle analysis, wafer surface detection in semiconductor equipment, and many others. 

Uses for Position Sensors

Position sensors are used throughout many industries, some of the applications they are used for include;

·         Motorsport applications – throttle positions, steering systems, suspension, gear position

·         Medical machinery and devices – MRI machines and Oncology machines

·         Robotics – both linear movements and rotary

·         Ticket barriers – the angles for being open and closed

·         Special effects on film sets

·         Elevator lifts – door controls and lift movements

·         Aerospace applications – wing flap angles

To name a few.

Position Sensors from Ixthus

We have a wide range of position sensors types; these can be seen on our website.

We can offer sensors with the above technology as well as many others.

If you have a position sensor application you would like to discuss, or if you would like assistance in selecting a position sensor, please contact us.  

For more information please contact: Ixthus Instrumentation Email: sales@ixthus.co.uk Tel:+44 (0) 1327  353437 Fax: +44 (0) 1327 353564

Article date: Fri, 10 Jul 2020 10:39:18 +0100 GMT

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