Technical Blog

Sensor Vs Transducer

Here, at Variohm Eurosensor we design, manufacture and supply sensors and transducers. Often the terms “sensor” and “transducer” are used interchangeably, this is not incorrect however, the two terms do have different meanings and can refer to different devices.

So, what are the differences between the two devices? The main difference is the output signal – a sensor will give an output in the same format as the signal was received whereas the transducer will take the signal, transform it into different measurement and give this as the output.

Sensor Vs Transducer – The Similarities

The similarities between sensors and transducers are;

  • Both used to sense changes in their environment
  • Both give output signals based on these changes
  • Both are used within larger systems and devices

Sensor Vs Transducer – The Differences

The main differences between a sensor and a transducer are;

  • Transducer will convert the measurement into a different output signal, a sensor will require an additional device to convert the signal
  • Transducers are more complex and involve some kind of signal conditioner
  • A transducer will contain a sensor but a sensor will not contain a transducer
  • A sensor is used for simpler applications whereas transducers tend to be used for more complex applications
  • Sensors tend to be lower cost as they are less complex

The differences between sensors and transducers are so subtle which is why the terms are used for either device.

Type of Transducers and Their Uses

Pressure Transducer – a pressure transducer measures the pressure in various matters and gives an accurate pressure reading. They are used throughout almost every industry; hydraulics, mobile vehicle, agriculture, robotics, industrial applications and many more.

Cable Extension Transducer – cable extension transducers are position measuring devices which used a cable and reel, this allows large distances to be measured with a compact transducer. They are used through many different industries including structural testing, automotive testing, telescopic applications and factory automation, as well as many more.

Types of Sensors and Their Uses

Thermometers – specifically mercury thermometers can be classed as sensors, digital thermometers could be included in the transducers category. Thermometers are used to measure temperature in many different applications, traditionally patient monitoring.

Pressure Switch – a pressure switch activates when the pressure meets a certain level, this is different to a pressure transducer which gives an accurate pressure reading. Pressure switches are used for controlling pressure in oxygen tanks, tyre pressure, medical breathing apparatus.

Sensors and Transducers from Variohm 

We have a wide range of sensors and transducers for many applications. We have a wide range of standard sensors and transducers as well as customisable options.

Take a look at our full product portfolio. If you have any questions about our products or have an application you would like to discuss with our team please contact us.

Article published on: 19/06/2020