What are different types of position sensors?

Position sensing is an important function across many applications, from robot drive chains to conveyor transport lines in supply chain facilities, and detecting sway in wind turbine towers. Position sensors can take many forms, including linear, rotary, angular, absolute, gradual, contact, and non-contact sensors. Position sensors have been invented that can measure positions on three dimensions. Position detecting advancements incorporate potentiometric, inductive, eddy current, capacitive, magnetostrictive, hall effect, fiber optic, optical and ultrasonic. Additional considerations for selecting the right position sensor for your application can include the following:
  • Position sensors can be linear, rotary, angular, or flexing/bending and can be static or dynamic (measuring speed and/or acceleration).
  • Linear sensors are usually restricted to a particular range, while rotational or rotary sensors typically provide position sensing in regards to revolutions or degrees on an active sensing angle.
  • These sensors can be based on contact or non-contact technologies. Contact sensors are often less expensive, while non-contact sensors tend to be more reliable (see SoftPot/HotPot vs MagnetoPot).
  • Some sensors only provide incremental measurements from one point to another, while others provide absolute position information relative to a specific reference point.
Spectra Symbol offers low form factor solutions for most linear position, rotary position & bend/flex sensing needs. Let us know what you need!

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