Technical Blog

Superior Angle Sensor Technology by Positek

Angle sensors made by Positek are suitable for a wide range of industrial applications. From mining equipment, subsea vessels, and airplanes, Positek's angle position sensors provide unmatched reliability.

The importance of position feedback spans across various industrial sectors. A displacement sensor is an instrument which determines the displacement of an object in relation to a reference null position. In the field of position sensing, different types of sensors are used with respect to the kind of application as well as the nature of the object's movement. For example, a linear position sensor detects the movement of an object along a straight line. On the other hand, an angle sensor is a type of sensor that produces a linear output but measures the angular orientation of an object.

Common types of position sensor technology

Position sensors are categorised by the working principle which defines how the device functions. The most common types of position sensors used in the industry today are:

• Potentiometers. A potentiometer is a resistive type of instrument where there is a contacting slide that moves around a resistive track. Potentiometers come in linear, angular, and rotary designs. This type of sensor is ideal for more relaxed applications that are not subject to harsh environmental conditions. One of the primary advantages of a potentiometer is the simplicity of the installation. Pots are also economical to use.

• Magnetic sensors. A magnetic sensor works by using a magnet to create a magnetic field that moves in equal proportion to the object's displacement. These devices are also used in more modest and relaxed assemblies such as those found in automobiles. Magnetic sensors are not susceptible to moisture damage and work well in environments subject to shock and vibration.

• Inductive sensors. Inductive sensors are considered to be one of the safest types of position sensing device used in harsh applications. Inductive position sensors that measure linear displacement are called LVDTs while a rotary sensor is called an RVDT. In the past, the broad application of inductive sensors was not possible due to the high cost. These days, microelectronics and the new designs made inductive sensors highly suitable for most industrial applications.

Other types of position sensor technologies include magnetostrictive, capacitive, and optical. The working principle of a sensor usually defines most of the parameters that are essential in sensor selection. These parameters are:

• Accuracy
• Resolution
• Linearity
• Precision

Depending on the requirement of the intended assembly, some buyers will require sensors to have environment sealing that complies with industry standards. In mining applications, for example, any sensor used needs to have the necessary intrinsic safety certification.

Positek's range of angle sensors

An angular position sensor plays a vital role in machinery and industrial equipment instrumentation. The primary functions of an angle sensor are to provide feedback on the position and depth of an object. As such, it is not only valuable as a control device, but also as a safety feature as well. An angle position sensor used in planes provides the necessary information for the pilot to keep the vehicle in a level position while in flight. The versatility of an angle sensor makes it suitable for water vessels, aeroplanes, and industrial equipment.

Positek designs sensors using a patented inductive technology with superior robustness to conventional LVDTs. In underwater applications, Positek's angle sensors can work with notable accuracy. To illustrate, a 40mm rotary sensor can produce consistently reliable performance up to 3500m. Positek has a range of products with different measurements and specifications depending on what the application requires.

Selecting the right type of angle sensor

Selecting an angle position sensor begins by specifying the parameters needed for the assembly. In narrowing down your options, consider the following:

• Sensor output type. The output type is either digital, time-based digital, or serial-digital
• Sensing range
• Operating temperature range
• Packaging

These factors will determine how well the sensor performs when subject to specific environmental conditions. Selecting the right position sensor is a crucial job for engineers because an error in selection can be a costly mistake and detrimental to the entire machine assembly.

Why choose Positek?

Positek is a leader in manufacturing linear, angular, and rotary sensors for over 25 years. We have an extensive inventory of off-the-shelf sensors, each meticulously made and assembled using our patented inductive technology. If you cannot find what you are looking for in our current product list, you can contact our engineering team today for assistance, or custom-building a sensor according to your required specifications.

Article published on: 25/03/2019