This section provides an overview for tilt sensors as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 29 tilt sensor manufacturers and their company rankings. Here are the top-ranked tilt sensor companies as of September, 2023: 1.BEI Sensors, 2.elobau GmbH & Co. KG, 3.MP-SENSOR GmbH.
1987~1991: Engaged in research on wire covering materials at Polymer Materials Laboratory.
1991~1997: Worked as a patent Engineer at Koike International Patent Office.
1997~2005 Worked as an intellectual property member at GE Yokogawa Medical System, currently working as a writer.
Tilt Sensor is a device that detects the inclination of an object to be measured.
It measures the inclination from the horizontal position and detects the tilt, angle, or slope of the object to be measured.
It measures the tilt from the horizontal position with respect to gravity and displays the tilt, angle, or gradient of the object. Tilt Sensors are also called Angle Sensors. Tilt Sensors strictly refer to the tilt detection part only, and there are other types of Tilt Sensors, such as inclinometers, to which electronic devices are added to adjust input and output.
Tilt Sensors are used for tilt detection and posture control. Specifically, they are used to maintain the level of construction equipment beds, detect the tilt of cranes, and adjust the illumination angle of automobile headlights. They are also used to check the level of land and rooms, and to automatically rotate smartphone screens.
Strictly speaking, Tilt Sensor refers only to the element that detects inclination, and when an electronic device that adjusts input and output is added, it is called an inclinometer. However, devices that include an input/output device and an arithmetic device are also conventionally called Tilt Sensors.
Tilt Sensors are devices that detect inclination by generating an electrical output when the object being measured is inclined. Tilt occurs in the uniaxial, biaxial, and triaxial directions, so it is important to select a Tilt Sensor according to the number of axes of inclination to be detected.
In addition, Tilt Sensors have changed from the switch form that switches on and off when an inclination is detected, which was often used in the past, to those that combine sensing technology, which have become mainstream in recent years. The methods used to detect the tilt of Tilt Sensors include the electro-electrolytic and MEMS, which have been used since the early days. In recent years, the MEMS type has become the mainstream in terms of accuracy and response time.
The electrolyte type Tilt Sensor uses the property of a liquid surface to always be horizontal to detect the tilt of the liquid as a change in electrostatic capacitance. Specifically, the sensor consists of a cylindrical body with an internal cavity in which electrolytic solution (conductive liquid) is sealed at a depth of about half its length, and electrode plates facing each other in the longitudinal direction.
In other words, the corresponding electrodes are half submerged in the electrolyte in the longitudinal direction. When the cylindrical body is tilted with voltage applied between the electrode plates and the electrolytic solution in the cavity is kept horizontal on its axis in the longitudinal direction, the internal resistance in the circuit changes due to the difference in the portion of the opposite electrode that is immersed in the liquid. The tilt detection of the electrolyte Tilt Sensor is performed by detecting this change in the internal resistance of the circuit and converting it to an angle.
However, it has the disadvantages of a relatively slow response time and a tendency to be affected by vibration of the liquid surface. The electrolyte type Tilt Sensor can detect tilt in two axes by arranging two pairs of electrodes orthogonally to each other.
The MEMS Tilt Sensor is an inclination sensor that utilizes micro-electromechanical system technology. The MEMS Tilt Sensor consists of a pair of fixed electrodes and a spring-loaded movable electrode between the fixed electrodes.
When the MEMS Tilt Sensor is tilted about the support direction of the fixed and movable electrodes, the fixed electrodes do not move, while the movable electrodes move in the direction in which the sensor is tilted. In other words, the capacitance between each fixed and movable electrode changes. This change in capacitance is detected and converted to an angle.
If movable electrodes are installed orthogonally to the XY direction and each is sandwiched between a pair of fixed electrodes, inclination in two axial directions can be detected.
Other methods used in Tilt Sensors include the pendulum type and the quartz crystal type.
Pendulum Tilt Sensor
Pendulum Tilt Sensors have a pendulum and a sensing element such as a magnetoresistive element inside the body. The pendulum Tilt Sensor detects changes in the magnetic field caused by the movement of the pendulum when the main unit is tilted, and calculates this into an angle of inclination.
Quartz Tilt Sensor
The Quartz Crystal Tilt Sensor is a highly sensitive Tilt Sensor that utilizes the characteristics of a quartz crystal. A cantilever made of processed quartz crystal and a holding part are fixed at one end facing each other, and an electrode is provided on each of the cantilever and holding part.
When the sensor is tilted, the cantilever deflects while the holding part does not. Because the cantilever deflects, the distance between the electrodes changes and the capacitance also changes. The capacitance is measured as a change in frequency, which is how the quartz tilt sensor works. The conversion from capacitance to frequency is achieved by combining the Tilt Sensor with a quartz crystal and a transmitter circuit.
Similar to the Tilt Sensor, the Acceleration Sensor is a sensor that detects tilt. The Tilt Sensor outputs the sensor output itself with information on the angle of inclination. Because of its low frequency fluctuation, the tilt sensor is effective for measuring the tilt angle in slow motion or in a stationary state. Acceleration sensors, on the other hand, detect acceleration applied to an object.
Using Newton's law of motion, which states that acceleration acting on an object is proportional to external force, acceleration sensors are used to measure acceleration itself or to detect the application of external force. Since acceleration itself can be detected, it is used in gravity and seismic measurements. Since it can also detect the application of external force, it can detect movement in front-back and left-right directions in addition to the direction of gravity, such as tilt, vibration, movement, impact, and fall. Compared to the Tilt Sensor, it has a wider frequency bandwidth and can also measure fast movements.
Because of these differences, Tilt Sensors are used, for example, to prevent cranes and construction vehicles from tipping over. Acceleration sensors, on the other hand, are used, for example, in applications that change the vertical and horizontal display of a smartphone to match the environment in which it is used.
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ifm efector (ifm) is a subsidiary of ifm electronic, founded in Germany in 1969. ifm has developed, manufactured and marketed sensors and controls technology to industries that include assembly and robotics, automotive, material handling, metal forming, mobile equipment, plastics, and food and beverage. Ifm produces sensors, condition monitoring equipment, image processing, safety technology, industrial communication, IO-link, systems for mobile machines, displays, software, connection technology, voltage supplies, as well as other accessories.
Pepperl+Fuchs, Inc. was founded in Mannheim, Germany in 1945 developing the forerunner of the proximity switch. Pepperl+Fuchs continues to develop proximity sensors as well as other industrial sensors including ultrasonic sensors, rotary encoders, positioning systems, display and signal processing, vibration monitoring, industrial communication, and signal processing as well as related accessories and software. Explosive protection products include safety barriers, surge protection, wireless solutions, HMI systems, power supplies, electrical explosion protection equipment, level measurement, and related software.
Everight Position Technologies Corp., founded in 2008, is a supplier and distributor of off-the-shelf and custom sensors such as rotary, liquid level, linear, oil debris, and tilt sensors for motorsports, chemical plants, and water/wastewater applications. The Bala Cynwyd, PA, company has a line card of sensor manufacturers such as Micronor Sensor, Netzer, Opkon, Posital, and Trumeter to combine the hardware with one-on-one application support. In 2022 Everight Position won the Lockheed Martin Outstanding Supplier Award.
Jewell Instruments is headquartered in Manchester, New Hampshire. The company serves industries such as aerospace, geophysical, railroad, laboratory, and data acquisition with various measuring devices and sensors. The company has five product segments: Inertial & Tilt Sensors, GEO Instruments & Sensors, Meters & Avionics, Data Acquisition Hardware, and Triplett Test Equipment Tools. Inertial & Tilt Sensors include accelerometers, inclinometers, and inertial measurement unit devices. GEO Instruments & Sensors includes economical high-precision and ultra-precision sensors. Meters & Avionics include panel meters, avionics, and solenoids.
Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Murata Manufacturing) was founded in 1944 and is headquartered in Nagaokakyo, Japan. Murata Manufacturing designs, manufactures, and sells ceramic-based passive electronic components and solutions globally. The company operates through components, modules, and others segments, serving communications, mobility, industrial, healthcare, and personal electronics customers. They company's product offerings include noise suppression products, quartz devices,RFID devices, phase shifters, and wireless connectivity platforms. Services such as webinars and video library are also available for existing and potential customers alike.
The Kübler Group was founded in 1960, headquartered in Germany, and operating in 50 countries worldwide. The company is ISO 9001 certified and develops, produces, and distributes products & solutions for measurement, transmission, and evaluation purposes for heavy industry, bottling plants, alternative energy, and mobile automation. The company’s measurement products include data encoders, measurement systems, and inclinometers for measuring angles. Transmission products include slip rings, signal converters, and connectors. Evaluation products include process devices, displays and counters, and speed monitors.
elobau Elektrobauelemente GmbH & Co., founded in 1972 with headquarters in Germany, is a manufacturer of contactless sensor technology, operator controls, machine safety, and level measurement. The company's products include multi-axis joysticks, multi-function handles, push buttons, sensor components, and continuous level measurement. elobau’s products are used in both mobile (off-highway) and industrial applications. The company’s products can be found in aircraft, off-road vehicles, agricultural machinery, and industrial machinery. elobau Elektrobauelemente GmbH & Co. has been carbon neutral since 2010.
Balluff was founded in 1921 and is headquartered in Neuhausen, near Stuttgart, Germany. Balluff is a manufacturer of sensor and automation solutions for customers globally. Balluff serves many industries including life sciences, semiconductors, metalworking, fluid power, and mobile equipment. Balluff’s product line consists of sensors and connectivity components, accessories, complete systems, and software. Balluff offers services to assist customers across the range of finding solutions, deploying solutions, training, as well as support.
DIS Sensors is an ISO9001 certified company with its headquarters in Soest, Netherlands, and is known as the developer and supplier of sensors for measuring inclination and acceleration, as well as rotary encoders for many industrial applications. The company serves the energy sector, medical, mobile, oil & gas, and material handling industries with a range of sensors including inclination & acceleration sensors, safety sensors, and other products such as tilt switches, cables, and accessories. The company provides support answers to technical questions and orders to customers who need them.
POSITAL is a leading supplier of advanced industrial position sensors used in motion control and safety systems. The company is known for innovation in product design and manufacturing, as well as being a pioneer of Industry 4.0/IIoT. As a member of the FRABA group, POSITAL has a history dating back to 1918 and has played a significant role in the development of rotary encoders and other sensor products. POSITAL has a global presence with subsidiaries in Europe, North America, and Asia and works with sales and distribution partners worldwide.
ASM was established in 1979 in Moosinning, Germany where they are known as a manufacturer of sensors. The company designs different types of sensors mainly Displacement sensors, Inclination sensors, and Angle sensors that have applications in fields where displacement, position, length, and distance has to be measured, tested, or monitored. They are used in Injection Molding machines, Power Plant construction, Vehicle testing, Powerlifters, and Portal cranes. In the medical industry, they are used for precise positioning for Tomography, mammography, OP tables, and patient couches.
LIKA Electronic, established in 1982, is based in Buccinasco, Italy, and is a manufacturer and supplier of encoders, position measuring systems, and linear motion components. Their product portfolio includes rotary encoders, incremental and absolute encoders, linear encoders, and magnetic measuring systems. These precision devices find applications in various industries, such as automation, robotics, CNC machines, and packaging equipment. LIKA Electronic's products are known for their accuracy, and durability, providing essential feedback for motion control and positioning. Putting a priority on client happiness and creativity, LIKA Electronic continues to deliver cutting-edge solutions that meet the evolving needs of the industrial automation market.
MP-SENSOR is a service-oriented specialist and manufacturer of sensors, and automation products, located in Neuhausen, Germany. Their products include pressure sensors, transmitters, and switches, which are designed for fast commissioning and diagnostics with IO-Link, while their inclination switches provide precise angle measurement, featuring PNP switching outputs or relay output. Their flow sensors offer intuitive operation and evaluation, with options for IO-Link or Ethernet communication interfaces and various process connections, easily installed using mounting accessories. These products are utilized in various industries such as manufacturing, aerospace, and medical technology.
BDC Electronic, established in 1970 and situated in Grugliasco, Italy, is a manufacturer specializing in proximity sensors. The company provides an extensive array of industrial sensors, including ATEX sensors, inductive sensors, capacitive sensors, magnetic sensors, speed sensors, and acceleration sensors. Additionally, they offer supporting products like amplifiers and connectors. BDC Electronic adheres to quality standards certified under ISO 9001:2008, and their products undergo testing in accordance with the EN 60947-5-2 standards.
Pulsotronic GmbH & Co. KG, headquartered in Niederdorf, Germany, is a manufacturer and supplier of sensors and sensor systems for the automotive, industrial, and medical sectors. Their ISO 9001:2015 certified products include distance sensors for measuring object distance in parking assist systems and robotics, speed sensors for applications like engine control and cruise control systems, pressure sensors for tire pressure monitoring and medical devices, temperature sensors for thermostats and climate control, and Hall sensors for proximity switches and automotive ignition systems.
Level Developments, a company founded in 1987 and based in Croydon, Surrey, United Kingdom, is an original equipment manufacturer and retailer of leveling and angle measurement instruments. The standard product list of the company includes inclinometers, instrumental levels, circular levels, and vials. More products offered include tilt switches, workshop levels, bent vials, ball, and bubble inclinometers used in various market segments, including medical devices, construction, robotics, military, and aerospace & defense industries.
TWK-ELEKTRONIK GmbH, established in 1962, is based in Düsseldorf, Germany, and is a manufacturer and supplier of quality industrial sensors and position transducers. The company’s product portfolio includes rotary encoders, linear position sensors, draw-wire sensors, inclination sensors, and electronic modules. These sensors are utilized in a wide range of applications across industries such as automation, robotics, and machine tools.TWK-ELEKTRONIK's sensors provide precise and ideal position feedback, ensuring efficient motion control and accurate positioning in various industrial processes. With an aim to excellence, TWK-ELEKTRONIK continues to deliver state-of-the-art sensor solutions that cater to the demands of the industrial automation sector.
FSG, founded in Berlin, Germany, in 1946 is a manufacturer of measurement and sensor equipment and accessories. The company's product portfolio includes Inclination Sensors, Draw-Wire Encoders, Spring cable reels, joysticks and wind sensors. The company serves industries such as Oil and Gas, Aerospace and Defense, Automotive and Transportation, Construction, and Power Generation. The company provides services such as Product Selection Guidance, Engineering Support, New Product Design and Development and Custom Manufacturing.
Turck was founded in 1965 and is headquartered in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany. The company is a global manufacturer of automation machinery used in the automotive, energy, chemical, food, and packaging industries among others. The company’s products integrate the concept of Industry 4.0 technologies such as RFID, IO-link, and ethernet to assist factory and material handling equipment in communicating with other equipment and providing data for operators to improve efficiency and safety while decreasing waste. These products include sensors, industrial controls, industrial wireless and vision devices, and interface devices.
BEI Sensors, founded in 1916 and headquartered in Attleboro, Massachusetts, USA, is a manufacturer specializing in sensors and encoders for motion control and position feedback. Its offerings include pressure sensors, relays, motor protectors, insulation monitoring devices, and circuit breakers, serving diverse industries like aerospace, defense, industrial, medical, and transportation. They also offer tire management solutions, blind spot monitoring solutions, and battery management systems. Its manufacturing facilities are aligned with and certified under ISO 14001.
ALTHEN, established in 1978, headquartered in Kelkheim, Germany, is a manufacturer and supplier that specializes in providing precision sensors and measurement solutions. Their product range includes strain gauges, load cells, pressure transducers, and displacement sensors, catering to industries such as aerospace, automotive, renewable energy, and robotics. ALTHEN's sensors enable accurate data collection, testing, and monitoring of various parameters critical to the performance and safety of industrial processes and structures. They maintain ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications, ensuring the quality of their products for precise measurements across diverse industrial applications.
GMC Instruments is the result of a merger in 1993 from companies originally dating back to 1906. Under the Gossen Metrawatt and Camille Bauer brands, the company provides hardware, software, and services to several industries including medical devices and manufacturing. The company’s hardware division provides electrical safety devices, photometry equipment, energy management systems, and vital signs measurement devices. The company’s software lineup includes database management software, power analysis software, and medical device software.
UBITO is an enterprise within the FRABA group, specializing in the development and marketing of Wiegand technologies for commercial and industrial use. The company serves as a concept incubator and markets Wiegand sensor products, such as fluid meters and multiturn rotary encoders. FRABA has a history dating back to 1918 and has played a significant role in the development of sensor products like rotary encoders and inclinometers. With subsidiaries in Europe, North America, and Asia, FRABA has a global reach and works with sales and distribution partners worldwide.
Hybrid Electronics is a global distribution specialist of electronic components, with access to over 50 million unique components. Among the markets HE serves are the aerospace, automotive, communications, defense, industrial, medical, national security, and test & measurement industries. In addition to components, HE also provides quality and compliance testing, counterfeit detection, upscreening, and other forms of quality control. Examples of component subtypes that HE offers include ICs, batteries, capacitors, semiconductor products, sensors, circuit protection, interconnectors, filters, optoelectronics, relays, switches, power supplies, and cables and cable assemblies.
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