Originally Published MPMN January 2004
HOTLINEInductive Proximity Sensors Enable Reliable Process Monitoring
The feedback signals achieve a 1.5-µm resolution
|Based on ultralinear technology, a line of inductive proximity sensors is suited for use in automated manufacturing.|
New sensor technology enhances the capabilities of inductive proximity sensors, making them suitable for use in automated manufacturing. Developed by
Balluff (Florence, KY; www.balluff.com), Ultralinear technology pairs traditional proximity sensor ruggedness with linear analog feedback signals for reliable process monitoring.
Conventional switching sensors use an oscillator coil assembly to generate an inductive eddy-current field that extends in front of the sensing surface. When a conducting metal is introduced into this field, an eddy current is induced in the metal. The change in current is detected and the sensor's output is energized.
Ultralinear sensors are based on this standard design. However, they generate a linear analog voltage or current proportional to the distance between the sensor's active surface and the metal target. The feedback signals have a resolution down to 1.5 µm. Applications that could benefit from this technology include parts sorting by size, shape, or material; detection of object orientation; and monitoring of the thermal expansion of ball screws and shaft imbalances on rotating machinery.
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