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Better by Design: Linear position reporters

June 1, 2010
Getting accurate moves out of a hydraulic positioning system requires reliable feedback. This mission-critical position data is generated by electrical

Getting accurate moves out of a hydraulic positioning system requires reliable feedback. This mission-critical position data is generated by electrical signals from a linear position transducer, and affects the operation of all other system components, including the hydraulic cylinder, servo or proportional valve, and motion controller. However, some position sensors aren't trustworthy: They wear out over time from contact with other components, or aren't hardy enough to withstand high shock and vibration. Still others are too sensitive to electromagnetic interference (EMI) or too short for extra-long cylinder applications, such as canal locks and sawmill equipment.

An alternative is a new line of Micropulse Generation 7 linear position transducers from Balluff Inc., Florence, Ky. These noncontact magnetostrictive sensors provide dependable position feedback signals and are backward compatible with previous Micropulse generations and magnets. The transducer probe, located inside the cylinder bore, detects the position of a magnet target installed on the piston face, providing continuously updated absolute position feedback. The new generation offers several improvements: Stroke lengths to 300 in., shock rating increased 50% to 150 g, vibration rating upped to 20 g, significantly improved EMI immunity, ingress protection to IP68, and bi-color LEDs for diagnostics and status monitoring.

VITAL STATS

On display: Micropulse Generation 7 Linear Position Transducers

Key features: Analog models provide better accuracy, higher shock and vibration ratings, and longer lengths than older product generations, but are backward compatible

What it means to you: Accurate position feedback at all times, including startup; no need to re-home mechanism

What else: Besides the standard, a Plus model connects via USB to free PC-based software that simplifies output configuration.

Innovator: Balluff Inc.
(800) 543-8390
www.balluff.com

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