Technical Blog

Applications of Sensors

Sensors are used for many different applications throughout different industries. They are used in everyday applications as well as more industrial applications.

A sensor is a measuring device which senses a change in their surrounding environment, they are often manufactured into larger systems and devices and can monitor different variables depending on the type of sensor they are.

There is a multitude of different sensor types, the most popular categories we can offer are; position sensors, pressure sensors, temperature sensors and load and force sensors.

Sensors are used in so many applications including motorsport, agriculture, medicine, industrial, aerospace, agriculture and more.

Application of Temperature Sensors

Temperature sensors are used for the following applications;

Patient monitoring in medical applications – Temperature sensors are used to monitor the patients temperature in medical facilities.

Manufacturing and industrial equipment – Temperature sensors are used within machines to ensure they do not overheat and become unsafe.

Motorsport Applications – Temperature Sensors are used for monitoring; oil, engine and exhaust gas temperature

Transit Vans – Temperature sensors are used in refrigerant vehicles to ensure they are kept at a safe temperature for the contents

As well as the above specific uses, temperature sensors are also used for applications in the following: Electronic devices, domestic appliances, HVAC applications, calibration equipment, laboratory and testing. They are extremely diverse hence, making them suitable for a variety of industries.

Different Types of Temperature Sensors

Thermistors – Discrete temperature sensors for use in different applications.

RTDs – Resistance temperature detectors often constructed of platinum or Nickle, they can also be used as the sensing element within temperature probes.

Temperature Probes – A temperature sensing element within housing for use within circuits. Differing housings make the probes versatile and easy to connect. Our probes are manufactured onsite and can be custom built to suit customer requirements.

Thermocouple – Very versatile and can measure temperature over a wide range. Thermocouples are constructed of two differing metals.  The combination of these metals will determine their temperature measurement range.

Take a look at our full range of temperature sensors & contact us for more information.

Applications of Load and Force Sensors

Load and force sensors, or load cells, are another of our product categories at Variohm. They are used to measure weight and force, most load cells use internal strain gauges, the deformation/ distortion of the strain gage is directly related to the pressure the load cell is receiving. Load cells are available in various shapes, sizes and capacities to suit different applications.

Load cells are used for;

Weighing Scales – Weighing anything from sugar to dynamite and everything in between. Weighing scales are the most common application for load cells and they usually use a single point or shear beam load cells which are the most common type of load cell. Weighing scales can include, kitchen scales, bathroom scales, industrial scales and many more.

On-board Weighing – This process involves weighing the load of a heavy-duty vehicle, such as a lorry, or an industrial tipper truck. The onboard load cell will measure the load ensuring it does not exceed the maximum amount for the vehicle which contributes to safety and efficiency.

Tracking Devices for Records – Within modern record players, load cells are used to monitor the tracking force of the needle. This ensures the needle exerts just the right amount of force to play the record with the clearest and most pleasant sound.

Other applications for load cells include; pallet weighing, self- checkout in supermarkets, luggage weighing devices at airports, belt scales, hopper scales, medical equipment.

Types of Load Cells

There are different types of load cells to suit different environments

Single Point Load Cells – These are very common load cells, also referred to as platform load cells as this is their main application.

Shear Beam Load Cells - Designed for low profile scales and other process applications.

S-type Load Cells – Take their name from their shape, also called Z-type load cells. They offer high endurance with compact designs.

On-board Load Cells – For use in onboard applications as discussed above

Compression Load Cells – These are highly robust and can carry high capacity loads. Most load cells can be referred to as “compression load cells”.

These are just a few of the load cell categories on the market. All of our load cells can be seen on our website, contact us for more information.

Applications of Position Sensors

Position sensors are used to measure displacement and exact position whether this is linear or rotary. Some specific applications for position sensors are;

Motorsport Applications – Throttle position, gear position, steering position, and many other aspects within motorsport require the use of position sensors. Position sensors for these applications need to be compact and hard-wearing to offer high performance in such a demanding environment.

Medical Applications – Position sensors are used on oncology machines and MRI machines to ensure the device is in the correct position for image capture.

Film Special Effects – Within special effect departments for films position sensors are used. Variohm position sensors have been part of special effects for some time now, featuring in some well-known, popular films.

Agriculture Applications – Steering systems in agricultural machinery use both rotary and linear position sensors.

Aerospace Applications – Position sensors are used for wing flap position measurement as well as other applications integral to the safety of passengers.

Position sensors are used in many commercial applications including; ticket barriers, elevator doors, ramp and bridge positioning, use in Segways and many more.

Different types of Position Sensor

Cable Extension Transducers – Small size to measurement ratio making them good for telescopic applications and applications where space is limited.

Linear Position Sensors – Detecting and linearly measuring displacement. Our VLP range is well used in Motorsport applications and other industries where harsh environments and wide temperature ranges are present.

Rotary Position Sensors – Detecting and measuring displacement in a rotary fashion. Our range uses Hall Effect technology and is available in different sizes and formats.

Encoders – A type of rotary position sensor often used in automation, production lines and robotics to name a few. Different types include incremental and absolute.

 Again, these are just a few examples of the different type of position sensor available. See the full range on our website and for more information please contact us

Pressure Sensor Applications

There are two main types of pressure sensors, they are pressure transducers and pressure switches. Pressure transducers give an accurate reading of actual pressure whereas pressure switches have a set limit where they will “switch” and change state.

Some applications of pressure sensors are;

Motorsport Applications – Monitoring fuel, gas, tyre and oil pressure within motorsport vehicles. We have a range of combined pressure and temperature transducers which are perfect for motorsport applications as they are very compact for these tight environments.

Industrial Applications – Because they are so robust and hard-wearing, pressure transducers are well suited to applications in industrial environments. Industrial covers a wide range of applications and industries including, hydraulics and power stations.

HVAC Applications – Pressure transducers are used for monitoring heater pumps, cooling liquids and to monitor liquid levels within HVAC.

Medical Applications – Pressure switches are used to monitor levels in oxygen tanks, they are also used on DNA sampling machinery and other medical devices. Pressure transducers are also used within medical devices.

Pressure requires monitoring in many processes making pressure sensors essential to every industry. These are just a few examples.

Types of Pressure Sensors

Pressure Transducers – Taking accurate measurements of real-time pressure. Our range is constructed of stainless steel and come in different sizes to suit different applications and environments. Measuring range to 5000bar.

Pressure Switches – To monitor pressure levels an alarm the user when a value is reached. Often used in extractor fans, oxygen tanks and similar applications. We carry our own range as well as a range from our trusted suppliers.

Take a look at all of our pressure sensors.

Other Sensors

As well as the above-mentioned sensors Variohm can also offer;

If you require a sensor or if you have an application you would like to discuss please contact us.

Article published on: 30/06/2020