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The draw-wire sensor SX80 for lifting technology

The draw-wire sensor SX80 for lifting technology

18 April 2016

WayCon: Transporting heavy loads in industrial applications by physical strength is simply not possible as in the old days. Aids for lifting loads were already utilized in ancient times and still require continuous optimization to date. The goal is to make manual process monitoring obsolete by transitioning to Industry 4.0. Sensors are an important part of this new linking of automated processes. It is therefore essential to know the exact position of the goods to be moved at any given time. Draw-wire sensors for determining positions fulfil this requirement and are particularly suitable for monitoring horizontal and vertical lifting processes.

The SX80 position sensor, which is simple to install, can be used for to measure the position of lifting tables, lifting platforms, work platforms and loading ramps. With a maximum measuring range of three meters and a wide range of analogue and digital output signals, this path transducer is predestined for lifting technology. It provides the operator with reliable and precise data on the exact position of the loads to be lifted. This allows logistics processes to be automated and ensures a safe and quick process.

If the loading technology is used outdoors, the sensors and their individual components must meet special requirements. Wet conditions, low temperatures or e.g. high salinity in the area can impair functionality or even result in important elements corroding. WayCon Positionsmesstechnik has been offering a wide range of modifications for SX series draw-wire sensors for years, particularly for varying requirements. Possible modifications include a low temperature model (to -40 °C), using stainless-steel components, or a HARTCOAT® coating for important sensor elements. HARTCOAT® consists of a hard-anodic oxide which protects the draw-wire sensor from corrosion due to aggressive mediums, e.g. saltwater, with a wear-resistant layer similar to ceramics.

The F58NK model is particularly useful for manufacturers in the lifting technology sector. It is a purely mechanical model with the customer installing the analogue or digital sensor element. This allows a high degree of flexibility in selecting the output signal and its further processing. When maintenance is required, only two bolts need to be unscrewed to remove the sensor element. The mechanics of the draw-wire sensor do not need to be uninstalled. This saves time and money.

Forklifts are a classic example for draw-wire sensors used in lifting technology. The stainless-steel measuring cable is installed inside the forklift mast and connected to the fork carriage. If the driver changes the position of the forks, the measuring cable is pulled out of or retracted into the sensor. The cable sensor transmits this change to a digital display, which visualizes the change in position for the forklift driver. So he always knows how high the forks are. The same principle can be applied to all types of lifting tables, work platforms and even lifting bridges and buildings.

When it comes to monitoring large lifts, the three meter measuring range of the SX80 will no longer suffice. The SX120 sensor series covers a medium measuring range of up to 5 meters, and for even larger measuring lengths the SX135 with a maximum length of 42.5 meters can be used for almost any situation.

Very heavy or bulky loads are usually moved with hydraulic cylinders. If you think of e.g. dam gates opening or closing, it quickly becomes clear: the more precisely the hydraulic cylinder can be controlled, the more precisely the amount of water passing through the gate can be controlled. WayCon offers a unique, patented solution. The SX200 draw-wire encoder is installed inside the cylinder and is therefore protected inside the oil-filled pressure range. This procedure particularly is particularly beneficial in installation for larger stroke lengths and is significantly more cost-effective than other measuring principles.

The core component of the draw-wire encoder is a highly-flexible stainless-steel cable wrapped around the cable drum once. This drum is connected to the sensor housing via pre-loaded mainspring. The end of the measuring cable protruding out of the draw-wire encoder connects to the measurement object via cable clip or M4 screw thread. If the distance between the sensor and the measurement object changes, the measuring cable is pulled out of the draw-wire encoder against the force of the spring and unwound from the drum. The axle of the drum is permanently attached to a sensor element (a potentiometer for analogue output signals, or an encoder for digital output signals). If a change in distance to the measuring object rotates the cable drum, the mechanical movement is converted into a proportional electric signal and output by the sensor element.
The various WayCon models can be used in various lifting technology areas, a significant competitive edge.

Technical Details:
Product overview:

  • Waycon Positionsmesstechnik GmbH
    Mehlbeerenstr. 4
    82024 Taufkirchen
    Germany / Europe
    Tel.: +49 (0)89/ 67 97 13-0
    Fax: +49 (0)89/ 67 97 13-250
    Email: info(at)
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