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When you are building thousands of gearboxes each day, using a wipe-off dipstick to ensure the oil has been filled to the correct level is too slow, unproductive and potentially messy in a clean manufacturing environment.
Gill Sensors & Controls were approached by a major US manufacturer to see if they could use their expertise in liquid level sensing to come up with a sensor that provides accuracy, speed and reliability in a single-dip measurement linking to a ‘Go/No-Go’ electronic output.
Capacitive sensing provided the foundation for reliability as the sensor has no moving parts, but also enabled the measuring probe to be small and rigid enough to fit through a typical gearbox fill point.
As the sensor would be inserted through the aluminium gearbox casing repeatedly, the sensor has been manufactured from Titanium, to provide the wear resistance required but also to make it light enough for the operators comfort over a shift period.
To allow the sensor to carry out the measurements in line with the production line speed oversized, additional, fill and drain holes were included as were small grooves on the outside of the probe to show the maximum and minimum fill levels which equates to the calibrated outputs from the sensor.
By exploiting the fundamental reliability, accuracy and mechanical robustness of capacitive liquid level measurement and having the in-house skills to adapt the physical packaging to suit the specific requirements of the customer, Gill has been able to answer the customers’ needs.