bullet On-line Magazine 'Sensors & Transducers' (S&T e-Digest)

    (ISSN 1726- 5479)



No. 4, April 2003



Table of Contents





New Dynamic Pressure Sensors Withstand Temperatures of 750° F


New Model 116B03 dynamic pressure sensor from the Pressure Division of PCB Piezotronics, Inc., operates in environments to 750° F (400° C). The unit is designed for detecting pressure fluctuations in harsh environments such as exhaust systems, compressors, and turbines. Pressure monitoring leads to increased efficiencies, reduced maintenance, and trims waste in process systems. The charge mode unit may also be used with PCB In-Line Charge Converters, which convert charge mode piezoelectric sensor signals into low-impedance voltage signals for operation with ICP® signal conditioners. Since piezoelectric pressure sensors are AC coupled devices, they will ignore any ambient, static pressure, or very slow pressure change. This property enables the devices to monitor low-level dynamic pressures while being subjected to a high static background pressure level. The units feature solid-state construction, no moving parts, stainless steel housings, high frequency range, and up to 6 pC/psi sensitivity.


Dan Cummiskey,

Division Manager

Pressure Division

3425 Walden Avenue

Depew, NY 14043-2495

E-Mail: dcummiskey@pcb.com

Pressure Sensor 116B03



Variable Capacitance Accelerometer Offers Special for EMI/RFI Shield and Filtering


The Endevco Model 7293A MICROTRON ® accelerometer family utilizes unique variable capacitance microsensors and incorporates special filtering and shielding for EMI and RFI exposure. Designed for measurement of steady-state or low frequency, low level accelerations, the Model 7293A is ideal for aerospace and factory environments where EMI and RFI are a particular concern. The Model 7293A’s anisotropically-etched silicon microsensors can withstand high shock (up to 10,000g’s) and acceleration loads. The use of gas damping on the sensors results in very small thermally-induced changes in frequency response.


The Model 7293A can operate from 9.5Vdc to 18.0Vdc. It provides a high level, low impedance +2 V differential output, which is de-coupled at a dc bias of approximately 3.6Vdc. Endevco’s Model 136 Three-Channel System or OASIS 2000 Computer-Controlled System are recommended as signal conditioner and power supply.



30700 Rancho Viejo Road

San Juan Capistrano, California 92675

Tel: (949) 493-8181

Fax: (949) 661-7231

7293a Capacitance Accelerometer



Dynamic Strain Sensor Monitors Machinery Forces

The Force/Torque Division of PCB Piezotronics, Inc., announces the release of the Model 240A01 Dynamic ICP ® Strain Sensor. The device measures dynamic and quasi-static stress on stationary and moving machinery and offers a simple technique for monitoring processes and detecting inconsistencies or upsets. A single screw easily installs the unit in a non-invasive manner on the machinery surface. Ideally positioning the device in the direction of maximum strain permits an indirect measurement of forces on such devices as mechanical presses, machine tools, fast-running production machinery, and automatic assembly machines.


The Model 240A01 utilizes piezoelectric sensing elements that are structured in an acceleration compensated configuration. Its robust construction, integrated microelectronic signal conditioning, and solid-state design stands up against harsh industrial environments and interfaces easily to process monitoring and data acquisition systems.


Peter Munschauer ,

Division Manager

Force/Torque Division

3425 Walden Avenue

Depew, NY 14043-2495

E-Mail: pmunschauer@pcb.com

240A01 Dynamic Strain Sensor



High-Temperature Accelerometer For 900° F (482° C) Operation

The Model 357B61 high-temperature, charge mode accelerometer, from the Vibration Division of PCB Piezotronics, Inc., operates in temperatures beyond the capability of most piezoelectric vibration sensors. The unit withstands temperatures of up to 900° F (482° C), and is designed for vibration studies in the high-temperature, ambient environments found in power generation turbines and equipment, aircraft engines, and vehicle engine and exhaust systems.


The Model 357B61 accelerometer connects to laboratory-style charge amplifiers or in-line charge converters, which condition the output signal for recording or analysis. The robust sensor is structured with a piezoceramic sensing element and an all-welded, hermetically-sealed Inconef housing. Additional features include a 5,000 g shock limit, a 10-32 coaxial electrical connector, and a supplied 10 ft. (3 m) high-temperature, hard-line cable.


Craig S. Aszkler

Division Manager

Vibration Division

3425 Walden Avenue

Depew,NY 14043-2495

E-Mail: caszkler@pcb.com

High-temperature Accelerometer 357B61



ICP® 3-Component Force Sensor

The 260A01 ICP® 3-Component Force Sensor, from the Force/Torque Division of PCB Piezotronics, Inc., simultaneously measures dynamic or quasi-static force in three orthogonal directions. The ICP ® sensor utilizes built-in microelectronics to convert the high impedance charge to a low impedance voltage, which eliminates the need for expensive charge amplifiers and troublesome low noise cables. Operation is simplified by using a single multiconductor cable connecting between the sensor's hermetic four pin connector and a PCB multi-channel ICP sensor signal conditioner.


Each sensor is structured with three quartz elements which provides long-term stability, high stiffness of 10 Ib/in in the z-axis (4 lb/in in the x & y axis) and an operating range of 1000 Ib in the z-axis (500 Ib in the x & y axis). The sensor provides a voltage output of 2.5 mV/lb in the z-axis and 10 mV/lb in the x & y-axis. These features, along with rugged, hermetic stainless steel construction, make this sensor suitable for a variety of applications including: monitoring cutting tool forces, modal analysis, engine mount analysis, biomechanics, and impact testing.


Peter Munschauer

Division Manager

Force/Torque Division

3425 Walden Avenue

Depew, NY 14043-2495

E-Mail: pmunschauer@pcb.com

3-Component Force Sensor 260A01



Ultrasonic Analysers

Ixthus Instrumentation announces the launch of the UA1 series Ultrasonic Analysers. This new instrument is designed to test the performance of Ultrasonic Welding machines, by measuring the vibration amplitude and frequency at the welding face. The unit provides the best indication of the health and efficiency of the weld horn, booster and the transducer, also the coupling between these components.


The system comprises of a small desktop instrument having a multi-function LCD back-lit display on the front panel. It displays both the vibration frequency in kHz, and the peak to peak amplitude of the vibration in µm. The sensor is connected to the instrument by a 2m cable, integral to the sensor only. 


A push button on the front panel selects between Aluminium and Titanium horns, and also a calibration mode, where the actual linear displacement of the sensor can be measured for calibration against a known calibration standard. The system incorporates a universal power supply for 100 VAC to 250 VAC 50 / 60 Hz mains power operation.




Linear measuring range: 0.5mm. (0.020")

Offset: 50µm. (0.002")

Sensitivity: 2mV/µm (100mV/0.001")

Full scale output: 0Vdc to 1Vdc.

Frequency response: 15KHz to 40KHz

Compliance to CE conformity.

Universal Power Supply. 100 - 250 Vac @ 0.35A


The sensor is mounted into a hand held grip, machined form PEEK bar stock. Measurements are made by holding the sensor face to the area of interest on the Sonatrode, booster or transducer. The system has been designed for comfortable and easy operation, with optimum efficiency in accessing the performance of the areas of interest of the horns (Sonatrodes), Boosters and transducers.


Ixthus Instrumentation Ltd.,

23A High Street, Overton, 

Basingstoke. RG25 3HB. UK.

Tel. +44 (0) 1256 771166,

E-mail: sales@ixthus.co.uk

Ultrasonic Analysers UA1



3D Hybrid Camera “Sees” Car Occupants


Luxembourg 11.04.03 - IEE is currently working on the next generation of passive safety systems. The approach chosen by IEE is a combined 3D-2D Hybrid Camera System. Aim is to inform the passive restraint systems by detecting and classifying the occupant type as well as sensing the occupant’s position. Target is a static occupant classification according NHTSA FMVSS 208 including a dynamic out-of-position sensing. The 3D Hybrid Camera System location will be the central overhead console.


To realise the 3D Hybrid Camera System, IEE uses the 3D Modulated Light Intensity (MLI) Camera technology developed from CSEM (Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique S.A.). IEE acquired from CSEM the automotive exclusivity rights for worldwide automotive applications. The 3D MLI Camera is based on the optical time of flight principle, which provides direct distance information on objects in front of the camera. The 3D Camera generates a distance value matrix to obtain a topographical image. The distance data allows an accurate spatial location of the object or occupant in the camera field-of-view. Misinterpretations between objects and textures or pictures, are excluded by the topographical data, being an issue for 2D image processing. The 3D data is directly available at the 3D matrix sensor output.


This technology fulfils the high standards of the automotive industry. The 3D Hybrid Camera will be used for dynamic occupant sensing. It is able to distinguish a child in a child seat from an adult person and recognizes “out-of-position” situations. Therefore, the Hybrid Camera enables the airbag control unit to optimally control of the passive restraint systems in a car before and during a collision. IEE intends market introduction of the 3D Hybrid Camera System in 2006. IEE (International Electronics & Engineering S.A.) was founded in 1989, is headquartered in Luxembourg, Europe and entered the automotive market in 1994. Other sensing products by IEE include passenger presence detection, child seat detection and occupation classification system. The company’s customer list includes: Alfa Romeo, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Citroen, Fiat, Ford, Holden, Hyundai, Kia, Lancia, Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot, Renault, Rolls-Royce, Saab, Toyota, Vauxhall and Volvo. IEE has more than 675 employees and operates two manufacturing sites as well as a technical centre in Luxembourg-Findel. In addition, IEE maintains R&D facilities in Auburn Hills, Michigan (USA) as well as in Seoul (South Korea).



Guido Becker

Tel: +352-42 47 37-1

E-mail: guido.becker@iee.lu





Hamlin Expands into Hall Sensor Market with Micronas Agreement


Freiburg, Germany/Diss, UK - April 15 , 2003 - Hamlin, worldwide leading supplier of reed switches and sensor solutions for automotive, industrial, consumer and electronic products and Micronas, a leading supplier of IC and sensor system solutions for consumer electronics, multimedia systems and automotive electronics, have signed a long-term agreement under which Micronas will be the preferred supplier of Hall sensors to Hamlin.


“Expanding into the Hall sensor market is part of Hamlin’s strategy to further develop its position as a leading manufacturer of advanced products,” said Phil James, managing director of Hamlin. “Having Micronasґ technology and technical support greatly expands Hamlin’s custom sensor solutions capabilities and provides the company a competitive edge in terms of what we can bring to the customer. The new alliance will keep Hamlin in the forefront of new product developments which will enable the company to launch new sensor products more quickly and efficiently”.


"We are proud that with Hamlin, we have been able to convince a strong partner to leverage Micronas’ proven know-how in hall-effect sensor technology for a strategic extension of their product portfolio,” explained Peter Zimmermann, automotive market manager at Micronas. “The agreement covers all product ranges from simple hall switches to highly sophisticated programmable sensors with digital signal processing and EEPROM memory".


Both reed switches and Hall effect sensors are magnetic proximity sensors, but they function in significantly different ways. A reed sensor is a mechanical switch in which the precious metal contacts are hermetically sealed within a small glass tube. The reed sensor has a digital output and no analog capability. The reed switch can be magnetically biased to obtain a latching function.


Micronas pioneered the Hall sensor market. It was the first company to offer fully programmable Hall sensors, where the Hall plate, the DSP block and the EEPROM were integrated into one chip manufactured in pure CMOS technology. Together with a patented method of offset compensation invented by Micronas, these sensors are more accurate by an order of magnitude compared to their bipolar predecessors. Due to the programmability they can be matched flexibly to the application and the given application environment. This eliminates expensive mechanical adjustments in the system. Therefore, system manufacturers benefit from reduced system costs as well as from a logistical advantage in that only one part needs to be stocked for a variety of applications.


The contactless measurement principle makes Hall sensors immune to mechanical wear and environmental contaminants such as dirt, vibration and great temperature variations, resulting in a much higher level of reliability. Thus, Hall sensors can replace electromechanical potentiometers in many cases.


Hall Sensors are used for a huge variety of simple position measurements (window closed/open) as well as for angle, rotational speed and current measurements. They are the components of choice for applications in harsh environments such as cars.



Simon Pitkin

Tel: +44 (0) 1379 649761

E-mail: pitkins@breedtech.com


Micronas Press Office,

Iris Bahr

Tel: +49 (761) 517-2324

E-mail: media@micronas.com






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