Positioning system
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Very often it is necessary to solve the problem of determining the absolute position of an object at a fairly large distance and with high accuracy. This may be the position of the crane, moving the platform or trolley.

The main problems faced by manufacturers in solving the problem of measuring displacements are dirt, coolant, shock and vibration loads, as well as other difficult conditions of a standard production environment. Existing optical solutions for positioning objects have disadvantages when working in harsh environmental conditions, for example, in metallurgy. While the use of encoders for wheeled vehicles is also not always acceptable due to the accumulation of measurement errors due to wheel slippage. This article will discuss a non-optical and non-contact method for measuring the position of Magnettrack objects at distances from tens of meters to several kilometers with high accuracy and an object’s speed of up to 10 m / s. The magnettrack system easily bypasses all the problems listed above.


Over the past century, the industry has made a sharp leap in development. Production volumes are growing, the quality of goods is kept at a high level, and the complexity of manufactured products increases with acceleration. The reason for this is the high level of competition, which is the engine of this progress. Nevertheless, among all the variety of products that appear, there are its leaders, the emergence of which is due to consumer choice. The latter forms the legislation in the field of recognition of a product as a leader. The main requirement here is one thing - to produce goods efficiently and not expensively. But in order for this rule to be observed, it is necessary to modernize production with high-quality systems with minimal costs. From this point of view, the manufacturer himself acts here as a buyer, and makes a similar requirement to his suppliers of process control systems - high-quality and not expensive systems.

Magnettrack System Description

One of such systems, which do not have 100% analogues on the world market, but have already proven themselves in the largest metallurgical industries, is the absolute Magnettrack displacement measuring system over long distances along linear paths. Translated from English Magnettrack means "magnetic track."

The Magnettrack system uses high-quality German equipment from BALLUFF, which operates using the well-established magnetostriction technology. For more than 30 years, BALLUFF magnetostrictive transducers have shown themselves as a reliable solution for high-precision measurements at short and medium distances. Technology Magnettrack suited to the use of several sensors with the other hand: a sensor mounted on the mobile unit (the machine, crane, cart, machine, etc.), and the positional marker (magnets) are arranged along the moving path setting (the rail, under-rail beam guide etc.), thus creating a unique magnetic track. The Magnettrack motion measuring system, which is thus developed, is absolute. This means that after a power restart, there is no need to bring the measurement object to the zero position.


For 30 years, the quality of production of magnetostrictive transducers, honed by the German company BALLUFF, guarantees the stable operation of the Magnettrack system, of which the transducer itself is a key component. Consider the main advantages of the Magnettrack system, and also indicate the principles of reducing production costs when using this technology.

The magnettrack system is non-contact and allows you to ignore both vertical and horizontal vibrations of the measurement object. The Magnettrack system is not optical. It does not require maintenance and is not susceptible to the environment: to any types of dust (including metal), various types of pollution and industrial waste (water, oil, fuel oil, coolant, etc.).

Deployment of the Magnettrack system at production sites can occur without stopping production, which is very important for costly downtime.

For a small added value, the Magnettrack system can be endowed with the property of increased reliability in the right places due to the duplication of markers and / or the BALLUFF transducer.

The system has a flexible performance variation, and is able to work discretely, if necessary, positioning the object at certain points (for example, at breakpoints), which significantly reduces its cost and increases the speed of deployment.

The magnettrack system is independent of the effect of wheel slippage, for example, in crane technology. While for encoders, the effect of wheel slippage leads to the accumulation of measurement errors and, as a consequence, to accidents. For wheeled vehicles, the Magnettrack system is reliably protected against wear on wheels and rails.

It is possible to use one system of position markers for several installations on one troll for their coordinated positioning and prevention from collision.

The Magnettrack system contains a diagnostic function that allows you to track any changes in the marker and magnetic markings on the installation route, and quickly restore marker markings, for example, after an overhead run, physical destruction of system elements, replacement of rail rails for crane equipment, etc.

The above advantages are not final, here you can add anti-vandal mechanical design, reliable performance, thanks to its simple principle, system learnability, etc. A method for assessing wheel and rail wear for crane equipment based on the Magnettrack system is currently under development.


The Magnettrack system allows you to position almost any object moving along trajectories that are close to linear (whether it is a passenger train carriage, or an overhead crane or elevator). If you are tired of monitoring the contamination of optical sensors or putting up with slipping encoders, or maybe you are not happy with the cost of an alternative solution, then Magnettrack is the first step to modern production and entering a leading position among competitors.

Contacts: magnettrack@BALLUFF.ru