Inductive Sensors

Inductive sensors for harsh environments and robust read out

Example for an inductive sensor: contact-free configuration of a rotary knob
© Fraunhofer IMS
Example for an inductive sensor: contact-free configuration of a rotary knob

Inductive sensors are often used in industrial and automotive applications, because they are well applicable in harsh environments in comparison to optical sensors. Especially the excellent resistance to dirt makes inductive sensors attractive in many application scenarios. The non-contact and wear-free measurement methods of inductive sensors are based on the following work principle: a sensor coil creates a magnetic alternating field which induces eddy currents in a metallic object (target) as soon as a sensor approaches. The energy loss of the magnetic field, which is caused by the eddy currents, can be detected on the sensor sides as quality changes in the coil. The closer a target gets to the sensor coil, the more powerful the magnetic field and therefore also changes in the magnetic fields become. This leads to an increase in eddy current losses. This way, the distance of the target to the sensor can be detected with an inductive proximity sensor. Furthermore, through a corresponding geometric shaping of the target the position of the coils to the target can be detected with this principle (Inductive position sensor).

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