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Contrinex analogue inductive sensors help ‘belt out’ timing belts

Contrinex analogue inductive sensors help ‘belt out’ timing belts

A manufacturer of industrial timing belts trusts Contrinex’s analogue inductive sensors to measure the position of steel reinforcing bands during continuous production. Two long-range, high-resolution sensors, mounted above the extruded belt profile, provide real-time positional data. The customer’s process-control system monitors the sensor’s analogue voltage outputs, alerting the operator and halting production if the values are outside allowable limits.

To enhance the strength of industrial timing belts, steel reinforcing wires are bonded into the belt carcass as part of a continuous extrusion process. The distance between the reinforcing wires and the belt teeth is a critical parameter, influencing the accuracy of the belt’s fit and other operating characteristics, including service life.

Engineers can check product quality at intervals by cutting samples of extruded belts and taking optical measurements, but this process is slow and only detects faults some time after production is complete, leading to high reject costs.

The customer requires a real-time system with sensors that reliable and accurately measure the position of the steel reinforcement.

Contrinex M18-size analogue inductive sensors provide an analogue voltage output with a sampling rate of at least 100Hz. The physical characteristics of the belt dictate a sensing distance of up to 10mm with micron measurement accuracy. Contrinex’s patented Condist technology provides a highly stable sensing performance at operating distances of ≤10 mm with exceptional detection accuracy, excellent repeatability, and resolution in the micron range.

The sensors sample at 250Hz, enabling accurate measurement of the position of the steel reinforcement in the fast-moving belt profile, and provide continuous, non-linearised 0 to 10V analogue output signals. They are resistant to vibration and variations in ambient temperature, allowing their positioning immediately after the extrusion press close to the moving belt.

Two sensors, set flush into a non-metallic plate, are mounted directly above the surface of the belt as it runs over a guide roller, giving a stable reference position. The lightly tensioned belt clears the sensing face of the devices by a few tenths of a millimetre. Connection to the customer’s control system is via a flexible cable with an easily detachable M12 connector.

The introduction of Contrinex analogue inductive sensors provide small, high-accuracy, ultra-reliable sensors with a low total cost of ownership. Rather than needing to destructively test belts to inspect the position of the steel reinforcement and risking high reject costs because of the infrequent nature of the sampling, the production process is now continuously monitored.


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