Zettlex sensors use printed circuits on flexible or rigid substrates, rather than traditional inductive sensors that use bulky spools of wire. The major benefit of this method is that it gives Zettlex the ability to make a sensor of almost any shape. An example of this is in Figure 1 which is a recent miniature rotary encoder custom requirement using a cast iron housing. In this situation the Zettlex sensor is replacing a potentiometer which had become unreliable due to prolonged vibrations causing wear.
When potentiometers fail and are replaced with a non-contact sensor, one issue that arises is that most non-contact sensors have a digital output, not analogue. For an engineer this means additional time and cost spent on requalification. This doesn’t happen if you choose a Zettlex sensor because they use the same electrical interface.
Zettlex’s ‘Shapeability’ position sensing technology is not limited to replacing unreliable sensors. In fact, greater demand than ever is coming from new project design, particularly in situations with cost, weight and size restraints. Position sensors are often the last elements of a design. Invariably, the space available is tight or in an awkward shape – typically with fasteners, cables and connections competing in the sensor’s prime real estate. This often results in the conclusion that the traditional COTS (Commercial-Off-The-Shelf) sensors are simply not going to fit the available space. Gimbal systems are a useful example where there is a tight requirement for space and height, as well as demanding performance accuracy levels.
Zettlex has strong experience in the design and development of both Rotary and Linear OEM position sensors.