WIEGAND WIRE ENERGY HARVESTING COMPONENTS

posital_wiegand_sensoren_590

POSITAL’s Wiegand assemblies offer a compact and efficient way of harvesting power for electronic circuits in electromechanical devices, eliminating the need for backup batteries. 

The operating principle of POSITAL’s Wiegand modules is simple. A “Wiegand wire” is a short length of specially prepared Vicalloy (vanadium-iron-cobalt) wire. When exposed to a changing external magnetic field (e.g. a nearby permanent magnet mounted on a rotating shaft) the Wiegand wire will initially retain its original magnetic polarity, and then abruptly ‘flip’ its polarity when the change to the external magnetic field reaches a certain threshold. This sudden change in the magnetic state of the core induces a current pulse in a copper coil wound around the Vicalloy core. This current pulse is very short-lived, but the energy harvested from the mechanical movement of the magnet can be captured and used to activate a low-power electronic circuit. An important feature of the Wiegand effect is that the amount of electric power generated with each reversal of the magnetic polarization is constant and completely independent of the rate of change of the external magnetic field, even if this happens very slowly. POSITAL Wiegand modules have been used to reliably power rotation counters in tens of millions of devices, including multi-turn rotary encoders, gas and water meters.

  • Production Since 1974 – Started by John R. Wiegand
  • Proven In Encoders & Water Meters Since > 10 Years
  • Used In Access Cards For > 30 Years
  • Power Supply For Future IoT Applications
  • High Energy Output of ~170 nJ

“The process for making Wiegand wire from raw Vicalloy wire was invented by John Wiegand in the 1970’s” comments Christian Fell, Chief of Technology Development for POSITAL-FRABA. “It involves a complex set of steps, including cold-working the wire through a combination of stretching and twisting, then heat-treating the product to lock in the desired characteristics.” POSITAL acquired the original wire-conditioning machinery and intellectual property from the Wiegand estate in 2013. Fell continues: “This acquisition has meant that we have reliable supply of Wiegand wire. It also gave us an opportunity to refine the manufacturing process for improved product quality. Thanks to our research, we can now produce wires that reliably generate 190 nanojoules of energy at 7 volts with each polarity flip”.

Wiegand assemblies are a core component in POSITAL’s IXARC multiturn absolute rotary encoders, providing a maintenance-free method for powering the counter that records the number of complete rotations that the device experiences. POSITAL also offers Wigand assemblies to other manufacturers. These consist of a 15mm length of Wiegand wire surrounded by a copper coil, all contained in an SMD-mountable plastic structure. Wiegand wire production is carried out at locations in the U.S. and Europe, ensuring a stable, reliable supply chain. These assemblies can be used wherever low-cost, zero-maintenance, battery-free energy harvesting systems are needed to energize electronic counters and other low-power electronic devices.

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

LOW-COST KIT ENCODERS FOR STEPPER MOTORS

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POSITAL has expanded its line of kit-style encoders for feedback for servo and stepper motors with new models that utilize the same mounting form factor as incremental kit encoders from US Digital, Broadcom and other manufacturers.

  • Mechanical Drop In Replacement for Easy Upgrade to Absolute Position Control
  • Same Footprints as US Digital’s E5 Models and Broadcom’s (Avago) HEDS-5500 Models
  • Now Available with SSI and BiSS C Communication Interfaces
  • Identical Assembly Procedure – No Training Required
  • Various Hub Diameters from 4 mm to 10 mm (and 1/4 to 3/8 inch)
  • Magnetic Technology Which Is Generally More Robust Than Optical
  • Improved Connectivity via M12 Connector Additionally Available

See our Cross Reference Guide

POSITAL kit encoders provide absolute position feedback so that the control system always has complete information on the physical position of the mechanical components that it is directing. “Absolute position feedback is a natural way of providing accurate position control” comments Jim Stevens, market specialist for robotics at POSITAL. “Almost any position feedback application could be absolute-based. Many current systems were designed around incremental encoders because incremental feedback devices were historically much less expensive than their absolute counterparts.” However, with the introduction of POSITAL’s absolute kit encoders at prices much more in line with incremental devices, system designers no longer have to work around the shortcomings of incremental feedback in an absolute position world.

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Multiturn Absolute Kit Encoders Provide Robust Solution

Multiturn Absolute Kit Encoders from POSITAL are based on magnetic sensing technology which provides a very robust encoder solution. The multiturn counting system is powered by Wiegand wire energy harvesting technology, which enables the absolute encoder to maintain true absolute position over power cycles and rotation of the encoder during power off conditions.

With 17 bits (131072 positions) of single turn resolution and 16 bits (65536 turns) of multiturn range, KCD Absolute kit encoders from POSITAL are ideal for position control applications.

FAQ Kit Encoders

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

FRABA GROUP GROWS WORLDWIDE BY 12.4%

Fresh ideas and innovative products continue to pay off for the international FRABA Group. With a 12.4% increase in sales for Fiscal 2018 (year-end: Dec 31), the corporation, which includes the POSITAL (position and motion control sensors) and VITECTOR (safety technology for industrial doors) brands, posted another year of double-digit growth. Global sales reached € 35 million (US$ 39 million), while the number of employees in Europe, Asia and the USA rose by 4.5%, to 230.

New ideas and innovation lead to strong numbers

Key factors for the increase in personnel were the opening of a new sales office in Shanghai, in response to strong demand from China, and a further increase in the size of the development team at the group’s central R&D center. This research unit, located in Aachen, Germany, works closely with its neighbor, the highly regarded North-Rhein Westphalia Technical University, and other national and international partners in the fields of engineering and applied electronics. Currently there are 40 researchers and developers on board – from 28 countries. Physicists, mathematicians, computer scientists and engineers collaborate on interdisciplinary projects. “Our R&D staff work closely with our sales engineers in the field to drive the innovation that is at the core of our brand,” says Christian Leeser, CEO of the FRABA Group. “This is why we are committed to invest around 10% of our global sales in R&D –– year after year.”

Over the past 15 years, FRABA has established itself as a trendsetter, leading the transition from complex optical encoders to robust and less expensive precision magnetic encoders. These products are offered in both stand-alone versions and as integrated motor feedback kits. Throughout 2018, several significant milestones were achieved. To meet the growing demand in the ‘energy harvesting’ market, the global production capacity for SMD Wiegand sensors was doubled to one million units per annum. Following the successful rollout of magnetic kit encoders for servomotors, last fall saw the addition of magnetic kits specially tailored for stepper motors. This US-driven initiative has added absolute position feedback to low-cost stepper motors, significantly improving their performance levels. The latest breakthrough is the world’s first battery-free, Wiegand-based multiturn hollow shaft kit encoder . Pre-launched at the global SPS show In Nuremberg last November, sales of this innovative device – geared at robot manufacturers and the motor sector – started this month. “With all these initiatives lined up, we are confident to achieve further growth in 2019,” says Leeser.

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

NEW HOLLOW SHAFT MULTI-TURN KIT ENCODERS FOR POSITION CONTROL APPLICATIONS

Slim Form Factor for Motor and Machine Manufacturers

POSITAL is introducing a new family of absolute rotary encoders for servomotors, stepper motors, robot joints and anywhere else a hollow center design is needed to achieve an optimal mechanical layout. Both single and multi-turn variants are available; for multi-turn models, the rotation counter is self-powered, using POSITAL’s Wiegand energy-harvesting technology. This eliminates the need for backup batteries and lowers maintenance costs.

  • Hollow Center Design for Optimal Mechanical Layout on Robotic Joints and Drives Shafts
  • 30 mm or 50 mm Internal Diameter Sizes Available
  • Battery-less Rotation Counter Based on Energy-Harvesting Technology
  • Capacitive Measurement System Allows for High Accuracy Even in Harsh Environments
  • Non-Proprietary Interfaces of SSI and BiSS C Standards

Capacitive Measurement Technology

These new products make use of a capacitive measurement system. Each encoder has two principle components, a stator and rotor, both containing specially shaped conductive surfaces. These surfaces, which function as capacitor plates, are positioned in close proximity. As the rotor turns, the patterns of the conductive surfaces change their relative position, causing changes to capacitive coupling in the system. This in turn causes changes to the amplitude and phase angle of a high-frequency electrical signal generated by exciter circuits in the stator. Special ASIC devices capture and decode these signal variations to determine the rotor’s angular position to a high level of precision.

Read more on the technology here.

The new POSITAL hollow shaft kit encoders offer excellent accuracy (+/- 0.02°) and dynamic response (up to 6000 RPM), making them suitable for use in critical motion control systems. However, what makes them especially useful in many applications is their shape. Both stator and rotor elements are in the form of disks with large central openings. This makes them an ideal choice in space-limited situations, such as servomotors, stepper motors or the joints in robotic arms , where it is desirable to have an embedded position sensor fitting around a central shaft or axle.

POSITAL hollow shaft kit encoders will be available in two sizes, with 30 mm or 50 mm internal diameters. Non-proprietary SSI and BiSS C communications interfaces are supported.

Energy Harvesting – No Battery

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The energy harvesting system is based on the Wiegand effect and eliminates the need for backup batteries or complex gear systems. 

Read More about the Wiegand Effect

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

Alicat Whisper Mass Flow Meters Lend Precision to Fiber Optic Process

by Ryan Barner

Fiber optic cables are highly desired for their speed of transmission and are growing as an industry. However, the industrial furnaces used for glass manufacturing require stable and repeatable control of gas for melt and annealing processes.

Preforms are the layered cylinders of glass, made on lathes using chemical deposition vapor flows, burners for heating and melting glass and pressure control to retain the shape while it is being formed. While the fiber drawing process means heating the end of a glass preform, and shaping the melting end into a cone that creates a continuous stream of molten glass which descends and cools into a fiber, which must then be guided in a way that will not break or alter it, while checking the thickness and adding layers to protect it.

Both require mass flow and pressure controllers that are fast, reliable and have high turndown ratios, all while functioning in potentially high temperature environments and compatibility with corrosive fuel gasses.

Industrial furnaces utilizing fuel gases for their burners exhibit low pressures.  Alicat Whisper series mass flow controllers offer a controllable range up to 1000 SLPM.  These flow rates can be achieved with a pressure drop across the Alicat MFC of as little as 1.65 PSI on our highest flow rate Whisper series controllers. This means even if the supply pressure is low, as fuel gases typically are, it is possible to control up to a full scale flow rate of 1000 SLPM.Alicat mass flow and pressure control instruments for glass and optical fiber manufacturing.

These low pressure instruments may also be deployed in annealing ovens and lehr ovens during the finishing process.  Using Alicat MFCs allow for control in each zone of the oven with repeatability and precision even if a low supply pressure is a requirement.  Ninety-eight gases and gas mixes are pre-programmed into an Alicat MFC providing options for variability in projects and processes.

Alicat MCW-series whisper mass flow controller, shown with optional backlit color display

In preform manufacturing, fiber drawing or ribbon forming processes – stable and fast mass flow and pressure control instruments not only ensure a better end product, but with Alicat devices, achieving these results is easier with our highly customized instruments and advice from Application Engineers.

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

Acceleration-Compensated Inclinometers Now With New Interface Option

ACCELERATION-COMPENSATED INCLINOMETERS 
NOW WITH NEW INTERFACE OPTION

tiltix_aks_2

POSITAL FRABA has added a new communications interfaces for its innovative Dynamic TILTIX series – making it even easier to use these rugged instruments in mobile machinery and heavy commercial vehicles. Now available with either CANopen or SAE J1939 interfaces , these acceleration-compensated tilt sensors are able to deliver accurate measurement under the harshest operating conditions, including rapid motions, shock and vibration loadings.

  • Compensation of External Accelerations
  • Now Available with CANopen or SAE J1939
  • Clean Measurement During Dynamic Movements
  • Optional Output of Acceleration and Rate of Rotation
  • Well Protected up to IP69K
  • Compact and Robust Die-cast Housing with Integrated T-Coupler 
  • Wide Temperature Range from -40 to +85°C

Innovative Signal Processing Algorithms Reduce Signal Noise

The key to this remarkable dynamic performance is the addition of a second measurement system to the MEMS accelerometers used in conventional tilt sensors. An electromechanical gyroscope system was added to measure rate of rotational in the different axes. This eliminates the central shortcoming of conventional inclination sensors, where sudden accelerations or vibrations cause inertial loads in the accelerometers, adding noise to the output signals – and errors to the tilt angle readings. Signals from the accelerometer and gyroscope are combined by innovative algorithms to filter out the errors caused by acceleration loads so that the actual inclination is reported accurately. “What sounds so simple proved to be very time-consuming and labor-intensive in terms of practical implementation,” emphasizes Tobias Schubert, product manager responsible for POSITAL’s TILTIX inclination sensors. “We invested almost three years in the development of the algorithm alone. We worked extensively with pilot customers to assure ourselves that these instruments would work reliably under the harshest field conditions.”

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

Alicat Python and Python-driven command prompt

 by Bill Nick

Setup

Alicat Python and Python-driven command prompt (Windows Powershell) drivers have been developed principally by Pat Fuller at NuMat Technologies and are available for download from github.com: https://github.com/numat/alicat

In order to run the command prompt/Powershell driver, Python will first have to be installed on the computer. The latest stable Python 3 release is the recommended version to install: https://www.python.org/downloads/

Once Python has been installed, the simplest way to install the python/command prompt drivers is to command the following in the command prompt:

If the Python PIP package manager is installed and enabled, this is a simpler method:

Command Prompt (Powershell) Usage:

A menu of possible arguments and usage information within the command prompt can be accessed by entering “alicat –help” or “alicat -h”:

To poll an Alicat that is the only one connected to your target COM port, commanding only the port name will return data from the Alicat:

To poll a device with unit ID A, your command should look like this:

and the response from either of these commands should look similar to this:

Python Usage:

This command will open a serial connection to an Alicat device on the specified port:

If the Alicat is communicating on the specified port, it will return the same dictionary as when polled via Powershell.

Using this with Windows COM port COM1, for example, would look like this:

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

TILTIX Inclinometers

LINARIX Linear Sensors Group

Inclinometers, also called tilt sensors are designed to measure the angle of an object with respect to the force of gravity. These tilt or level meters determine pitch and/or roll angle and output these values via the appropriate electrical interface. Inclinometers are easy to integrate to an application, because there is no need for mechanical linkages other than just the installation itself – a real advantage for design engineers. Posital developed several inclinometer types to have a suitable solution for different applications for each industry. Accurate measurement of the degree of tilt or inclination from a horizontal position is very important for many motion control systems or to ensure safety. 

  • Well Protected up to IP69K
  • Rugged and Compact Design
  • Measurement Range ±80° (Dual Axis) or 360° (Single Axis)

Dynamic Inclinometers

These inclinometers are equipped with a 3D MEMS accelerometer and a 3D MEMS gyroscope. A smart algorithm combines the signal of accelerometer and gyroscope to eliminate the effect of accelerations (e.g. due to rapid motion of the equipment), vibrations and shocks. 

  • Compensation of External Accelerations
  • Clean Measurement During Dynamic Movements
  • Accuracy 0.3°
  • Interfaces: CANopen

Static Inclinometers

These inclinometers are equipped with a 2D MEMS accelerometer as sensor cell. This type of inclinometer achieves a high accuracy in a static system or when the machine is only in a slow motion. 

  • Accuracy 0.1° or 0.5°
  • Interfaces: CANopen, Analog Current, Analog Voltage, RS232, SSI, J1939, DeviceNet

Installation and Mounting Options

Dependent on the application and machine it may be necessary to mount the inclinometer horizontally to monitor the tilt angle of two axes or to install the sensor vertically to measure one axis.

dual_axes

dual axis sensor is used for horizontal mounting and is ideal for leveling applications. This version got two outputs, one for the X-Axis and one for the Y-Axis. Each of the axes show the tilt angle with respect to the field of gravity.

single_axis

single axis tilt measurement version with one axis output is intended for vertical mounting.

Applications

Inclinometer offer an easy and efficient way of monitoring spatial orientation without the need for mechanical linkages – a real advantage for design engineers.

Static inclinometers can significantly improve operating safety in mobile machines, platform monitoring or medical applications by continuously monitoring the tilt or inclination angles. Inclinometers are much easier and thus less expensive to install compared to Rotary Encoders, which makes them ideal for applications like solar trackers. 

The dynamic inclinometer outputs a clean measurement signal and can be used reliably on mobile equipment such as construction machinery, mining equipment, agricultural machinery, cranes, and anywhere else where sudden movements, shocks and vibrations are likely to be encountered.

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

Humidity & Temperature Transmitter

Humidity & Temperature Transmitter  —Good quality, better price !
Features:
       Power supply:          12~36V DC
       Detecting range:        Humidity 0-100%RH,  Temperature -40~80Celsius
       Accuracy:                  Humidity +-2%RH,  Temperature +-0.3Celsius
       Selectable Output:      0-5V DC or 0-10V DC or 4-20mA or RS485 signal
       Wall mounting and duct type selectable.
       Light weight, easy installation.
       Full range temperature compensated.
MaxDetect capacitive humidity element based humidity & temperature transmitters are ideal solution for detecting relative humidity and temperature in applications such as HVAC in residential & commercial buildings. 

The capacitance element based transmitter is one of the most stable transmitters available and no recalibration required, transmitters are temperature compensated and calibrated.

MaxDetect transmitters are problem-free and accurate with long-term reliability by apply unique HydroProbe digital technology, our transmitters are developed for high-precision measurement of relative humidity & temperature and transmitters are available for wall & duct & outdoor mounting.

And all MaxDetect transmitters can be equipped with industrial-class LCD display, LCD shows both humidity and temperature.

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

About Smartec

Founded in 1987, Smartec B.V. was established out of a laboratory concept.

A temperature sensor, with digital output, was developed at the Delft University of Technology (TUD), Netherlands. The sensor, which does not require calibration, has proved to be more accurate and stable than any other digital temperature sensor on the market, and has achieved worldwide sales of over 15 million.

Through research and development initiatives, our product range has been further enhanced with the introduction to market of the humidity sensor, and infrared sensor. We have also launched the Universal Transducer Interface (UTI), and a complete line of pressure sensors in the range of 0.01 PSI until 300 PSI.

Following 18 years of intensive research by scientific staff at the TUD, an improved version of Smartecs digital temperature sensor, named SMT172, was introduced in 2015. The SMT172 has proved to be the most accurate sensor in the world and has extensive worldwide sales.   

Over the years Smartec has built up strategic alliances with top rated semiconductor companies in Europe and the Far East. These alliances have led to long-term partnerships, excelling in close cooperation in research and development, not only with Smartec but also with Universities of Technology all over Europe.

We continuously expand our global sales network and we have sales representatives in over 20 countries worldwide.

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com