Position Sensing Switches for Actuators

  • Position Sensing Switches for Actuators
Most machine actuator applications have requirements to know when an operation has taken place.  This is done most frequently through the use of position sensors which indicate where the cylinder piston is located in the actuator.  These sensors most frequently are activated by the magnetic field generated by a magnet located on the cylinder piston.   These types of position sensors are set point indicators.  In other words they will tell you when the piston is located at a certain point but once the piston moves out of the sensing range then there is no way to know exactly where it is located.  To address those applications where it is necessary to know where the actuator piston is located at all times then you would use an actuator with a linear transducer either internally located or externally located. 
Magnetic Reed Switch and Hall Effect are the most common two types of sensor styles used with actuators.  Magnetic Reed Switch (MRS) sensors utilize a reed switch that physically closes to make an electrical connection when a magnet passes under it.  Hall Effect sensors are solid state devices that are activated when a magnet passes under it but there are no moving parts.  MRS sensors can generally handle more of an electrical current load while Hall Effect sensors generally have much longer life.  Hall Effect sensors come in either Sinking or Sourcing configurations which deal with how they are wired up to the load.   Position sensors generally mount to the outside of the actuator generally by bands that go around round body cylinders or attach to the tie rods on other styles.

Provoast Automation Controls Knows Position Sensing

  • All of the manufacturers that we represent make sensors with a variety of electrical connection styles.
  • All of the manufacturers that we represent make position sensors in a variety of physical sizes to work with even the smallest bore size cylinders.
One of the most common mistakes that is made when ordering cylinders for an application is forgetting to order the actuator with the necessary magnet option for use with a sensor.  Some actuators come with a position sensing magnet on the piston as standard but most do not.  Let our trained product specialists make sure you have everything you need for your application, just contact us.
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