A transducer is an instrument which converts one energy from into another energy form, generally converts a signal in one energy form to that in another energy form.
They are typically used in measurement, automation and control systems wherein electric signals are converted from one physical quantity to another physical quantity such as energy, torque, force, light, position, motion,.). Thus the process of transduction involves conversion of energy in one form to another.
There are passive, active, sensors, bidirectional transducers and active transducers. Potentiometers can be applied as position transducers, like in a joystick.
Position transducers can be installed with help of supports. Generally, brackets, joints which are self-aligning and articulated and flanges are used.
Position Transducers Market: Various Types
There are various types of position transducers. Draw wire linear position transducers, incremental encoder, absolute position encoders, inductive proximity sensors, LVDT transducer, linear potentiometer, magnetostrictive transducer, non-contact or laser linear position sensor are few of the types of position transducers.
The draw wire transducers make use of spring loaded spool and a flexible wire. The wire is fixed to the target object.
The transducer produces electric signal as soon as the target object starts moving and this signal is proportional to the wire length. The alignment essentials are not as critical as compared to other linear position transducers.
Linear potentiometers are cost efficient and have good durability, generally are effective till five million cycles. LVDT (Linear Variable Differential Transformer) transducers are the perfect choice for applications which involve higher rapid movement rate and are extremely accurate.
The LVDT transducers do not have any electric contact across the transducer’s position sensing component which improves the life, facilitates infinite resolution and clean data. Magnetostrictive linear position transducers, like LVDT transducers, have a contactless design.
The external magnet marks the position of the target which is moving. It removes the possibility of wear and tear, erroneous signal problems and noise generation.
Moreover, it gives good durability without recalibration.
Position Transducers Market: Advantages and Disadvantages
The potentiometer transducers have advantages such as low cost, easy to use and low tech. however, there are certain limitations; as potentiometer transducers are contact transducers, there is a possibility of wear due to moving components, low repeatability, low accuracy and limited frequency response.
The main disadvantage of a linear potentiometer as a position transducer is the limited movement range of the slider with respect to the size of the potentiometer which is being used. Relatively, the LVDT position transducer has good accuracy, good voltage output to displacement ratio, high sensitivity, good resolution and frictionless operations.
Absolute rotary encoders show non-volatile memory and the advantage of this is that they do not lose their track in positioning even in case of power failure. The cost of absolute rotary encoders has reduced drastically which has help drive the adoption in the recent years.
Other advantage include safety and noise immunity. Incremental encoder requires external resource in order to determine the absolute angle of shaft within a pre given rotation.
The Laser and Magnetostrictive transducers, being a non-contact type transducers, have good accuracy, durability and no wear, eliminates noise and removes invalid problems related to signals.
Position Transducers Market: Applications
The position transducers are used in several application in different industries. They find their use in applications pertaining to industries such as metal processing industries, geotechnics, rubber and plastic injection presses, earth-moving and agricultural machines, blowing machines, renewable energies, machines in automotive sector, pneumatic and hydraulic sensors, robotics, food industry, wood milling equipment, surface treatment machines and level control.
Position transducers Market: Companies
The companies that are operating in the field of position transducers are OEMs and material providers, to name a few OEMs, TE Connectivity, Honeywell International, Gerfan, Rota Engineering ltd., Novotechnik, Allergo Microsystems, Panasonic Corporation and Qualcomm Technologies Inc.
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