LVIT Position Sensors Enhance And Accelerate Factory Automation Chores

March 3, 2017 By: Harold Schaevitz

Sensors Insights by Harold Schaevitz


What is a Linear Variable Inductive Transducer (LVIT) and where is it used? LVITs have been around for more than 30 years. These components are relatively low-cost, contactless position sensing devices that employ eddy currents developed by an inductor in the surface of a conductive movable element that is mechanically coupled to the moving object whose position is being measured.

LVITs Exposed

The common form of an LVIT uses a small diameter inductive probe surrounded by a conductive tube called a spoiler. Typical LVITs have full ranges from fractions of an inch to 30 or more inches. Modern electronics using microprocessors make outstanding LVIT sensor-performance possible, achieving linearity errors of less than ±0.15% of FSO and temperature coefficients of 50 ppm/°F, along with either analog or digital outputs.

View of a typical LVIT position sensor that is intended to be attached to the part it is measuring.
View of a typical LVIT position sensor that is intended to be attached to the part it is measuring.

LVITs are used in many factory automation applications, including packaging and material handling equipment, die platen position in plastic molding machines, roller positioning and web tension controls in paper mills or converting facilities, and robotic spray painting systems. Being contactless, the basic measurement mechanism of an LVIT does not wear out over time due to rapid cycling or dithering like a resistive device. LVITs also offer a much lower installed cost than that of most other contactless technologies.

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About the Author: Harold Schaevitz

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