Position sensor with rotary configuration offers 360° non-contact sensing

July 25, 2012 // By Julien Happich
Honeywell is rounding out its position sensor portfolio with a new rotary configuration that provides 360° non-contact angular position sensing.

The new sensor is highly durable, accurate, and cost-effective, enabling design engineers to replace an optical encoder, or to utilize a sensor instead of a resolver which can be expensive and difficult to integrate into a system.

The SMART position sensor uses non-contact magnetoresistive (MR) technology to determine the object's position, which allows it to accurately sense position in dirty and harsh environments, replacing optical encoders, which utilize light to determine position. Resolvers are typically hand-wired devices with extremely high accuracy and durability for use in incredibly precise, non-serviceable aerospace applications. The new sensor offers the high level of accuracy needed for the specific transportation and industrial applications in which it is designed to operate, measuring values down to 0.01º. Potential transportation applications include steering angle, articulation angle, and boom arm detection, while industrial customers could use it in solar panels or wind turbines.

Honeywell uses a patented combination of an ASIC and an array of MR sensors to accurately and reliably determine the position of a magnet collar attached to a rotating object to identify and control the object’s position. This technology helps OEMs reduce warranty costs because there are fewer parts to wear out or break down. This also helps end users reduce downtime due to fewer calibration requirements.

The SMART position sensor’s automotive-grade potting makes it more resistant to vibration, shock, and extreme temperatures, improving reliability and allowing for use in a wide variety of tough applications. Repeatable output that occurs within a 3,0 mm ±2,0 mm air gap between the sensor and magnet collar expand application opportunities. The sensor also provides minimal signal error with up to 2,50 mm of radial error, simplifying design-in.

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