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Technical Blog

Non-Contact Displacement Sensors

Non-contact displacement sensors are part of our range here at Positek. They are a device used to determine the movement or position of an object using technology which is wear-free promoting long life of the sensor.

There are many advantages to using non-contact displacement sensors over contacting technology. They are used for a variety of applications in different industries.

What is a Non-Contact Displacement Sensor?

A non-contact displacement sensor is a type of sensor used for measuring the change in position of an object which uses a type of technology where there are no moving parts.

There has been a higher demand for non-contacting sensors recently and this has led to a development in a variety of different non-contacting technologies and nowadays there are a variety of different technologies to choose from when selecting a non-contact displacement sensor one of them being our own PIPs technology.

Non-contact displacement sensors can be either rotary or linear. Linear sensors measure displacement in a straight line, along a single axis, either up and down or side to side. Whereas, rotary sensors measure displacement in a circular motion, either clockwise or anti clockwise. This includes the measurement of multiple rotations or angles.

Non-Contact Displacement Sensor Technologies

As mentioned above when it comes to non-contact displacement sensors there are a variety of technologies available, some of them are;

Positek PIPS our own non-contact technology is known as PIPS (Positek Inductive Position Sensor technology) our sensors cover linear ranges from 10mm to 800mm and rotary displacements of up to 160°. They are completely self-contained displacement sensors which provide simple analogue output from a DC supply voltage.

PIPS sensors are designed to be exceptionally robust and very easy to use; they require no separate signal conditioning. They work in a similar way to an LVDT or RVDT with aspects of eddy current also. They contain an internal coil but with very few turns of wire resulting in a very compact and robust sensor with improved stroke to length ratio.

LVDT Linear Variable Differential Transformers measure linear displacement; they use an internal primary and secondary coil (sometimes 2 secondary coils) as well as a ferromagnetic core to detect position using AC outputs and magnetic fields.

RVDT -Rotary Variable Differential Transformers measure rotary displacement. They also use AC outputs, a ferromagnetic core and a primary and secondary coil to determine position like the LVDTs.

LVDTs and RVDTs are available through our sister companies Variohm Eurosensor and Ixthus Instrumentation.

Our PIPS technology works in a similar way to LVDT and RVDTs but have a better stroke to length ratio making them well suited to applications where space is restricted. They are highly accurate and robust.

Laser Position Measurement Another form of non-contact displacement measurement is laser measurement. A laser sensor measures position by pointing a laser at an object, the laser is reflected and bounces back to the sensor through a lens to a CCD array the data received can determine the distance and the angle of the object in relation to the sensor.

Laser sensors are available from our sister company Ixthus Instrumentation.

Hall Effect Hall Effect is a popular type of non-contact displacement technology. It can be used to measure either linear displacement or rotary displacement. Hall effect uses the disruption of magnetic fields to determine the position of an object.

Our sister company Variohm have a range of their own hall effect rotary sensors, these have programmable angles granting the user ability for straight forward customization.

These are just a small selection of different types of non-contact displacement sensor technologies available.


Benefits of Using Non-Contact Displacement Sensors

There are many benefits to using non-contact displacement sensors, most of these come from the wear-free element of this type of sensor. The main benefits are;

  • Long life
  • Highly reliable
  • Highly dependable
  • Fast response
  • Tend to be more resistant to dust and dirt than contacting alternatives
  • Consistent excellent performance
  • Suitable for a wide range of environments
  • Fast response times

In addition to these benefits, our PIPS products also have the following benefits;

  • Improved stroke to length ratio
  • Improved durability
  • Suitable for intrinsically safe environments
  • Fully customisable
  • Fast delivery (within 1-2 working days)

Non-Contact Displacement Sensors from Positek

All of the position sensors that we manufacture at our facility are non-contacting. We can manufacture to custom specification in 2 working days.

If you would like to discuss your application or would like more information on non-contact displacement sensors please contact us.

Article published on: 04/06/2020

Article last updated on: 04/06/2020