In this issue:
• True Hands-Free Driving
• Tech Tip: Ingress Protection
• Application: Controlling a Wind Turbine
• and more.

Featured video: Cadillac’s Super Cruise

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See the video of Cadillac's Super Cruise

True Hands-Free Driving

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The 2018 Cadillac CT6 sedan will feature Super Cruise™. According to Cadillac’s Lead Development Engineer, Daryl Wilson, “it’s the first hands-free driving system for the highway.” Unlike other manufacturers, it uses infrared sensors and a camera to monitor the driver’s face and eyes to make sure attention is paid to the road, so it does not require the driver to put their hands on the steering wheel periodically. It is rated at SAE level 2 autonomy.

Cadillac engineers mapped over 160,000 miles of highway in the U.S. and Canada to be able to eliminate expensive lidar detectors by having the information it would have provided in a database. It uses lidar for 3D information on guardrails, bridge abutments and change in elevation as a component in lane centering and object avoidance. The system enables drivers to safely stay between lane lines and avoid cars turning into your lane while driving hands– and foot–free.

A 3-color bar at the top of the steering wheel indicates system status: green means Super Cruise is active, blue indicates it is under driver control and flashing red means Super Cruise is asking for the driver to resume control of the vehicle.

Car & Driver:

More Reliable Design By Knowing Ingress Protection
Knowing ingress standards can mean the difference between a sensor providing trouble-free service for its life or not. This is especially the case when any position or angle sensor is selected for an application that is used in environments where water, high-pressure wash-downs or dust may be present.

There are two major standards for ingress protection. One is the IEC’s IP (ingress protection) standard 60529 and the other is NEMA (National Electronic Manufacturers Association) enclosure ratings. NEMA ratings are generally applied to equipment enclosures, so this article will focus on IP ratings. A position or angle sensor’s IP rating generally has two digits. The first one represents level of protection against incursion of solids and the second digit denotes protection against incursion of liquids.

As the first digit increases from 0 to 6, IP rated protection increases against solids/ objects from 0 being no protection, to smaller and smaller objects the device must protect against incursion—with 5 representing dust protected and 6 being dust tight. The second IP digit uses analogous steps except for incursion of water. It runs from 0 being no protection to 8 representing continuous immersion in water. In between there is spraying water, splashing water, water jets (6.3 mm nozzle) and powerful water jets (12.5 mm nozzle).

One applied example is Novotechnik’s KL Series of linear position sensors. The KL Series is rated at IP 65. This means it is protected against, not just limited, but, total dust ingress and it is protected against low pressure water jets in any direction. Another example is Novotechik’s RFD 4000 Series of touchless angle sensors. These sensors are rated at IP 69K. This device is protected against total dust ingress and it is protected against steam jet cleaning. The “K” represents protection against steam. This level is needed for food industry applications.

Partial chart of IP protection levels
IP63 Protected from total dust ingress. Protected from water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical.
IP64 Protected from total dust ingress. Protected from water spray from any direction.
IP65 Protected from total dust ingress. Protected from low pressure water jets from any direction.
IP66 Protected from total dust ingress. Protected from high pressure water jets from any direction.
IP67 Protected from total dust ingress. Protected from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth.
IP68 Protected from total dust ingress. Protected from long term immersion up to a specified pressure.
IP69K Protected from total dust ingress. Protected from steam-jet cleaning.
See for the actual IP standard, and for the NEMA standard.

Application: Wind Turbine Blade Pitch Control

Microprocessor controlled pitch regulation ensures continuous and optimal adjustment of the angles of wind turbine blades in relation to the prevailing wind.

A pitch adjustment mechanism is fitted in the blade hub and contains a separate hydraulic pitch cylinder for each blade. These separate cylinders also ensure triple braking safety, because one feathered blade is sufficient to stop the turbine.

The turbine is programmed to perform an adjustment procedure every second. The precise position of the cylinder rod is being monitored by a Novotechnik linear noncontacting absolute position sensor which is integrated in the hydraulic cylinder. Because the sensor utilizes a magnetic pick-up that moves along a track on the sensor, there is no upper mechanical speed limit. Ingress protection on the sensor is IP 67 and is also rated to operate with pressure peaks up to 6,525 psi. Stroke length is to over eight feet.

If you have a question about position sensors for your specific application, Novotechnik engineers would be glad to speak with you. Contact us at Email Novotechnik or call 800-667-7492.

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