What is electromagnetic induction technology and what are its uses?

Aug 27, 2014

Gill Inductive Technology in Sensor with Activatorv2.jpgInduction is a process by which a magnetized or electrically charged object produces magnetism, an electric charge, or an electro-motive force (emf) in another object without being in contact with it. These processes are called magnetic induction when magnetism is produced, electrostatic induction when an electric charge is produced, and electromagnetic induction when an electric voltage is produced, and a bit more background on each is given below;

Magnetic Induction

An object capable of being magnetized becomes a magnet when placed near a permanent magnet or a wire carrying an electric current. The magnetization of an iron core in an electromagnet is a result of magnetic induction.

Electrostatic Induction

An electric conductor becomes electrified when placed near an electrically charged object. For example, when a charged rod is brought near an electrically neutral conductor, the side of the conductor near the charged rod acquires a charge opposite that of the rod, while the far side acquires the same charge as the rod.

Applications for electrostatics include powder coating for paint application, imaging technology with the charge-coupled device, ink-jet printers, electrostatic motors and generators and in the food industry separating peanuts from their shells, for example.

Electromagnetic Induction

An electro-motive force occurs in an electric conductor that is in a changing magnetic field, i.e. it is either (1) in motion relative to a magnet or (2) in a changing magnetic field produced by a changing electric current. For example, an electric generator produces a current because of electromagnetic induction.

Other uses for electromagnetic induction include electric motors used in anything from washing machines to trains, electric hobs and cookers, transformers, welding and guitar pickups.

Gill R&D, for example, use electromagnetic induction for non-contact position sensors. Electromagnets in the sensor induce eddy currents in a moving actuator which in turn generate their own magnetic field. The strength of the induced magnetic field is detected in multiple coils in the sensor along the direction of travel. The electronics integrated into the sensor use the detected field to accurately determine the position of the activator relative to the sensor.

The extensive experience of Gill R&D in the application of induction technology to a wide variety of products and devices enables delivery of innovative and creative solutions to customers’ needs.

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