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Vol. 62, No. 12, December 2005




Table of Contents










World Sensors and MEMS Markets: Analysis and Trends


This world sensors market overview is based on both: available information from different market analytics and International Frequency Sensor Association (IFSA) market study. It includes different “hot” sensors types as well as micro electromechanical systems (MEMS)-based sensors and sensor interfaces. The main aim of this short review is to concentrate information from different printed and online sources and help make a right decision in very dynamics sensor market as well as let know what should we expect in the nearest future.


Sergey Y. YURISH, Nikolay V. KIRIANAKI, Igor L. Myshkin

International Frequency Sensor Association (IFSA)

Sensors Web Portal, Inc.





Using a Dual-Channel FDC Device and ANN Techniques to Improve Measurements Accuracy


Frequency-to-Digital Conversion (FDC) and Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) techniques are two powerful tools that can be used to improve the performance of measurement systems. The main advantages associated with frequency output transducers include their high noise immunity, high output signal power, wide dynamic range and simplicity of signal interfacing and coding. The frequency-to-digital conversion is easily performed by any low-cost microcontroller, or circuits based on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components, without need of any analog-to-digital converter (ADC). Considering the software component, artificial neural network techniques can easily be adapted to linearize transducer’s characteristics or to compensate the disturbances caused by influence quantities. In this paper a dual-channel FDC is used to measure relative humidity (RH) and temperature, and ANN techniques are applied to compensate RH measurements errors caused by temperature variations. Particular attention is also dedicated to the statistical behavior of the calibration data in order to select a suitable conversion accuracy for a given signal-to-noise ratio.


J.M. Dias Pereira 1,2, O. Postolache 1,2, P. Silva Girão2

1LabIM/ESTSetúbal, Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal, Portugal

2Instituto de Telecomunicações, DEEC, IST, Lisboa, Portugal



Controller Selection for Flow Process with Dead Time


A flow process with varying dead time has been experimentally studied. A dilute solution of sodium chloride is used as tracer and an online conductivity measurement unit as sensor and recorder. Two control algorithms are simulated for the above process and an optimal controller based on the criteria such as faster settling time, minimal overshoot, fast response to set point changes and disturbances change, and minimum ISE and IAE is established. Of the two control algorithms, conventional PI and IMC, the present study reveals that the IMC control scheme is best suited for this process for both servo and regulator problems.


Arputha Vijaya Selvi J, Radhakrishnan T.K. and Sundaram S.

Department of Chemical Engineering, National Institute of Technology,

Tiruchirappalli – 620 015. Tamil Nadu. India





New 788A Low Cost Accelerometer


Gaithersburg, MD - Wilcoxon Research has added another low-cost sensor to its family of general purpose accelerometers, the new 788A, with a sensitivity of 100 mV/g and a tight +10% tolerance.


The 788A is a single axis sensor with an acceleration range of +50 g (at full scale). High frequency response measurements up to 10 kHz identify faults and improper machine operation, ensuring that maintenance professionals are aware of these potentially damaging conditions. Typical noise is 4 micro g at 100 Hz. The 788A operates normally at temperatures between -50° and 120° C. Additional features include exceptional shielding, ground isolation, and hermetic sealing against environmental contamination ...


Courtney Schlapo, Marketing Communications,

Wilcoxon Research

Tel:: 301 216 3039 

E-mail: cschlapo@wilcoxon.com




Series MLY Miniature Torque Transducers is Enabled

by the Use of Magnetoelastic Sensing Technology


Series MLY torque transducers fulfill the need for small size, low inertia, robust, and economical instruments for measuring torques in milliNewton-meter (mN•m) ranges. (1 mN•m = 0.1416 oz.•in.). This unusual combination of desirable features is enabled by the use of polarized band magnetoelastic torque sensing technology*. MLY transducers offer those involved in the world of small machinery a size compatible means to monitor and control the torques involved in the operation of their motors and mechanisms.


Non contact torque sensing is intrinsic in MLY transducers; nothing except its 4 bearings is attached to the rotating shaft. In operation, a central “active” portion of the shaft, sized for the user specified measurement range, generates a magnetic field proportional to the transmitted torque. This is converted into an electrical signal by a pair of diametrically opposed Hall effect field sensors. Connections to external power source and signal conditioning, display, or data acquisition circuits, are made through user selected pigtail leads, attached cable or bulkhead connector. All internal electrical/electronic parts are encapsulated.


MLY transducers having 3.17 mm (0.125 in.) diameter shafts are available in full scale torque ranges from ±10 to ±250 mN•m. Units in the same case size with 4.75 mm (0.187 in.) shafts can handle torque ranges to ±400 mN•m. Units in a somewhat larger case with 6.35 mm (0.250 in.) shafts have up to ±1000 mN•m torque ranges ...



Ivan Garshelis,

Magnova, Inc.

E-mail: ijgarsh@magnova.com


Torque Transducers



Microprocessor Based Smart Position Sensor with Programming Facility


Microsense Technologies Pvt Ltd has developed a microprocessor based smart Label Sensor with TEACH button programming facility. The sensor is specially designed to sense position of label (sticker) on paper which has very minute difference in transparency. The microprocessor uses a 10-bit ADC to convert transparency level into 256 different values. TEACH button provides easy setting when the label-type changes from batch to batch


The sensor is suitable for all automatic machines where the label is peeled-off from the tape & is stick on a plastic/glass/metallic container or enclosure or product. The sensor operates on 10 to 30 VDC power supply & gives out NPN or PNP transistor output. The supply line is protected for reverse polarity. Output (NPN or PNP) driving capacity is 700mA & is protected for short-circuit, over-load & inductive load ...


Microsense Technologies Pvt Ltd.

4218-A, Chandramouleshwar, Sita-Gumpha Road, Panchavati,

Nashik-422003. INDIA

Phone: 91-253-5666565, fax: 91-253-2511565

E-mail: info@microsense.in

Label sensor



Fire/Gas System and IR Detectors to Protect French Chemical Plant


A Det-Tronics Eagle Quantum Premier combined fire/gas detection and extinguishing agent release system with 41 multi-frequency X3301 infrared flame detectors has been selected by COGNIS France to protect production and storage facilities at its plant producing chemical products 50 km east of Paris.


The choice of Detector Electronics for the contract followed lengthy evaluation testing started in 1999, with all competitive systems eliminated before this year's final decision. This was reportedly due largely to the superior performance and reliability of the Det-Tronics products and the supportiveness and system solution ideas of the local DEC team.


Flame detectors are being installed throughout the plant with the EQP system cited beside the main controlroom's distributed control system. The equipment has ATEX and CE certifications as required in France ...


Emily Lowe,

Detector Electronics

Tel: +44 (0)1753 683059

Fax: +44 (0)1753 884540

E-mail: Detronics.Mail@detronics.co.uk


Fire/gas system



Multifunctional Handheld Instrument with Several Sensing Probes for 8 Physical Quantities


Eight physical quantities can be accurately measured with only one handheld unit OMNIPORT 20 from E+E Elektronik. The pluggable sensing probes allow easy configuration of the OMNIPORT handheld for various applications and measuring ranges. With its range of sensing probes OMNIPORT 20 measures following HVAC and process parameters: relative humidity (RH); temperature (T); dew point temperature (Td); absolute humidity (dv); mixing ratio (r); air velocity (v); water activity in oil (aw); water content in oil (x).


The large display with back light and the robust housing allows the use of OMNIPORT also in harsh industrial environment. The thumbwheel navigation with easy to use menus as well as the calibration procedure stand for easy and user friendly operation ...


Werner Hentscholek

E+E Elektronik GmbH

Langwiesen 7, A-4209 Engerwitzdorf, Austria

Ph.: +43 – 7235-605-0, fax: +43 – 7235-605-8

E-mail: info@epluse.at




PDA-based Vibration Spectrum Analyzer Uses Standard ICP-type Piezoelectric Accelerometers


CAMPBELL, CA - Datastick Systems, Inc., introduced the VSA-1212 Vibration Spectrum Analyzer, the first PDA-based vibration analyzer to use standard, off-the-shelf ICP®-type piezoelectric accelerometers for machine condition monitoring, predictive maintenance, and routine troubleshooting.


The system includes the new Datastick® VSA-1212 Vibration Spectrum Analyzer module that attaches securely to select PDAs running Palm OS; new Datastick Spectrum handheld software that collects vibration measurements and displays them in time waveforms and FFT spectra complete with alarm levels; and Datastick Reporting System(TM) (DRS) software that receives the data from the handheld into a special VSA Microsoft® Excel® workbook on the PC with two mouse-clicks.


Measurement data is collected, viewed, analyzed, and stored on the PDA and then exported to the desktop PC for viewing, further analysis, trending, reporting, storage, and publishing to the enterprise and the web. When combined with an off-the-shelf ICP-type accelerometer, a Palm Powered® PDA and Microsoft Excel software, the VSA-1212 is a complete hardware and software system for vibration analysis for predictive maintenance ...


Michael Scandling,

V.P. Marketing

Datastick Systems, Inc.

Tel: (408) 871-3300

Fax: (408) 871-3313

Email: mike@datastick.com

Vibration Spectrum Analyzer



Motorized Potentiometers with 4-20 mA Control Option


Newbury Park, California, – The MR267 Current Loop Controller (CLC) option remotely controls a motorized potentiometer and/or rotary cam switch via 4-20mA current loop, 0-2.5V input or external potentiometer. It provides a simple and inexpensive solution for automating existing systems controlled by manually-operated potentiometers, rheostats or rotary cam switches. The CLC option can be specified for any of Micronor’s broad line of modular motorized potentiometers, cam timers and rotary limit switches. The MR267 option operates from 24VDC with an operating temperature range of -10°C to +65°C ...


Dennis Horwitz

Vice President, Sales & Marketing

Micronor Inc.

Tel: (805) 499-0114

Fax: (805) 499-6585

E-mail: dennis.horwitz@micronor.com


Motorized Potentiometer





World's First Tool for Low-Temperature Carbon Nanotube Growth Starts Trials


Newhaven, & The University of Surrey, - CEVP has developed a fabrication tool to commercialise the revolutionary low temperature carbon nanotube growth process developed by the University of Surrey's Advanced Technology Institute (ATI). The new tool - NanoGrowth - is currently being trialled and characterised, and the two partners anticipate releasing the technology for commercial use in March 2006.


The exploitation of the incredible mechanical and electrical properties of carbon nanotubes in precision applications such as integrated circuits and flat panel displays has been hindered by current growth techniques, which can elevate substrate temperatures to 1000 degrees C or more, resulting in damage or material compatibility issues. In contrast, the NanoGrowth tool, which is designed to deliver nanomaterial growth across areas up to three inches in diameter, employs a unique thermal control system to maintain the growth substrate at room temperature.


Processing capability is highly programmable, providing great flexibility for research or development use. User-friendly software - a version of CEVP's field-proven SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) package - gives fine control over all stages of processing via graphical MIMIC-style displays. As part of the beta testing phase, ATI and CEVP will be creating generic nanotube and nanowire recipes that will be provided with the tool, which offer ready-to-use growth processes. Users will also have full manual control, and will be able to adapt these recipes, or create their own custom processes using a menu-driven user interface to control gas flow rates, voltage and current levels, RF power, temperatures, etc. Sophisticated data-logging, trending and batch tracking facilities help users to develop and document their own processes, to optimise recipes for commercial production. Remote monitoring is also possible ...


Prof. S. Ravi P. Silva,

Advanced Technology Institute,

University of Surrey, GU2 7XH, UK

Tel.: +44 (0) 1483 689825,

Fax: +44 (0) 1483 686081

E-mail: s.silva@surrey.ac.uk

Fabrication Tool for Nanotube Growth





ISSYS Receives Grant for Development of Wafer-Scale, Hermetic Packaging of Intelligent MEMS-Based Systems


YPSILANTI, Mich.-Integrated Sensing Systems, Inc. (ISSYS) announced today that it has won a Small Business Innovation Research contract from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The six-month project, entitled "Wafer-Scale, Hermetic, Packaging of MEMS-Based Systems" is aimed towards development of a novel packaging method which will greatly simplify the packaging of MEMS and their associated electronics. This simplification allows the commercialization of a variety of MEMS-based products that are currently not possible due to high cost of manufacturing or packaging problems. ISSYS' method can be used for a wide variety of MEMS based devices, in particular, for applications where the MEMS device needs to be in direct contact with the media and the electronics need to be isolated from the environment ...


Sonbol Massoud-Ansari

Integrated Sensing Systems, Inc.

391 Airport Industrial Dr.

Ypsilanti, MI 48198

Tel: (734) 547-9896 Ext. 104, fax: (734) 547-9964

E-mail: sonbol@mems-issys.com



Vibro-Meter Inc Announces Service Agreement with RoMaDyn


Meggitt’s Vibro-Meter Inc of Manchester, New Hampshire has secured the services of RoMaDyn of Minden, Nevada to further enhance the company’s field support and training capabilities within the US industrial condition monitoring market. In this capacity, RoMaDyn will provide product servicing, commissioning support and training as it pertains to Vibro-Meter equipment installed in the field ...


Ed Duckless, Manager, Business Development,

Vibro-Meter Inc., Engine Monitoring Systems

Tel: +1 603 669 0940, fax: +1 603 669 0931

E-mail: ed.duckless@vibro-meter.com






Multisensor Data and Information Processing

(Special Issue, August 2005)


S&T Special Issue's cover





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