PENNSAUKEN, NJ Macro Sensors LVDT gage heads are being used on an automated auto part production line as part of a quality control system that ensures the precise dimensions of hydraulic valve adjusters manufactured for use in different car engines.

Every automobile uses a number of different engine valves mounted on the cylinder head that allows air flow in and out of the cylinder. A four-cylinder engine will have 16 valves, while an eight-cylinder engine will have 32 valves. Valve adjusters, very small oil-filled devices, keep valves from knocking when the engine starts by maintaining correct valve pressure in the internal combustion engine.

During mass production, the ID of each valve adjuster is measured prior to oil fill. If dimensions are not within specification, the valve adjuster is removed from the manufacturing line. LVDT gage heads ensure the highly accurate and precise measurement of dimensions as part of the industrial quality control system.

Prior to using Macro Sensors Spring-Loaded LVDT Position Sensors, a standard LVDT gage head quickly wore out because the springs could not tolerate the high production volume of 300K units per day. As a result, the sensors needed to be replaced about three times during a production cycle, which resulted in productivity loss and higher costs associated with sensor inventory.

To solve the problem, Macro Sensors customized its GHSAR 750 Series Spring-Loaded AC LVDT Position Sensors with a spring manufactured from high-strength steel that is three to four times stronger than the competitive units. Macro Sensors also specified its LVDT gage heads with a 90 degree radial connector to provide 2-3 inches more clearance for the sensor to adjoin with the mating connector. The axial connector of the previous unit would bend and break, requiring the entire sensor to be replaced.

As an AC-operated sensor, electronics of the gage head can be remotely located in a box outside the hostile conditions of the production area. In addition to enabling the gage head to operate where temperature, vibration and other parameters exceed the limits of the electronics, sensors can be more inexpensively replaced if necessary as the entire LVDT would not be required.

The Macro Sensors EAZY-CAL LVC 4000 Signal Conditioner is used to provide electronic excitation to the sensor, converting position measurement to a RS-485 digital output that enables a host computer to retrieve measurement data that can be viewed by operators remotely on computers in real time or fed into a computer-based data acquisition system for statistical process control. The EAZY-CAL LVDT Signal Conditioner can also be connected in a master/slave configuration to support up to 16 devices simultaneously for multiple channel applications.

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