Technical Blog

A Brief Description of Position Sensor Technology by Positek

Positek's patented non-contact sensor technology proves far superior than any LVDT used in industrial applications. With guaranteed high-quality performance and durability, Positek's sensors are deemed most suitable for extreme working conditions.

Position sensor technology has evolved significantly within the last several decades and remains to be one of the most vital components for machine automation. With the current trend of miniaturising and reinforcing the durability of sensors, there are endless possibilities for their application.

Overview of position sensors

In general, you can define a position sensor as any device capable of detecting the movement of the target object it is coupled with. The most common type of position sensor is a linear sensor which detects the rectilinear displacement of objects. The device produces an output signal which is converted into readable data relevant to the function of the machine, whether for controlling quality or maintaining safety.

Position sensors are available in either contacting or non-contacting technology. Each type of sensor technology has advantages and disadvantages which help define suitability for an intended application. For example, if the intended use expects exposure to extreme environmental factors such as vibration, non-contacting position sensors are more ideal.

It is not surprising that sensors are present even in the most mundane devices. Some everyday examples of sensor applications include:

• Building elevators rely on sensors or encoders to send position feedback.

• Automobiles have position sensors for some safety features such as throttle control.

• Surveillance cameras have tilt and rotary sensors for automated movement.

• Boats and ships have sensors for detecting rudder position.

These are only a few of the most common examples of position sensor applications. Moreover, position sensors are inherently essential for many industrial machines as well as consumer electronic devices.

Linear position sensor from Positek

When it comes to manufacturing linear position sensors, Positek employs a patented non-contact technology which guarantees the durability and robustness of the device. Compared with traditional potentiometers, non-contact sensors are not prone to wear and tear resulting from friction. Although potentiometers are still widely used for light applications, non-contact sensors are more suited for industrial applications.

Positek sensors also perform better than LVDT's because of its better stroke to length ratio; thus allowing for applications in compact spaces such as hydraulic machines. Unlike LVDTs which has three coils, Positek's linear position sensors only consist of a single coil which minimises vulnerability to damage.

Innovation in linear position sensor technology

Linear position sensor technology is reliable and straightforward. Before the product became widely available for commercial use, position sensors were used only in laboratory equipment. Nowadays, sensors are everywhere and used in almost any industrial application imaginable.

Continuous improvement in position sensor technology is primarily due to an ongoing discovery of new fabrication materials, engineering techniques, and affordable electronics. What was once an expensive product to produce, is now cheap, readily available, and even customisable for various uses. New position sensors have electronics integrated within the device allowing for complexity in function and compatibility with computer systems.

Experimenting with new materials like exotic alloys produce sensors that are capable of maintaining optimum functionality even when exposed to extreme pressure, temperature, friction, and corrosive compounds. These advancements are only adding to the versatility of position sensors in industrial applications.

Selecting the right type of position sensor

Position sensors are categorised according to several parameters. For example, you can choose a sensor according to its working principle. Sensors also differ according to the output type. Other parameters to consider when selecting a particular type of position sensor are:

• Resolution

• Accuracy

• Measurement range

• Sensitivity

• Noise tolerance

• Sensitivity to vibration

Every industrial buyer looking for a position sensor has to understand the specifications required for the application to find a suitable sensor that is fit for the device it will be attached to and will perform well when subjected to the natural working environment.

Position sensor customisation by Positek

Positek has a wide array of position sensors off its inventory. But there are instances when an industrial buyer has unique specifications that require customisation. Positek offers customisation to ensure that you get the specific sensor you need while at the same time fabricating it using our patented non-contact inductive technology. The sensor you will receive is far superior to an off-the-shelf product. If you need a sensor customised, contact one of our product engineers today for a design consultation and have your sensor manufactured and delivered within a few business days.

Article published on: 18/12/2018