Analog Signals: 0 to 10V Vs. 4-20 mA

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In the world of linear position sensors, analog reigns supreme.  Sure there are all kinds of other sensor interface types available; digital start/stop, synchronous serial interface, various flavors of fieldbus, and so on.  But linear position sensors with analog outputs still account for probably two-thirds of all linear position sensors sold.

When choosing an analog-output position sensor, your choice generally comes down to analog voltage (e.g., 0 to 10 V), or analog current (e.g., 4 to 20 mA).  So which should you choose?

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That 1 Channel of Analog!

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In most industrial applications 80-90% of the I/O going back to the PLC is discrete points.  Multiple times I have been asked, “How can I easily, quickly, and cost effectively get one channel of analog back to my PLC”.  The solutions in the past have either involved an IP20 slice I/O solution in a J-box, which is expensive and labor intensive, or an IP67 network module, which reduces labor costs but still carries a high cost.  A common drawback to these solutions is that you have to pay for 2, 4, or even 8 channels when only one is required.

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Does target size affect the sensing performance of an inductive proximity sensor?

Written by: Jeff Himes

I have led many inductive proximity sensor training classes where an “Ah ha” moment happens when discussing  the effects of target size on an inductive proximity sensor.  As more and more extended range sensing models arrive on the market, it’s even more critical to understand how target size affects sensing distance performance.

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Print and Apply Sensing Solutions

Did you know that you can improve your production and label quality by adding sensors to your process?

Here’s a brief overview of how sensors can help you:
– Anticipate roll change-outs to improve run time
– Verify label composition and placement, reducing product rejection
– Increase application reliability and detect jams automatically to reduce waste

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Servopneumatic Motion Control Challenges Electric Servos

Applications involving precision motion control typically use electric servo systems for speed and accuracy, which electric servo systems can handle very well.  However, in some cases, the accuracy delivered may be more than needed, and the cost of the electric servo may break the design budget.  Fortunately, leading manufacturers of pneumatic valves are developing new high-speed control valves and sophisticated electronic controllers that allow incredible speed, precision, and variable load control to be delivered from a pneumatic cylinder.  Most importantly, the overall cost of these servopneumatic systems can compare quite favorably with all-electric systems.

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The Pros and Cons of End-of-Stroke Detection with Reed Switches

Pneumatic cylinders are used in many applications as prime movers in machinery, material handling, assembly, robotics, medical, and the list could go on. One of the challenges facing OEM’s integrators and end users is to detect reliably whether the cylinder has been fully extended or retracted before allowing machine movement. Solutions include the use of inductive sensors with some sort of target and internally mounted magnet (by the cylinder manufacturer) on the cylinder piston. In my previous blog, I discussed the two primary magnets, axially and radially magnetized magnets, used by cylinder manufacturers. Now, we will review one of the most commonly used magnetic field sensors to detect extension and retraction of the cylinder…the well-known reed switch.

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6 DeviceNet Sins Not to Repeat with EtherNet/IP

Have you ever made the statement, “If I had it to do over again, I would’ve done it differently”?  Well, here’s your chance.  Many companies are migrating from DeviceNet to EtherNet/IP and now you can take this opportunity to do it differently.  As a former Allen Bradley Instructor, I have seen enough bad DeviceNet installs to write a book.  Here are six topics to consider in your new EtherNet/IP installations:

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Linear Position Sensor Output Types – Which do I choose?

Linear position sensors are available with a variety of different output signal types to suit various application requirements and control architectures.  Let’s take a look at three of the most common output signal types for linear position sensors; 1) analog, 2) time-based digital, and 3) serial digital, and discuss some of the pros and cons of each.

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