Inclinometers / tilt sensors enable easy acquisition of tilts
Inclinometers are most suitable for recording inclinations with respect to the earth’s center and transmitting them back to a higher-level control as a position response. 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 / tilt sensors 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 a single axis (0…360 °) or as a double axis ( 80°) with a system accuracy of a maximum of 0.1 ° and a resolution of 0.01 °.
The measured data is output directly as analog (0…10 Volt or 4…20 mA) or as digital (RS232) values or via per CANopen. When using the CANopen interface, a bus operation is also possible for up to 127 participants.
Free programmability of the inclinometers / tilt sensors
The SIKO tilt sensors feature additional benefits including free programmability of various parameters (e.g. filter, sense of rotation, zero point) via RS232 or CANopen or the restriction of the measurement range to the customer application (e.g. 45 °… 180 °) by means of the teach-in function
The encoder's zero point can be set via a separate PIN in the on-site application (teach-in function).
High IP protection class of inclinometers / tilt sensors
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 an IP67. Many encoders are protected against submersion in water for a long period (IP68) or against splashing (IP69k).
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. Inclinometers can be found in the area of renewable energies for measuring the inclination of heliostat modules (photovoltaic modules, solar mirrors) or parabolic channel systems.
Inclinometers / tilt sensors in medical technology
The tilt / inclination encoders are also often used in medical technology due to their high resistance to X-ray radiation. Many CT (computed tomography), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or X-ray systems measure the adjustment of a radiation arm with the help of a highly accurate inclinometer.
Inclinometers / tilt sensors 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).
Furthermore, they are not affected by condensation.
Rotary encoders, however, are usually used where the angle, independent from the earth’s center point, should be determined against a fixed and relateable reference point (e.g., an excavator arm to the chassis of the excavator).
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 available to you at any time as a competent partner and is ready to help you choose the right measuring system or to answer any further questions you may have.
Note: Inclinometers/tilt sensors are a part of the product range MagLine.