Home » ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’ – The Gill Blade Sensor

‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’ – The Gill Blade Sensor

Not all sensors live easy lives. While some will go on to do noble things such as aiding in medical surgery robotics or will find lives in cutting-edge cobots such as Boston Dynamic’s spot, others will live simpler, yet equally important lives, this article is dedicated to one of those unsung heroes, the Gill Blade Sensor.

At first glance the Blade 25 and 60 look sophisticated. The same sensor can be installed for linear or angular positioning. Same hardware, just install it based on what you need and scale it with the free and intuitive Gill BLADE COM software. The simplicity of its low profile further adds to its elegance. However, where the Blade sensors really shine, is in dark and dirty environments. The non-contact, inductive technology allows them to work reliably in place where many sensors wouldn’t last a day.

One such example is in a mid-west manufacturing facility that makes fiber-based residential and commercial building materials. The compounds used are the basis for tile backer board and outdoor siding; thick, dense, yet impermeable to water and built to last for decades. It is in this unsuspecting factory that each day the Blade 60 shines. As debris accumulates on the sensor and activator, the inherent motion of the machinery allows the simple activator to cut through with no loss of performance.

Photo of a Blade 60 in use. Despite significant dust and debris the sensor provides accurate rotational position measurement through a simple voltage output.

And in such an industry many other options don’t exist. Vision based sensors such as radar and ultrasonic would require regular cleanings. LVDT based sensors would be difficult to couple to the moving parts and would cost many times more than the Blade 60.

The reality is dirt and dust aren’t the only nuisance in a manufacturing environment. The Blade sensors noise rejection is far superior to that of Hall Effect sensors, especially critical in applications where a noise from drives and brakes may be present. Dirty deeds don’t take breaks due to the hot or cold, and the Blade sensor is no different. See examples in this short video below:

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Dirty Deeds (done dirt cheap)

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