SICK presented for the first time its new DAX® linear encoder product family at SPS 2022. The sensors are used for the high-precision detection and reporting of piston positions in hydraulic cylinders as well as for monitoring linear movements in machines. The product family offers three designs to suit these applications, all with industry-appropriate measuring ranges. An Online Configurator provides step-by-step assistance to users in selecting a suitable DAX®. For applications with special requirements, the smart and flexible system architecture of the product family also allows tailored and efficient customizing. The detection of a linear position is contactless – and therefore wear and maintenance free – based on magnetostriction. This absolute measurement principle ensures the highest level of machine availability with no reference runs required. In addition to this, the DAX® linear encoders offer comprehensive diagnostic functions. This opens up the possibility for using the sensors for condition monitoring and integration into Industry 4.0 environments.
The DAX® linear encoder is suitable for measuring positions in a large number of applications, including injection molding machines, presses, printing and packaging machines, wind, hydro and solar plants, in wood processing, or medical technology.
High system flexibility makes it easy to integrate into the customer application
With the DAX® product family, SICK has expanded its portfolio of magnetostrictive linear encoders for industrial applications. Since the device uses an absolute measurement principle, no reference run is required. Three housing variants are available for the market launch of the DAX® : a design for integration into industrial hydraulic cylinders, a flat type with block magnets for mounting in tight installation situations, as well as a version with a slide profile that guides the position magnet, thereby ensuring a very precise and repeatable position measurement. The available measuring range is between 50 mm and 2,500 mm, and is individually configurable in 1-mm increments.
The platform concept of DAX® offers a high system flexibility, thus allowing application-specific versions to be generated very efficiently and the device to be easily integrated into a wide variety of machine concepts. This applies not only to the housing designs but also the position magnets, which can be modified to suit the application-specific requirements. This backward compatibility guarantees the customer more flexibility and independence when choosing the encoder and manufacturer.
For electrical installation, the DAX® product family offers a CANopen interface – using which the measurement system can output position values with a resolution up to 10 µm – as well as an analog output for either 0-10 VDC or 4-20 mA.
High ruggedness and long-term availability
The magnetostrictive functionality of the DAX® product family uses an extremely precise and reliable time-of-flight (ToF) measurement method. This non-contact and therefore wear-free principle of operation eliminates almost all maintenance during operation while at the same time ensuring a high service life. The linear encoders have an enclosure rating of IP65 and IP67 as well as a temperature range between -40 °C and +85 °C. Their rugged design and high shock and vibration resistance ensures an exceptional long-term availability even under harsh application conditions.
Comprehensive diagnostic functions optimize the efficient machine operation
The DAX® linear encoders can provide comprehensive diagnostic information via their CANopen interface. The sensors monitor operating and limit temperatures, as well as the voltage supply for voltage peaks or voltage drops. They perform continuous functional checks of the position magnets, count piston strokes, add them to determine total displacements, and also record operating hours. All this provides valuable information about the current status during operation as well as any upcoming maintenance work that may be required on the machine. This can be used to reduce unplanned downtimes and increase the efficiency of the system being used.
Online Configurator: choose a suitable DAX® with just a few clicks
For error-free and time-saving selection of a suitable linear encoder, Sick has developed the DAX® Online Configurator. Using this menu driven app, users can configure their DAX® step-by-step with just a few clicks. The app checks the inputs for plausibility, automatically generates the part number based on the configuration, and enters the details directly into an online ordering form.