Digital Temperature Sensors

The ProSense® ETS series digital temperature sensors from Automation Direct (Cumming, GA) now include a precision RTD sensing element, measuring electronics, and process fitting, combined in a single transmitter probe. They can be directly mounted to thermowells, eliminating the need for separate probe mounting or adapter fittings. Two solid state temperature output switches are included. Select models allow an output to be configured as a scalable analog signal, turning the unit into a combination temperature switch and transmitter. A built-in digital display indicates measured temperature and LEDs indicate output switch status. The sensor housing can be rotated up to 310° after installation and the digital display can be electronically flipped 180° for inverted installations.

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Rotary Position Sensors

TT Electronics, (Surrey, UK), has launched the PHS family of hollow shaft single turn rotary position sensors for harsh environments: PHS04, PHS07, and PHS11. The sensors convert angular position or the motion of a shaft or axle to an analog or digital signal. All are dust-proof and have rotational angles of 360 degrees. Operating temperature range is -40 to +120°C, size is 2.2 × 4 × 5 mm, and life is greater than a million cycles. They can be customized for hole diameters and D vs H rotor type. Applications include robot joint angle control, game controllers, motor drive units, 3D printers, intelligent surveillance camera positioning, HVAC sensors, patient monitoring systems, medical diagnostic devices, and numerous automotive applications.

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Inclination Sensor

ASM Sensors (Elmhurst, IL) is introducing the POSITILT® PTK29 inclination sensor, which compensates for the dynamic disturbances typical of mobile applications. It measures +/-180° inclination with one axis or +/-60° with two. The signal is instantaneous and has a static linearity up to 0.05°. It can be mounted with selectable axis orientation. The 10 mm flat and maximum 49.5 mm wide sensor housing enables installation in space-restricted locations. For safety critical applications, it is also available in an IP67 hermetically sealed stainless-steel housing with redundant output options. It is rated for high shock and vibration and has a temperature range of -40°C to +85°C. Shielded against electromagnetic interference, it is available with digital (CANopen, CAN SAE J1939) and analog outputs.

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Pyroelectric Detectors

Laser Components (Bedford, NH) is introducing the LD2100 series pyroelectric detector, with differential outputs. This is advantageous since pyroelectric crystals simultaneously generate positive and negative charges on opposite faces. The detector not only outputs double the signal compared to a single ended detector when used with a differential amplifier, but the noise only increases by √2, which produces an improvement in signal to noise ratio of around 1.4. In addition, since differential inputs cancel out external common-mode noise signals, they are well suited for critical environments. Also, wiring is simplified, since the signal outputs can be connected directly to the inputs of a differential AD converter. Pyroelectric detectors are used in NDIR and FTIR spectroscopy, IR laser-based measurement technology, pyrometry, and flame and fire detection, and are highly sensitive from short to long IR wavelengths as thermal detectors.

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Non-Contact Position Sensing System

The Measuring Division of Kaman Precision Products, Inc. (Middletown, CT) announces its OEM-2306 non-contact linear displacement-measuring instrument, using eddy current technology. It is factory configured for each unique application, is RoHS compliant, and supports the full line of Kaman sensors. With its high resolution, high frequency response, and good linearity, it is a cost-effective replacement for linear variable differential transformers (LVDTs), air gauges, dial indicators, and micrometers. Many aspects of the physical configuration and calibration of the instrument can be specified and customized to the needs of each individual high-volume OEM application, including extending the sensor cable, extended range calibration, temperature compensation calibration, and sensor customization.

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Inductive Path Sensors

The new Inelta (Woodstock, GA) ILAT Series Miniature LVDT Sensors provide precision measurement of position and path in the range of single-digit millimeters. They are available for exact measurements of ±1 mm, ±2 mm, or ±5 mm traveling distances. With a housing length of 79 mm, a diameter of 8 mm, and a weight of 30 g (including cable), they can operate within tight-fitting conditions. Because of the inductive Linear Variable Differential Transformer (LVDT), the linear motions of the measuring sensor are transformed, contact-free, into an electronic signal, so there is little wear. Linearity tolerance is <0.25%. and is available at <0.1%. The stainless-steel housing is rated at protection class IP65 — optionally IP67. Nominal temperature rating is 0° – 70°C and it has a life of more than 10 million cycles. Applications include medical technology, agriculture, navigation, testing facilities, and manufacture of special purpose machinery.

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Spring-Loaded Linear Position Sensor

Alliance Sensors Group, a division of H.G. Schaevitz, LLC, is introducing its GHS-19 series of spring-loaded Linear Variable Inductive Transducer (LVIT) gaging sensors. They are contactless devices designed for dimensional gaging and position measurements in factory automation and in various industrial and commercial applications such as automotive testing, mil/aero test stands, robotic arms, and packaging equipment, where the sensing element cannot be attached to the object being measured. Using LVIT technology with its simple coil design, the GHS-19 series has excellent stroke-to-length ratios. The sensors have a 0.75-inch (19 mm) diameter aluminum or stainless-steel body with a 1/2-20 UNF-2A threaded nose 1.5 inches (38 mm) long and two 0.75-inch (19 mm) hex jam nuts for drop-in installation of spring-loaded DC-LVDT gage heads. Operating from a variety of DC voltages, they are available with a choice of one of four analog outputs, and include a field calibration feature.

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Outdoor-Rated Data Acquisition

The FieldDAQ™ Voltage Input Device from National Instruments (Austin, TX), can be deployed for distributed measurement systems close to a sensor, even in rain, sleet, snow, or mud. The device measures up to eight channels with a voltage input range of ±10 V. It features 24-bit resolution with simultaneous sample rates up to 100 kS/s. The channel-to-channel isolation of up to 500 V eliminates noise from ground loops and protects instrumentation circuitry from high transient voltages. With an ingress protection rating up to IP67 (dust- and water-resistant), it can operate in a -40 °C to 85 °C environment and can sustain 100 g shock and 10 g vibration. It also incorporates Time Sensitive Networking (TSN), which provides tight synchronization over a distributed network of data acquisition nodes without additional cabling or complex programming. An integrated network switch and built-in power circuitry enable simple daisy chaining.

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Pressure Transducers

The Cerabar PMP pressure transducers from Endress+Hauser (Greenwood, IN) measure up to 6,000 psi and are factory spanable for specific application requirements. They are available with threaded or welded hygienic process connections and provide 4 – 20 mA or 0 – 10 Vdc output signals. Models PMP11 and PMP21 measure pressures from -15 to 6,000 psi at temperatures from -40 to 212 °F with accuracy of 0.5% and 0.3%, respectively. The PMP23 can measure from -15 to 600 psi at temperatures from 14 to 212 °F with accuracy of 0.3%. Its IP 69 housing with fully welded hygienic process connections is available for washdown applications. A one-line LCD display shows measured values, fault messages, and information messages and can be turned in 90° steps, making it easy to reorient as required for improved readability.

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Self-Adhesive Level Sensor

Balluff GmbH (Neuhausen a.d.F., Germany) offers a self-adhesive, capacitive sensor head with IP 64 protection for non-contact, continuous level detection on non-conductive vessel or pipe outer walls made of glass, plastic, or ceramic. The flexible sensor heads, with maximum detection range of up to 850 mm, can be individually trimmed to length (minimum 108 mm). With the integrated adhesive surface, they can easily be attached to container walls without additional accessories. For polar, aqueous media, the wall thickness may be between 2 and 6 mm, or up to 2 mm for non-conductive media such as oil or bulk materials. The sensor is designed for use with the type BAE sensor amplifier, which enables levels to be continually detected over the entire measuring range as analog values (0 – 10 V, 4 – 20 mA), via IO-Link, or as minimum or maximum threshold.

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Eddy Current Sensor

The new eddyNCDT 3001 from Micro-Epsilon (Raleigh, NC) is a compact inductive displacement sensor based on eddy currents. The temperature-compensated design provides high stability even in fluctuating ambient temperatures. With integrated electronics, it is suited to OEM and machine building applications. It is factory-calibrated for either ferromagnetic or non-ferromagnetic materials, which eliminates the need for field calibration. Available with connector or with integrated cable, it is designed to operate in harsh industrial environments (oil, pressure, dirt). Their high bandwidth suits them for monitoring high-speed motion.

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Data Logger

The “S” type model data logger from T&D Corporation (Matsumoto, Japan) comes with one of two new temperature-humidity sensors that have improved environmental resistance and accuracy when measuring in a high humidity environment, or if exposed to corrosive gases and organic solvents. The temperature measurement range is from -25 to 70 ºC, with +/- 0.5-degree accuracy. Humidity measurements are from zero to 99 percent, with +/- 2.5% accuracy. They also feature one and two-point adjustment functions in order to eliminate the need for the user to apply a manual adjustment factor when calibrating data. Select data logger models with the new sensors incorporate Wi-Fi connectivity for automatic uploading of data to T&D's free cloud service, allowing access from any internet enabled device in the world with no monthly fee. The lineup also includes T&D LAN-based loggers that allow access to data via the T&D cloud, PC, or by direct communication with mobile devices.

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Sensor Technology Magazine

This article first appeared in the March, 2018 issue of Sensor Technology Magazine.

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