Inclinometers enable easy tilt detection
Inclination sensors (inclinometers) are ideally suited for recording inclinations with respect to the Earth’s center and transmitting them back to a higher-level controller as position feedback. The basis of previous inclinometers (also known as inclination sensors, slope finders or clinometers) was a simple pendulum that changed direction by a tilting movement This change in direction was then evaluated optically, inductively, electronically or on a capacitive basis.
Inclinometers using MEMS technology
The SIKO inclinometers all work on the modern principle of MEMS technology (Micro-Electronic-Mechanical System). With this measuring principle, a series of electrodes are housed in a hermetically sealed ASIC chip. The capacitive voltage between the electrodes is measured
Recording can be done either as single axis (0…360°) or as double axis (+/- 80°) with a system accuracy of a maximum of 0.1° and a resolution of 0.01°.
The measured data are output directly as analog (0…10 volt or 4…20 mA), as digital (RS232) values or via CANopen. When using the CANopen interface, bus operation with up to 127 subscribers is also possible.
Free programmability of the inclinometers
However, the SIKO inclinometers have other advantages, such as the free programmability of various parameters (e.g., filter, direction of rotation, zero point) via RS232 or CANopen or the limitation of the measuring range via teach-in function on the customer application.(e.g., 45 °… 180°).
The encoder can be set to zero directly on site in the application using a separate PIN (teach-in function).
High IP protection class of inclinometers
Additional advantages are the easy installation of the encoder onto the surface to be measured (by means of simple screwing) as well as a high IP protective class. All encoders have at least IP67. Many encoders are also protected against permanent immersion in water (IP68) or splash water (IP69k).
Regardless of whether medical technology, mobile automation or solar tracking systems – inclinometers cover a wide range of applications
There are many areas where inclinometers can be used. For example, you will find inclinometers in the field of renewable energies for measuring the inclination of downstream heliostat modules (photovoltaic modules, solar mirrors) or parabolic channel systems.
Inclinometers in medical technology
The tilt/inclination encoders are also used in medical technology because of their high resistance to X-rays. Many CT (computer tomography), MRI (magnetic resonance tomography) or X-ray systems measure the adjustment of a treatment arm with the help of a highly accurate inclination sensor.
Inclinometers for mobile automation
Another extensive field of application where inclinometers can be found is mobile automation. Very common monitoring tasks such as detecting the inclination of an excavator arm or backhoe bucket are ensured by using an inclinometer Monitoring the position of an operating platform basket on a fire engine or checking the level of construction machines or municipal vehicles on rough and uneven terrain are also part of the standard tasks of an inclinometer.Inclinometer versus rotary encoder
Inclinometers complement SIKO Absolute Rotary Encoders particularly well in the field of mobile automation.
The advantages of the inclinometers are their resistance to high temperatures, shocks and vibrations (compared to optical rotary encoders). They also have no mechanical parts subject to wear-and-tear (bearings, etc.) and can be mounted outside of the pivot point (off-axis).
In addition, they are not affected by condensation.
On the other hand, rotary encoders are usually employed where the angle, independent from the earth’s center point, should be determined against a fixed reference point (e.g., excavator arm to the chassis of the excavator), regardless of the geocenter.
The type of encoder (rotary encoder or inclinometer) to be used depends greatly in the end on the amount of space available on site, the necessary interfaces, the desired resolution and the required simplicity of installation of the encoder.
SIKO is at your disposal as a competent partner and is ready to help you choose the right measuring system and answer any other questions you might have.
Note: Inclinometers/tilt sensors are a part of the product range MagLine.