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Coil-on-a-chip sensor

Position and speed data are in high demand in industrial applications, and encoders, tachometers and gauges frequently provide this information. But when the operating environment calls for high precision under harsh conditions, inductive position sensors from CSEM may be the answer. The microsensors allow miniaturization of conventional non-contact position measurement systems and offer the functionality of a resolver or an LVDT on a millimeter sized silicon chip. Composed of two silicon chips, one for the integrated micro-coils and the other for the integrated interface circuit, the solid-state sensor has no moving parts, which boosts reliability. The absence of a permanent magnet allows for a flat sensor housing and eliminates tedious calibration procedures required with magnetostrictive and Hall effect sensors. "This is a high resolution, yet robust solution," says Johan Bergqvist, Product Manager. "It is compact enough for close placement to an assembly and does not require shielding from magnetic fields." The unit operates in the 0 to 100 kHz frequency range and offers temperature stability at -40 to +85C. Applications include automotive ABS gearwheel sensing for position, speed and direction, and other forms of electric motor monitoring, including machine tool and robotics. Packaging may be semicustomized.

Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique SA (CSEM): Product Code 4977

Ultrasonic sensor

RightSound ultrasonic proximity sensor has a 2- to 30-inch range and through-cover emitter volume adjustment. The sensor uses a separate emitter and receiver to set up a unidirectional sound beam that can be broken by clear, opaque and translucent objects and materials such as glass and plastic bottles. It is designed for clear object detection bottling, packaging, and material handling applications. The sensor's enclosure is rated for 1,200 psi washdown protection. Diagnostic LEDs sit in a transparent dome on top of the control to provide information on emitter and receiver power, receiver output and instability.

Rockwell Automation: Product Code 4979

People sensors

A matchbook-sized smart module from Hewlett Packard allows remote monitoring and control from any Internet browser. BFOOT-10501 is designed for measurement and automation uses as varied as weather stations, blood analyzers and fitness machines. The device was developed to IEEE 1451.2 standards to interface to sensors and contains a standard 10 Base T connection to plug into any Ethernet network. It allows any Ethernet-connected products to be synchronized to within 200 nanoseconds. Wind River's Tornado developer's kit simplifies integration of the device into existing product designs. The smart module communicates with its peers to solve distributed measurement and control problems. The device will enable companies to quickly create products that access whole new markets for measurement, monitoring and automated off-site device control, says HP. "The new web server can connect to RS-232 and other legacy devices," says HP's Rick Van Ness. "It is ideal for monitoring expensive equipment with networked sensors from any location -- PC, palmtop or pager."

Hewlett Packard: Product Code 4971

Micro motherboard

Epson kicked off the first in a planned family of compact motherboards running on National Semiconductor's Geode processor at 200 MHz. Epson calls its CARD-PCI/GX a standards-setter for low cost Windows CE, 98 and NT applications. Measuring 101.6 2 63.5 2 8 mm, the PCI card is the industry's smallest -- 30% smaller and thinner than its closest competitor. "Our CARD-PCI/GX addresses a broad market where high performance with low cost and low power are valued," says Minoru Nimura, Epson Electronics Marketing Manager. CARD-PCI/GX uses standard connectors and a common passive backplane, providing a pin compatible upgrade path for system developers. The PCI card features 32 or 64 MB SDRAM, high-performance SXGA video controllers, ISA subset and PCI bus interfaces, supporting three slots, and peripheral interfaces. It can be expanded to include two IDE, two USB, two serial channels, audio, PS/2 style keyboard/mouse, floppy disk and parallel ports. The low power device operates with just 3W and does not require a cooling fan. It connects via a 280-pin connector.

Epson Electronics America, Inc.: Product Code 4976

Data recorder

Sony added a model to its line of high speed digital data recorders. The SIR-1000i provides 16 channels at 20kHz, each with selectable ICP input. Channels can be expanded to 32 channels of 20kHz signal input or up to 128 channels at 5kHz by adding channel expansion units. ICP, a recognized sensor technology developed by PCB Piezotronics uses a piezo-resistive sensor element with a miniature internal amplifier to create a low-impedance voltage signal that is proportional to any displacement of the element resulting from vibration, force or pressure. The output from the resulting voltage changes is fed to a data recorder or other instrument for measurement, analysis or processing. ICP sensors require a current source, which is provided at the input connector of the data recorder. There are also LEDs to indicate ICP on/off for each channel, front panel controls, and indicators on the unit's LCD display. The recorder operates well in high electrical noise environments, such as manufacturing and processing plants, it can be made compact and temperature resistant and requires only a constant current source. Incorporating the ICP technology within the SIR-1000I eliminates the need for external power devices on site, saving space and making the unit a perfect fit in field applications. Input mode is switchable between sensor and direct voltage, the later being SIR-1000's standard. The type of input mode is recorded on tape along with other auxiliary information such as input range and time code and is displayed on play back.

Sony Precision Technology America, Inc.: Product Code 4978

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