This section provides an overview for linear sensors as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 35 linear sensor manufacturers and their company rankings.
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A linear sensor is a sensor that measures linear displacement, such as a position sensor, displacement sensor, or length-measuring sensor.
In terms of measurement principle, there are various types of sensors, such as laser displacement sensors, length measurement sensors, eddy current displacement sensors, contact displacement sensors, and linear encoders.
Depending on the principle, the performance varies depending on whether the sensor is contact or non-contact, whether the length measurement range is short, medium, or long, how accurate the linearity is, and how long the service life and cost are.
Linear sensors are used in various fields, just as there are many different types of linear sensors based on their principle distinctions. They are used in semiconductors and liquid crystals, electrical appliances and home electronics, automobiles and processing, and the pharmaceutical, food, and packaging industries, to name a few.
Since linear sensors can measure displacement and position, they are widely used for presence/absence detection, positioning detection, inspection, measurement, monitoring, and control.
For example, encoders are used to detect the position of drive stages in semiconductor and LCD manufacturing equipment, to inspect the quantity of processed food in food manufacturing plants, and to detect the height of molded products in the processing field.
There are various types of linear sensors, each with a different principle.
For example, a laser sensor emits a laser beam onto an object and receives the reflected light at the receiver to measure position and distance. The position, distance, and displacement of the object can be detected based on the time between the emission and reception of the light and the angular change of the light received. The advantage is that non-contact measurement is possible with high accuracy. The disadvantages are that it is vulnerable to dirt and dust, and some materials, such as transparent objects, are challenging to detect.
A linear encoder used as a linear sensor consists of a scale that serves as a ruler and a head that detects the position. There are optical encoders, which have a slit engraved on the scale and detect pulses of light emitted and reflected from the head, and magnetic encoders, which use magnetic changes. Linear encoders are also capable of high-precision, non-contact measurement. The disadvantage of the optical type is that pulses may be skipped due to contamination of the slit.
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HYDAC technology Corporation was founded in 1963 and has head offices globally. HYDAC is a manufacturer and designer of hydraulic, electronic, control, and fluid conditioning solutions optimized for mobile and industrial applications. HYDAC serves the agricultural, forestry, automotive, construction machinery, machine tools, material handling, mining, municipal, oil & gas, power generation, primary metals, pulp & paper, and wind energy markets. HYDAC’s product offerings include hydraulic and lube filters, accumulators, valves, cooling systems, electric sensors & controls, filter systems, and IoT diagnostics, process filters, fuel filtration, power units, cylinders, and related accessories.
WIN SOURCE is a customer-focused online store serving a wide variety of markets industries ranging from consumer to automotive to medical, industrial, and aerospace. WS specializes on size and speed, offering a catalog of over 1 million SKUS that can be shipped within 24 hours around the world. Offerings include an extensive array of semiconductor components, audio products, cable assemblies, racks, and battery products. WIN SOURCE is AS9120B, ISO9001, ISO14001, and ISO45001 certified and is a member of the anti-counterfeiting organization, ERAI.
Anger Associates, Inc. was established in 1957 in the Detroit, Michigan area where it stands to this day. Anger Associates specializes in consulting, sales and support of measurement and calibration instrumentation, dynamic signal analysis tools and software, and complete test systems. Anger Associates serves many industries including automotive, pharmaceutical, and steel manufacturing. Anger Associates focuses on vehicle. Powertrain test systems, production test systems, torsional vibration analyzers, dynamic signal acquisition and analysis system and tools, field calibration instruments, calibration laboratory instruments including primary and working standards, pressure/vacuum and flow sensors and transducers, and mass flow meters & controllers.
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.
Hello BOM is an online electronic component storefront designed to bridge customers and suppliers. Customers supply Hello BOM with their bill of materials (BOM) and Hello BOM uses smart analysis via AI data matching to quickly find precise matches that customers need. This is accomplished via Hello BOM’s growing component stock and product information database to grow increasingly accurate and fast, while also simplifying the process of R&D and purchasing for customers. Products include semiconductors, resistors, capacitors, diodes, inductors, connectors, transistors, and sensors.
AutomationDirect.com was founded in 1994 to provide solutions for the industrial automation market and has been growing its list of offerings ever since. AutomationDirects’ extensive catalog includes individual components such as cables, various controls, I/O devices, relays, gauges, fittings, and sensors to complete systems. Many parts and devices, especially PLC units are customizable. AutomationDirect.com also provides support via video instructions, online manuals, a learning library, an active community forum to further assist customers.
Micro-Epsilon was originally founded in Osaka and Micro-Epsilon America was founded in 1998, headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina. Micro-Epsilon develops, manufactures, and distributes sensors to aerospace, battery production, glass production, wind power, precision optics, medical technology, transportation, semiconductor, and other industries. Micro-Epsilon’s sensor product categories include inductive, capacitive, laser, confocal, laser distance, magneto-inductive, draw-wire, rotation speed, color, paint thickness measurement, and fiber optic sensors in addition to interferometers and other sensor equipment.
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.
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.
MOD-TRONIC Instruments Limited was established in 1972 in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. MTis a distributor of industrial sensors, transducers, heaters, controls, and instrumentation, primarily made in the USA as well as Japan, Switzerland, and Germany. MT’s customers are primarily in the aerospace, building automation, manufacturing, medical, military, oil and gas, and water treatment industries but also serves individuals. MT offers an above industry standard 5-year warranty and technical support on every product sold.
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd. was founded in the 1980s and is based in Edmonton, Alberta. Trinity Electronics Systems designs and manufactures custom electronics and handles modifications, upgrades, and warranty repair as well. Trinity Electronics Systems product list includes power measurement products, audio products, lighting products, industrial electronics, sensors, and miscellaneous products. Trinity Electronics Systems services begin with product development and create proposals for complete products including packaging, instruction manual, software, and prototyping. Electronic design services including retrofitting and even re-manufacturing of boards created by defunct manufacturers. Other services include PCB, Hazloc, and microprocessor software development and contract manufacturing.
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