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Pepperl+Fuchs Blog

How to Program an Inclination Sensor

Posted by Tracy Molnar on Thu, Sep 05, 2013

An inclination sensor measures the incline / tilt angle of the part on which the sensor is mounted. Standard models have both analog and switching output, the limits of which are configurable over a 360-degree range in either one or two axes of rotation. There are also specially optimized models that cover less than 360 degrees and have analog output with fixed limits.

Inclination sensors or Tilt sensors

This post covers only the standard inclination sensor models, and describes the programming procedure to Teach-in limit values for both analog and switching outputs. Examples are listed below.

Defining a standard frame of reference

While the Teach-in procedure is straightforward, it’s important to know the standard frame of reference for inclination sensor position and Teach-in sequence. This information allows you to successfully follow the programming instructions. This frame of reference is illustrated below. To achieve the default zero-degree position, orient the sensor with the connector or cable exit directed up (12 o’clock) while the side of the housing opposite the connection is level.

Inclination sensor Teach-in sequence

For x-axis measurement, compare the surface of the sensor containing the buttons and the manufacturer logo with the face of a clock. From the zero-degree reference position (12 o’clock), as the sensor rotates in a clockwise direction, the x-axis angle of inclination increases from zero until it reaches the reference position (12 o’clock) again after 360 degrees of rotational movement.

Inclination sensor X-axis

In a similar way, for y-axis measurement (on sensors so equipped), you can compare the face of a clock with the surface of the sensor to the left of the manufacturer logo. From the zero-degree reference position, as the sensor rotates in a counter-clockwise direction, the y-axis angle of inclination increases from zero until it reaches the reference position again after 360 degrees of rotational movement. This movement is illustrated in the sequence shown below.

Inclination sensor Y-axis

Programming analog output range limits

The limits of an inclination sensor’s analog output are defined as the positions at which that output measures its minimum and maximum values. For example, if you choose limits of zero and 180 degrees, then as the sensor rotates between those two positions, the analog output increases from 4 mA to 20 mA. To program the limits, use the two Teach-in push buttons labeled T1 and T2. During Teach-in, the two LED indicators labeled Out1 and Out2 communicate that each step is complete. The instructions below are for teaching x-axis analog output. If the sensor also includes y-axis analog output, you can use the same procedure, substituting T2 and Out2 in steps 2 through 7.

1. Press T1 and T2 together for more than 2 seconds >> Out1 and Out2 flash together until the next step is performed.

2. Press T1 for more than 2 seconds >> Out1 flashes until the next step is performed.

3. Move the sensor to position #1 for the minimum analog output measurement.

4. Press T1 for 1 second >> Out1 lights for 1.5 seconds, then flashes until the next step is performed.

5. Move the sensor to position #2 for the maximum analog output measurement.

6. Press T1 for 1 second >> Out1 lights for 1.5 seconds.

7. The sensor automatically exits Teach-in mode and resumes normal operation.

The analog output range is configured in the clockwise direction starting from position #1 and ending at position #2. This means that the output will increase from position #1 to position #2, in the clockwise direction.

Programming switching outputs

Inclination sensors typically have two normally open switching outputs. For models with dual-axis measurement (INY*), one switching output applies to the x-axis, and the other applies to the y-axis. For single-axis models (INX*), both outputs can be configured within the 360-degree range of x-axis rotation.

Switching outputs are programmable. You can select a point at which the output turns on, followed by a point at which the output turns off. The Teach-in procedure is very similar to programming the analog limits, using the T1 and T2 push buttons and watching the Out1 and Out2 LED indicators for confirmation at each step. The instructions below are for teaching switch-on and switch-off positions for the first or x-axis output. To program the same for the second or y-axis output, use T2 and Out2 in place of T1 and Out1.

1. Press T1 for more than 2 seconds >> Out1 flashes until the next step is performed.

2. Move the sensor to position #1, where the output will turn on.

3. Press T1 for 1 second >> Out1 lights for 1.5 seconds, then flashes until the next step is performed.

4. Move the sensor to position #2, where the output will turn off.

5. Press T1 for 1 second >> Out1 lights for 1.5 seconds.

6. The sensor automatically exits Teach-in mode and resumes normal operation.

The PNP-activated output range is configured in the clockwise direction starting from position #1 to position #2. This configuration means that the PNP output will be active (+VDC) from position #1 to position #2, in the clockwise direction.

Note that while the LED indicators may be either on or off depending on sensor power and output state, none should be flashing during normal operation. Consult the sensor data sheet for more details.

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Topics: Inclination Sensors

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