Inductive position sensor combines rotary & linear feedback

2nd June 2015
Barney Scott

Gill Sensors & Controls has introduced the Blade25 Inductive Position Sensor, offering a non-contact position sensing technology that provides both linear and rotary position feedback in a single package. Gill's inductive sensing technology can monitor the activator's position in either a straight linear movement or in a curved-arc rotary movement as it passes over the sensing element.

With the Blade's dual movement capability, engineers can now use just one part number when designing into their applications. The Blade25's packaging is the same in both cases - a flat pack of sealed electronics with two mounting holes.

The Blade25 is a two piece sensor that measures either ±45° of rotary movement or ±12.5mm of linear displacement. In both cases there is no contact between the sensing element and the small metal 'target', which acts as the activator and attaches to the moving element in the assembly. The activator has an air gap between the second part of the sensor, which features a solid-state sealed electronics package that is surrounded by the activator.

Gill's Blade25 proprietary inductive technology eliminates the bearing and mechanical wear issues of conventional shaft driven sensors by separating the position 'activator' from the sensor's electronics. This separation eliminates the need for precise and expensive bearings. And, the air gap provides an unlimited mechanical life span, as the two pieces never come in contact. This technology is suited to extremely dirty and contaminated environments, in areas where strong magnetic fields are present, and in complex mechanical assemblies that have tolerance and wear issues over their lifetime.

The standard Blade25 Sensor is available with analogue, PWM or Serial Output (RS232 19.2k 8N) and is specifically designed to meet stringent OEM environmental requirements with an IP67 rating. Manufactured in a thin, sealed 40x50x6mm package, the sensor's robust housing uses a side cable exit with 3.4mm jacketed cable. The device features a standard mild steel activator as the target. Alternately, OEM engineers can choose to integrate the activator feature into their designs for either linear stroke applications, or at the end of shafts for rotary applications. Gill engineers are available for consultation for incorporating this feature into their design.

The Blade25 suits applications including marine control and feedback, material handling and fork lift feedback and control, industrial vehicle foot brake and throttle control, packaging & laboratory automation, camera and lens position feedback, cranes & telescopic manipulators, food processing and machine automation.

In addition to the standard product, Gill can custom design this technology into customers' applications, providing solutions that have a high tolerance to misalignment and extended exposures to high temperature.

Paul Cain, Manager of Business Development, North America, Gill Sensors, explains, “It's exciting that a single device can be used in both linear or limited angle rotary sensing applications. And, unlike Hall effect sensors, Gill's technology is immune to outside magnetic influences, such as alternators, starter motors, audio speakers or large multiphase motors.”

Pricing for the Blade25 starts at $47.00 per unit in production volumes.

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