Position-detection down to the millimetre on stretches of up to 10 km


New system is world’s first linear safety-related position sensor for logistics and machine safety applications


The Data Matrix Position Sensor System PCV80A from HIMA Paul Hildebrandt GmbH + Co KG is the world’s first linear safety-related position sensor for use in applications meeting SIL 3 / PL e. Combining a read head, Data Matrix code band and TÜV-certified function block PCV80t, the system enables measurement of an object's position over 10 km with a resolution of 1 mm. On sections of up to

1,000 m the resolution is 0.1 mm.


Together with a HIMA safety controller (e.g., HIMatrix) the position sensor can be used in conveyor belts, electric monorail systems, ski lifts, cranes, elevators and high-bay warehouses. 


The Data Matrix read head, with its RS485 interface, is the heart of the system. Its camera module has an integrated lighting unit, and the read head includes position markers which can be printed horizontally and vertically as Data Matrix codes on a self-adhering code band. The camera can have its parameters set using a PC or code cards. The system provides immediate position detection when voltage returns after servicing shutdowns or during sudden voltage drops (e.g., short circuits, lightning). This capability reduces downtime, improving plant profitability.


The length of the 2D Data Matrix code band means that a position-detection system of up to 10 km long can be used freely in very large plant layouts. The code band can be fastened to fixed parts of the plant, such as on mounting rails of an electrical monorail. The fixed installation of the read head on a mounting vehicle provides seamless absolute position detection. The small reading window makes use of the PCV80A possible even along stretches with tight curve radiuses as well as ascending and descending sections.


The Data Matrix code has data bits distributed over two dimensions (x and y axis). The code band is resistant to dirt and damage. As the reading head always records three codes in the X direction, it is sufficient to have only one legible. Because several codes are layered on top of one another, it is also possible to detect positions along the Y axis. Thanks to the code redundancy, the code band can be disrupted by up to 20 mm.