Contrinex Smart Measurement Sensors Revolutionise CNC Machining


Contrinex inductive sensors are a well-established choice for CNC milling and turning machines because of their high performance, robustness and choice of small sizes. As CNC machine manufacturers look to improve efficiency and precision and provide the flexibility to handle a diverse array of materials and cutting speeds, Contrinex’s new SMART inductive sensors are starting to be implemented.

An example is to improve the versatility of automatic tool-changing systems, whilst providing the manufacturer the confidence that the reliable sensors will prevent errors which could cause damaged tools and workpieces or spindle malfunctions.


SMART technology is being incorporated into the latest CNC machining centres to enhance their flexibility to cope with a wide range of tasks, various materials, batch sizes, work-pieces, tools and cutting speeds.

To enable autonomous operation a multi-purpose machine is complemented by an equally capable automated tool-changing system. A spring-loaded collet which holds the tool is actuated by a central drawbar running the length of the spindle. Once the tool to be changed is moved to its designated position in the machine’s tool-storage magazine, an actuator pushes the drawbar forward to disengage the collet and release the tool. The spindle then moves to the location of the new tool in the magazine and the process is reversed.


The SMART inductive measurement sensor is capable of performing many tasks, which in this application include:

Precision Real-Time Measurement:

Contrinex’s Smart Sensors excel in providing precision real-time measurements of drawbar positions. This level of accuracy is crucial for identifying even the slightest deviation during tool changes, allowing for immediate intervention if needed.

User-Configured Setpoints:

Tailoring to user preferences, these sensors offer configurable setpoints, guaranteeing accurate end-of-travel position sensing. Customization is the key to adaptability, ensuring that the system aligns perfectly with specific machining requirements.

High-Speed Notification:

Time is of the essence in machining operations. Contrinex’s Smart Sensors deliver high-speed notifications for time-critical events, minimizing downtime and maximizing operational efficiency.

Threshold Alarms:

An added layer of security comes in the form of threshold alarms. These alarms not only identify over-temperature situations but also signal the end of a sensor’s service life, allowing for proactive maintenance and replacement.

Automatic Backup via IO-Link Master:

The convenience of automatic sensor configuration backup on the local IO-Link Master ensures that valuable settings are preserved, minimizing setup hassles and ensuring consistent performance.

Self-Test Function:

To further enhance reliability, Contrinex’s Smart Sensors incorporate a self-test function that safeguards against sensor failure. This proactive approach adds an extra layer of confidence in the system’s performance.



A SMART version of Contrinex’s uniquely robust ‘Extreme’ ‘700 Series’ of stainless-steel-cased inductive sensors is embedded radially into the body of the spindle, immediately adjacent to the rear of the drawbar. The sensor measures lateral position measurement from an inclined plane over a sensing distance of up to 6 mm and a dynamic resolution of ±5.5 micrometres, delivered in a highly accurate 16-bit digital output.

The sensor operates in two distinct modes: During tool changes, the drawbar position is monitored in real-time, ensuring that its motion follows the expected pattern; once the extreme of travel is reached in either direction, the sensor de-energises the actuator and initiates the next stage of the process. Any non-compliant measurements stop the process and trigger an alarm.

Damage Prevention:

The embeddable inductive Smart Sensor diligently monitors the drawbar position, promptly detecting incomplete tool engagement. This proactive stance inhibits further motion before any damage occurs, safeguarding tools, workpieces, and spindles.

Simplicity and Affordability:

Contrinex’s single-sensor control system is incredibly simple and easy to use. It proves that precision doesn’t have to be complex, offering an affordable solution that aligns with the needs of machining professionals.

Space Efficiency:

The embeddable M12 sensor, designed with the limited space available in mind, fits snugly into the spindle body. This space-efficient design ensures that the sensor seamlessly integrates into the existing setup without compromising performance.

IO-Link Connectivity:

Embracing industry-standard IO-Link connectivity, Contrinex’s Smart Sensors provide a single interface to the machine control system. This streamlined communication enhances compatibility and simplifies integration into existing machining setups.


  • Reliable & fast detection
  • High-precision measurement
  • Long sensing range
  • EMC resilient
  • Robust & reliable in demanding conditions 
  • Wide temperature range -25°C TO +70°C
  • IO-Link – Ideal for Industry 4 
  • Service-data blocks hold product ID, location & serial number


PocketCodr – The simple way to Develop & Configure Smart Sensors Using an App

The new Bluetooth PocketCodr sensor connection unit and its companion app make the design and configuration of Smart sensors as simple as using a phone app. Configure, monitor and share the settings of Smart sensors and IO-Link sensors from any manufacturer, without the need to use a PLC.

PocketCodr’s ‘Action Widgets’ make the configuration of Contrinex’s Smart sensors faster and easier because they provide easy-to-understand, step-by-step intuitive, graphics-based screens, with simple controls, like sliders, buttons and checkboxes with helpful hints – With PocketCodr you can say goodbye to programming manuals, and share settings by sending a code to another Pocketcodr user anywhere in the world, via email, messenger, text, etc.


  • Configure & Monitor any brand of IO-Link sensor on your phone
  • Program SMART & IO-Link sensors without the need for a PLC or coding
  • Share configuration settings via email, messager, text, etc.
  • Action widgets guide the configuration of Contrinex sensors
  • Sensor’s IODD file automatically loaded when publicly available
  • LED status indicators
  • Long-lasting Lithium rechargeable battery with USB C charging
  • Simple & Fast Bluetooth connection, without the need for passwords
  • Download from the AppStore or Google Play


Click to download the SMART sensor brochure, or Click to download Contrinex’s Product Overview brochure to find out more.

Call PLUS Automation on 0121 58 222 58 or email to discuss how they can help you #MakeSenseofSensors using Inductive, Machine Safety, Photoelectric, Pressure, Process, RFID & Ultrasonic sensors from Contrinex, ReeR & Satron.

With over 2,000 sensors in UK stock, supported by stock held in Europe and short manufacturing lead times, they’d welcome the opportunity to talk about improving automation and machine performance, or how to reduce costs.


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