Monday, 28 September 2009

Angle sensors

Non-contact angle sensors are now programmable

Variohm EuroSensor has launched a new software application for communication and programming of Contelec Vert-X series non-contacting and contactless angle sensors. As British distributor for the Swiss manufactured range, Variohm offer OEMs (and machine builders?) the ability to reconfigure and customise the sensor curve and output characteristics over its 0º to 360º measurement range.

With on-assembly sensor configuration, the software has the potential to simplify stock control and reduce build and design timescales by removing the need to purchase several different types of angle sensor across different machines. Furthermore, the flexibility offered will allow specialist machine manufacturers the ability to program critical angle measurement characteristics such as joystick deadband, gearbox backlash or dancer arm neutral zone angles directly on the machine to suit performance requirements.

Vert-X Commander software is a simple-to-use PC based application supplied with a special cable that connects Singleturn Vert-X sensors via an Aardvark USB host adapter. A GUI displays programmable and fixed information from the sensors’ digital interface. Programmable parameters include a selection of six different sensor types with varying gradient, dead band and curve characteristics. For each sensor type, the user can typically set specific voltage output and specify left and right angles with an adjustable deadband (or gap) angle. The information is displayed in a graph showing sensor angle vs. voltage with a trace scaling function that allows closer examination of the output curve. When the desired characteristics have been set on screen, a program key simply downloads the data to the sensor, overwriting the previously programmed information. Fixed displayed parameters include the sensor angle, output voltage level and as primary quality control measure, the sensor serial number and a counter that records the number of times the sensor has been reprogrammed.

The compact and durable Vert-X range is aimed at precision, 0º to 360º, angle measurement spanning applications from analytical instruments to extremely heavy-duty applications such as agricultural machinery, autosports and automated industrial equipment where long life, high reliability and robust construction is required - often in space restricted areas.

These sensors use hall-effect magnetic measuring technology, offering high precision angle measurement in two design versions. Singleturn ‘contactless’ Vert-X sensors are characterised with bearing support for the rotating magnet and fixed sensor whereas Singleturn ‘non-contact’ Vert-X sensors are supplied in a two part sensor and magnet design for free mounting. Both types may be used in normal ambient environments through to long life and zero maintenance use in the most arduous and adverse conditions of high humidity, dampness, oil, dust and vibration.

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