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About Speed Sensors

Speed sensors are devices designed to sense the approach of a ferrous metal target such as a gear, shaft, turbine, etc.

Through the use of interruptions in magnetic fields, speed sensors create output each time a metal object passes by the tip of the sensor. The number of these occurrences can be converted into how fast the gear, shaft, etc. is turning.

About Speed Sensors

Speed sensors have been around for many years. The most standard type, a variable reluctance (VR) sensor, is composed of a winding wound around a cylindrical magnetic material, typically made of some type of ferrous material that is referred to as a pole piece. A magnet is attached behind the pole piece, creating a magnetic field through the pole piece and winding. This magnetic field projects out from the pole piece front, also known as the sensor tip. When ferrous material passes through and disrupts this magnetic field, electricity (a sine wave) is generated. They are passive devices and do not require any external source of power to generate a signal. These devices are still used today in a variety of industrial, automotive, and flowmetering applications, as well as applications such as aerospace and nuclear where temperature ranges prohibit the use of their electronic counterparts.

The use of Active, or Amplified, speed sensors is becoming increasingly common. While working off the same principles as above, these types of sensors incorporate electronics in their designs that convert the analog signal to a digital output. This technology also introduces the ability to provide zero speed sensing using hall effect speed sensors as well as directional speed sensing using quadrature output speed sensors.

Speed Sensors continue to offer a reliable, versatile solution to sensing the speed of a rotating shaft, gear or blade and can be found in a wide variety of shapes and configurations. Many are designed for specific applications while others offer “off-the-shelf” type solutions for a variety of industrial applications.

Motion Sensors specializes in the design and manufacture of speed sensors customized for a specific application. Typical applications are low to mid-size in volume. While using the same basic technology as their higher volume counterparts, the majority of our speed sensors are encased in stainless steel housings (versus a molded body) and incorporate design elements specific to applications with extreme environmental aspects, such as high temperatures, cryogenic temperature, nuclear exposure, or high vibration. Our design activities and production are designed to allow for short runs of custom product, providing customers with cost-effective solutions where an “off-the-shelf” solution will not meet application requirements.

ATEX & IECEx Certified: Custom & Standard Speed Sensors for Intrinsically Safe applications (also approved by CSA w/NRTL/C)