Automation Needs Solved with New Efficient and Cost-Effective Position Sensors

While visiting The Future of Pneumatics exhibit at PACK EXPO Las Vegas I caught a sneak peek at a new low-cost, robust and rugged position sensor that helps enable automation needs.

Position sensors are critical components of smart fluid power systems.  According to the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) mechanical engineering graduate student demonstrating this application, “most continuous position sensors today are expensive and have difficult installation requirements. Many use technologies that require physical contact to occur between moving components  which can cause the sensor to wear out prematurely.” Proximity sensors, while affordable, are not able to meet the precise control requirements of many systems. Furthermore, some types of  sensors must be custom scaled to the range of motion being measured.

The new sensor on display measured the position of a moving cylinder piston by monitoring magnetic field changes without having to make contact with the piston/rod assembly.

The magnetic field based sensor uses off-­‐the-­‐shelf, inexpensive AMR sensors coupled with advanced software estimation algorithms to determine cylinder piston position. The sensor is externally mounted making it extremely easy to install. The sensor can be linked to other sensor(s) in a daisy-­‐chain manner to extend the range for very long cylinders.

To learn more about these novel position sensors please email me at drockhill@nfpa.com.

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