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Things to Consider when Selecting a Position Sensor

Ensuring that the correct position sensor is selected for the application in hand is very important. When selecting a position sensor there are certain considerations to consider which can help to find the best-suited sensor.

Different types of position sensors have different strengths which make them better suited for different environments. 

Consideration 1: Type of Displacement 

The most important factor to consider is the type of movement that requires measuring. This can be either Rotary or Linear. The movement will determine which type of sensor is required.

Linear sensors measure displacement along a single axis, this can be either up and down or side to side. They can also be called linear transducers or linear displacement sensors.

Rotary sensors measure turning or twisting displacement; this can be clockwise or anti-clockwise. They are sometimes called angular sensors or tilt sensors.

Consideration 2: Environment 

Sensors have different aspects which can protect them from certain environmental factors.

Shock and Vibration 

Some environments may expose a position sensor to shock or vibration so it is important to take this into consideration. If shock and vibration is something the sensor will be exposed to it is important to select one which has resistance to these factors.

Typical environments where there is often a lot of shock and vibration are, motorsports, industrial applications and construction.

Dirt and Moisture 

An IP rating will indicate the protection against dirt and moisture. This information can be found on the product datasheet.

IP67 indicates that the sensor is completely resistant to dust and other small particles and can also operate if held underwater for up to 30 mins.

As well as humidity and small amounts of liquid, sometimes sensors may be required to operate underwater for long periods, this is called a submersible sensor. At Positek we have a range of submersible position sensors. Contact us for more information.

Environment Temperature

Some environments may expose position sensors to extreme temperatures. Some sensors may be compromised in these extreme temperatures therefore if the environment it is important to note the operating temperature range of the sensor when selecting one for your application.


Intrinsically Safe Environments 

In an intrinsically safe environment, a position sensor will require a certified product. Examples are ATEX certification for Europe, IECEx certification for word wide and CSA certification for North America. This ensures that the sensor will not contribute to making an environment unsafe where there is a risk of explosion.  

We have a comprehensive range of intrinsically safe position sensors which are suitable for this type of application and certified to ATEX. IECEx and CSA.

Consideration 3: Accuracy

If a sensor is exposed to an environment beyond its capabilities, then the accuracy could be compromised so it is important to ensure that all the above-mentioned factors are taken into consideration when selecting a sensor.

Consideration 4: Mounting

To ensure the position sensor is fixed into the application correctly it is important to understand the options when it comes to mounting. This could be using rod ends, mounting brackets and other options depending on the application itself. 

Consideration 5. Life span

It is commonly known that a non-contacting sensor will have a longer life than other contacting alternatives. Non-contacting sensors need replacing less often and can be better value for money in the long run.

If the application in hand requires a life span of more than 10 million cycles then a non-contacting position sensor will likely provide a better solution.  

At Positek, all our sensors use non-contacting technology and have a dependable long life.

Position Sensors from Positek

At Positek, we design and manufacture all our own sensors. These use our own, unique non-contacting technology and have many benefits.

For more information on the different types of sensor we offer take a look at our product pages;

If you would like more information on help selecting your position sensor, please contact us.

Article published on: 04/05/2021

Article last updated on: 04/05/2021