It’s possible to avoid premature potentiometer wear in high vibration applications by removing this component from the valve assembly. Instead, use a noncontact position detection solution such as a magnetic noncontacting sensor (NCS) with your valve positioner. Not only can these magnetic sensors address vibration issues, but they can also move other essential positioner components away from the valve assembly — this is called remote detection. By moving the electronics away from the valve, you can address other issues like unsafe valve locations and temperature concerns.
A noncontact, remote detection application would typically consist of a valve assembly with positioner, cable and magnetic sensor assembly. The magnetic sensor assembly (sensor and magnet) is installed on the valve and connects to the remotely mounted valve positioner (on a pipe or wall) with a cable. The sensor and magnet work together to detect the current valve position and relay the information to the valve positioner. To better explain this giant magnetoresistance (GMR) sensor technology, the magnetic sensor changes its electrical resistance in response to the immediate presence of a magnet. The installed magnet moves with the valve (installed on the actuator stem) allowing the magnetic sensor to detect movement and change its resistance.
Another option is strictly noncontact position detection (not remote). The valve positioner is installed on the valve assembly in a traditional manner; however, the potentiometer is replaced with an internal magnetic sensor assembly. Again, the GMR sensor operates by changing its electrical resistance in response to the presence of the magnet (installed on the actuator stem).