Technical Blog

Linear Position Technology Manufactured by Positek

Positek's position sensor technology uses a patented non-contact production technique which ensures the quality and robustness of the product. You can rely on Positek's sensors to work well even when subjected to extreme working conditions.

Position sensors have been around for several decades now, and the technology evolved extensively since the earliest known applications of position sensing. What was then used only in laboratories became a standard instrument for displacement measurement in almost all kinds of mechanical applications.

The two methods of determining position displacement are to make use of linear motion, or the distance traveled from one point to another in one direction, or the rotational movement of an object around an axis.

Understanding potentiometers and inductive position sensors

position sensor technology can be categorised as resistive or inductive. A potentiometer makes use of resistive sensing technology to measure displacement. Potentiometers are quite common because these are inexpensive and easy to use. It consists of a wiper connected to a shaft which either rotates or slides. The resistance produced from the wiper and attached to the target object gives out an electrical output which is proportional to the object's position. Potentiometers also come in a wide array of sizes and designs which make them versatile and suitable for many applications.

Inductive position sensors like linear variable differential transducers do not have the mechanical vulnerability of potentiometers. The working principle of an LVDT is similar to an alternating current transformer used in measuring movement. LVDTs provide accurate measurement where the device output is proportional to the movable core's position. A
Linear transducer consists of a hollow tube with three coils wound around it. A soft iron core connected to the target object moves inside the hollow tube.

Both of these types of
Linear position sensor has distinct advantages when used in industrial applications. While potentiometers are generally cheaper than LVDT's, they are not suitable for applications in extreme conditions such as high-vibration and high-friction environments. In this regard, LVDTs are better suited for such applications.

Position sensor output types

The sensor output pertains to the data produced which gets converted into readable data interpreted by the machine. The following are the types of position sensor outputs and their advantages as well as disadvantages.

Analog. Analog sensors produce an output in DC or DC voltage. Analog sensors are the most common type of sensors because of simple implementation and easy troubleshooting. Unfortunately, analog sensors are sensitive to electrical interference.

Time-based digital. A time-based digital sensor produces digital pulses separated by time. The recorded time intervals indicate the position and are equal to the object's displacement. Time-based digital sensors are economical. These are also not sensitive to electrical interference. However, it requires a unique interface to work; thus posing some complications in operation and troubleshooting.

Serial digital. Serial digital position sensors produce a single stream of digital protocol output. This type of sensor comes with a built-in diagnostics mechanism. Serial digital sensors are compatible with computer systems making them more advanced. As such, one of the downsides to this sensor is the higher cost.

Positek manufactures some of the best position sensors available in the market today. Industrial buyers looking for a range of sensors with specifications required for some of the most extreme working conditions can trust Positek's sensors to suit whatever the application needs .

Advantages of Positek's sensors

Aside from an extensive inventory of sensors, Positek ensures that whatever the client requires, they can package linear transducers and linear sensors according to the specifications needed for each body type. Our inventory has sensors of different varieties including:

• Linear transducers
• Rotary sensors
• Cylinder position sensors
• Submersible sensors
• Angular position sensors
You can also select a sensor according to measurement range and measurement type. For mining-related applications, Positek also carries an array of intrinsically safe sensors compliant with intrinsic-safety regulations.

Custom-designed position sensors

While Positek ensures that off-the-shelf options cater to almost every type of application, there are instances when a buyer has specifications not found in our current inventory. We custom-build sensors with exact specifications, and according to the design the client envisions. Our engineers will get in touch with you to consult with the plan, and the sensor will be built in an off-site facility and delivered to you within a matter of days. Positek understands the importance of finding a precise sensor which fits the requirements of unique applications in many industrial settings.

Article published on: 27/11/2018