SICK
SICK DAX linear encoders provide position monitoring for industrial applications.

SICK DAX Linear Encoder Provides Position Measurements for Industrial Applications

May 22, 2023
The DAX linear encoder product family provides high-precision detection of the piston positions in hydraulic cylinders and linear movements in industrial machines.

The SICK DAX linear encoder product family provides high-precision detection and reporting of the piston positions in hydraulic cylinders. These sensors are also capable of monitoring linear movements in machines. 

Key features of the DAX linear encoders include: 

  • uses absolute measurement principle, eliminating need for reference run 
  • measuring range between 50 and 2,500 mm        
  • three design options to suit varied applications
  • flexible system architecture allows customization for specific requirements
  • diagnostic capabilities enable use for condition monitoring

Measurement Capabilities Suit Industrial Applications

The DAX encoder is a magnetostrictive linear device, enabling it to provide highly accurate position measurements. It uses an absolute measurement principle which eliminates the need for a reference run.

According to SICK, the magnetostrictive functionality of the encoder product family uses an extremely precise and reliable time-of-flight (ToF) measurement method which is non-contact and therefore wear-free. This eliminates almost all maintenance and guarantees a long lifespan. 

Measuring ranges of 50-2,500 mm are possible and individually configurable in 1-mm increments, aiding use in a range of large industrial machine applications such as 

  • injection molding machines,
  • presses,
  • printing and packaging machines,
  • wind,
  • hydro and solar plants, 
  • wood processing, or
  • medical technology.

READ MORE: Taking a Position on Hydraulic Cylinder Sensors

Diagnostic functions are possible with the encoder, as well, which enables use for condition monitoring and integration into Industry 4.0 environments states SICK in its press release announcing the launch of the DAX encoder. This capability is enabled by the encoder's CANopen interface.

The sensor is able to monitor operating and limit temperatures as well as voltage supply for voltage peaks or drops says SICK. Additionally, the company says the encoder can perform continuous functional checks of the position magnets count piston strokes, add them to determine total displacements, and also record operating hours.

With these measurements, customers can better monitor the status of their operations in real time and potential future maintenance needs. For the latter, knowledge of possible maintenance can lead to preventative practices and the ability to avoid unplanned downtime which can be costly. 

Design Flexibility Fits Varied Requirements

SICK's DAX encoder is available in three housing options to suit various application needs; these include a design for integration into industrial hydraulic cylinders, a flat type with block magnets for mounting in tight installations and a version with a slide profile to guide the position magnet which helps ensure precise and repeatable measurements. 

The encoder features a flexible system architecture which allows for application-specific options to be created as well. This customization is possible for both the housing and the position magnets. 

As noted previously, the encoder includes a CANopen interface enabling outputs with a resolution up to 10 µm. An analog output is available as well for either 0-10 VDC or 4-20 mA. 

To ensure durability in various industrial applications, many of which can be harsh on electronics components, the linear encoder features an enclosure rating of IP65 and IP67. It is suitable for use in temperatures ranging from -40 to 85 C. 

High shock and vibration resistance aids the encoder's use in harsh industrial applications as well. 

For ease of ordering, SICK has developed the DAX Online Configurator which provides a step-by-step process to help configure the appropriate DAX encoder for an application. This can be done with a few clicks, says SICK, and inputs are  validated by the configurator for plausibility. A part number is automatically generated and placed into an online ordering form. 

About the Author

Sara Jensen | Executive Editor, Power & Motion

Sara Jensen is executive editor of Power & Motion, directing expanded coverage into the modern fluid power space, as well as mechatronic and smart technologies. She has over 15 years of publishing experience. Prior to Power & Motion she spent 11 years with a trade publication for engineers of heavy-duty equipment, the last 3 of which were as the editor and brand lead. Over the course of her time in the B2B industry, Sara has gained an extensive knowledge of various heavy-duty equipment industries — including construction, agriculture, mining and on-road trucks —along with the systems and market trends which impact them such as fluid power and electronic motion control technologies. 

You can follow Sara and Power & Motion via the following social media handles:

X (formerly Twitter): @TechnlgyEditor and @PowerMotionTech

LinkedIn: @SaraJensen and @Power&Motion

Facebook: @PowerMotionTech

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