Canadian Packaging

New Macro mini position sensors for robotic applications

Company's new miniature LVDT position sensors provide highly accurate position feedback in robotic usage.

July 29, 2011
by Canadian Packaging Staff

With a compact size and highly accurate output, the new Macro Sensors CD 375 Series of miniature LVDTs (linear variable differential transformer) make the linear position sensors ideal for providing displacement feedback in different robotic applications.

Robots and robotic arms rely on sensors to determine range of motion or force applied to an object. Attached to a robotic arm, the Macro Sensors miniature LVDT position sensors detect position change when an actuator moves the robotic arm, providing an analog voltage signal, proportional to the amount of motion, to a controller that makes appropriate adjustments based on programmable set points. With the data provided by the sensor, the controller can determine when the robotic arm should stop or slow down.

For example, on a pick and place machine, if the robotic arm exceeded its travel distance, it could drive right through the board it intended to populate.  Macro Sensors miniature linear position sensors evaluate the robotic arm movement for optimum performance.

In addition to industrial robots, the CD 375 Series miniature LVDTs are suitable as an integral part of devices such as hydraulic actuators, servo valves, medical equipment and other small mechanisms. A compact 3/8-inch diameter design and lightweight low mass core make the small contactless position sensors ideal for applications having high dynamic response requirements such as ATMs, copy machines, plastic injection molding machines and automatic inspection equipment.

Available in full-scale measurement ranges from 0.025” (0.63mm) to 2.0” (50.0mm), these AC operated linear position sensors offer a 50 per cent larger core-to-bore radial clearance (0.012”) than similar sized competitive units. Units feature excellent repeatability (error of <0.01 per cent of FSO), high resolution and the highest sensitivity consistent with good linearity (maximum linearity error of 0.25 per cent FRO).

Environmentally robust, the CD 375 Series operate in temperature extremes of -65F to +220F (-55C to +105C) and utilizes stainless steel housings and epoxy encapsulation to protect units from environmentally hostile conditions. External sealing of the miniature position sensors meets IEC standard IP-61.

Interchangeable with most manufacturer units, the CD 375 Series LVDTs operate with any conventional differential input LVDT signal conditioners. Macro Sensors manufactures a full line of LVDT signal conditioners that offer optimum performance from any CD 375 Series LVDTs.

More detailed information on Macro Sensors’ miniature LVDTs is available at:

About Macro Sensors

Macro Sensors’ extensive line of LVDT-based linear and rotary sensors are used for linear position measurement and feedback in a variety of industrial applications including factory automation, motion control systems, metal fabricating, automotive assembly as well as power plants, gas/steam turbines. Incorporated in 1994, the company offers more than 200 years of cumulative design and manufacturing experience by its key staff in serving its OEM and end-user international customer base. On June 1, 2005, Macro Sensors was acquired by AST, manufacturer of state-of-the-art micro-electro-mechanical-structures (MEMS) based pressure sensors, transducers, and transmitters. Common applications of AST sensor products are in industrial OEM (original equipment manufacturer), hydraulic systems, fuel cells, medical gases, HVAC/R, refrigeration, oil & gas exploration/production, and off-road vehicles. For more information on AST products and technology, visit