What Is Inductive Sensor Technology and How Does It Work
Inductive sensors used to be expensive and required complicated circuitry, making them a less than favourable solution for widespread applications. In recent years, however, a surge in technological advancements has allowed for the production of inductive sensors with high levels of integration; thus, making it possible to adapt mainstream position sensor technology for various uses.
The historical application of inductive sensors was in industrial machines such as in counting the teeth of a gear or for contactless distance measurement. Because of the more complex assembly, inductive sensors such as those manufactured by http://www.positek.com were not common outside industrial-type applications.
The primary working principle of inductance sensing begins with a tank circuit containing an inductor-capacitor assembly. The tank circuit receives power from an oscillator, and the inductor part of the device is fabricated using a sensing coil. When a metal object with conducting capacity is close to the coil, the object produces an eddy current which corresponds to the distance, size, and material of the object.
Modern inductive sensors have many applications. Perhaps the main advantage of using inductive sensors over other sensing technologies is the inherent ruggedness of the assembly. An inductive sensor is contactless, hence does not degrade when subject to vibration, dust, and corrosive materials. Specific examples of applications for this sensor technology are the following:
- Stop switches for various equipment
- Proximity detector for machines
- Detect intrusion within equipment chassis and rack
- Rotary measurement for flow turbines and anti-lock vehicle brakes
- Coil inductance measurement
These are only a few of the typical applications of inductive sensors in industrial settings.
Advantages of inductive sensing technology
Since inductive sensors are inherently robust, they are suitable for any application where the assembly is subject to harsh working conditions. Extreme temperature changes, underwater pressure, and high friction are some conditions that can easily compromise the performance of a sensor, but an inductive sensor can work optimally even when subject to these factors.
Non-contact inductive sensors tend to have a longer lifespan, which makes it an economical solution because it minimises the need for replacement. When it comes to performance parameters, an inductive sensor produces highly reliable, and accurate readings.
Possible drawbacks of using inductive sensors
Despite the superiority of inductive sensors, there are still challenges faced by engineers such as the limited sensing range. Apart from this, an inductive sensor is only suitable when the assembly is connected to a metallic object being measured.
In conclusion, inductive position sensing is one of the preferred methods of sensor technology used in the industrial sector. When it comes to machine automation, subsea applications, heavy equipment, process-control machines, and automotive sensing, inductive sensors provide a reliable solution as a robust device which can withstand extreme working conditions. Manufacturers continue to experiment in using new materials and designs to make inductive sensors a mainstream choice for other industries. In the meantime, it is safe to conclude that for industrial applications, inductive sensors are by far, one of the best position sensing technology options available today.