REDwire An intro to linear position sensors

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A hall effect sensor is a transducer that varies its output voltage in response to changes in magnetic field.

A position sensor is a device that measures the position of an object. More specifically, it works by sensing how far a body has moved from its initial position. These devices collect physical data from their surroundings and convert them into electrical signals to be inputted into a computer as digital signals, which are then converted to meaningful information. 

There are many different types of position sensors, including potentiometric, capacitive, linear voltage, differential transformers, magnetoresistive, eddy current-based position sensors, hall effect-based magnetic position sensors, fibre-optic position sensors and optical position sensors. 

A hall effect sensor, for example, is a transducer that varies its output voltage in response to changes in magnetic field. Hall sensors are used for proximity switching, positioning, speed detection and current sensing applications. Meanwhile, a potentiometer is a three-terminal resistor with a sliding contact that forms an adjustable voltage divider. It can be used as a voltage divider to obtain a manually adjustable output voltage at the slider (wiper) from a fixed input voltage applied across the two ends of the pot. Magnetoresistive sensors, on the other hand, are measured by the change of the resistivity of a current carrying ferromagnetic material due to a magnetic field. Click here for more information on the different types of position sensors.

Position sensors are essential components in a wide range of applications, including injection moulding machines, packaging machines, precision medical equipment and more. They are likely an essential component in more than one application on your shop floor.

If you’re in the market for sensors, contact Pickering, Ont.-based Durham Instruments. The company offers many products from ADE Technologies, Penny+Giles, HBM, Acuity, Measurement Specialties, Electro-Sensors, Ametek, Massa and more.  

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