MTS Sensors Introduces New Housing Options for Sensors Using Ethernet/IP Interfaces

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New options include detached electronics RD4 and RF flexible cable housing

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“The EtherNet/IP™ protocol, developed by Rockwell Automation, allowed us to develop a new R-Series product line that connected easily with a large, installed base of control devices across many industries”
- Matt Hankinson

MTS Systems Corp., Sensors Division, recently expanded housing options for its new line of Temposonics® R-Series sensors with EtherNet/IP output. These include the new detached electronics RD4 option as well as RF flexible cable housing.

The detached electronics model enables installation in harsher environments where the electronics need to be removed from high temperature, shock, vibration, etc. The RF flexible cable option provides a flexible sensing element rather than a rigid pipe, enabling easier shipping and installation of longer sensors (up to 33 feet) and the ability to measure position along a curved path.

“The EtherNet/IP™ protocol, developed by Rockwell Automation, allowed us to develop a new R-Series product line that connected easily with a large, installed base of control devices across many industries,” Matt Hankinson, technical marketing manager with MTS Sensors, explained. “The detached electronics and flexible housing options give customers using those devices more options when it comes to installation and use of linear position feedback.
This is an important step in ensuring the industry has access to the linear positioning sensor technology they need, regardless of the operating environment or application.”

About Temposonics® R-Series Sensors Utilizing EtherNet/IP

The EtherNet/IP protocol was developed by Rockwell Automation and is managed by the ODVA (Open DeviceNet Vendors Association). The R-series from MTS Sensors offers high performance with the reduced cabling and lower overall system cost provided by Industrial Ethernet. R-Series sensors are available in a variety of mechanical styles ranging from 25 mm to 20,000 mm. Position and velocity measurements can be provided for multiple locations on the sensor to ensure optimum control characteristics even when driving complex, multi-position tasks.

In factory automation tasks where interoperability is critical, MTS’ R-Series sensors offer the interfaces to work with a wide range of industrial PLCs and motion controllers. The advanced diagnostics and field programmability make Temposonics® sensors easy to use and maintain.

Some machines use encoders for measurement, which make them much more fragile and vulnerable to harsh operating conditions. The non-contact, magnetostrictive Temposonics® technology employed by MTS Sensors eliminates wear and provides the best durability and output repeatability.

The rugged, reliable, non-contact sensor construction results in reduced maintenance and down time, while high shock and vibration tolerance and superior EMI and noise immunity ensure trouble-free operation. The sensors also enable customers to store pre-set configurations for a wide variety of product shapes and sizes, reducing startup and changeover times. By optimizing machinery’s performance, MTS’ magnetostrictive linear-position sensors offer superior accuracy with higher consistency between changeovers and reduced setup time; precise and repeatable positioning for smoother, more controlled motion; and improved efficiency, yield, and throughput while maintaining quality. This results in higher overall productivity to the machine operator.

The R-Series sensors feature position-sensing resolution as low as 1 micron (0.00004 in), which can be adjusted at the factory or in the field. For most applications the standard RH (rod-style typically used in hydraulic cylinders) and RP (profile extrusion-style for easy machine mounting) sensors are used with the standard-type sensor magnets. Other housings styles, such as flexible sensing elements or detached electronics, are available for space-constrained applications.

Available with many interface choices, including analog, SSI, DeviceNet, EtherNet/IP, and others, the R-Series product family provides robust and reliable sensors for accurate and absolute linear position feedback in motion control.

For more information on MTS Sensors, please contact: Matt Hankinson, MTS Sensors Division, 3001 Sheldon Drive, Cary, NC 27513. Phone: (919) 677-2347. E-mail matt(dot)hankinson(at) or visit

MTS Sensors, a division of MTS Systems Corp., is the global leader in the development and production of magnetostrictive linear-position and liquid-level sensors.    Based on MTS’ Temposonics® technology, the Sensors Division is continually developing new ways to apply magnetostrictive sensing technology to solve critical applications in a variety of markets worldwide. With facilities in the U.S., Germany, Japan and China, MTS Sensors Division is an ISO 9001-2008 certified supplier committed to providing innovative sensing solutions.


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Michael Crisp
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