The Ventilator industry manufactures the industry’s highest reliability products with appropriate features offered at acceptable cost levels. Increased system reliability obtained by identifying and replacing sensors, prior to failure, has been shown to lower system alarm rates which saves lives.
We are working closely today with a group of Ventilator manufacturers to define and develop break-through technology focused on dramatically lowering system alarm rates during critical care therapy cycles.
Medical ventilators are sophisticated mechanical ventilation systems designed to move breathable air into and out of the lungs for patients physically unable to breathe on their own. Today’s systems are electronically controlled through embedded processing to tightly manage air pressure and flow characteristics to meet individual patient requirements. These systems are considered life critical as system failures may result in serious harm to the patient. As such, these mechanical ventilators are carefully designed to ensure single points of failure do not harm patients.
Superior Sensor Technology has been supplying pressure sensors for ventilators since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since that time we have been collecting various product requirements to develop a standard pressure sensor offering for the general market.
Our upcoming VN Series of pressure sensors will consist of products for measuring:
Based on our unique NimbleSense architecture, these new products will have optimal performance and come with a rich set of advanced features.
Let us know about your Ventilator application requirements
If you would like to be notified when the VN Series is launched, please enter your contact info below. We will send you an email with links to product information as we near the launch date.
One device can support up to 8 different pressure ranges, and each pressure range is factory calibrated and optimized ensuring no degradation in a total error band, accuracy or stability regardless of the range selected. This eliminates the complexity and headaches of working with multiple sensors.
Instead of having to research, purchase and design-in multiple parts, a single Multi-Range part simplifies both the design and manufacturing of a product. Designing in the same part throughout your designs is much more efficient than having to select multiple components. When you design in each of the Superior Sensor pressure sensors, the setting of the pressure is done via a single software command. It’s that simple. Add the fact that there is only one product to inventory, and your manufacturing team will also appreciate the value of Multi-Range!
Benefits of Multi-Range Technology include:
Closed Loop Control adds capabilities to set and maintain flow rates via pressure management by directly controlling motors, valves and actuators. Superior Sensors offers the option to have this capability integrated into the sensor in order to more effectively set and maintain flow rates by directly controlling motors, valves and actuators to maintain flow rate targets.
The integrated Closed Loop Control design significantly reduces loop delays in the electronic circuit by up to 100x. This integrated solution also eliminates the need to design and implement a complex control loop system, resulting in more efficient, more reliable and less costly products. Closed Loop Control is of extreme value in medical respiratory devices such as ventilators and CPAP, as well as in air quality measurement products.
The figure below shows a block diagram of an implementation of the Superior Sensor Closed Loop Control for an air quality application. In order to effectively measure the air quality, we require maintaining a constant/known airflow through the viewing window. The differential pressure across the venturi directly measures the flow into this viewing window. The system sets a target pressure level across the venturi and the differential pressure sensor automatically increases or decreases the drive to the pump to maintain the targeted differential pressure, ensuring a constant airflow into the viewing window. This is accomplished with the NimbleSense closed loop circuit used in combination with the company’s proprietary noise filtering, resulting in greater than 100x reduction in loop delay.
Benefits of the integrated Closed Loop Control include:
Superior Sensor’s advanced digital filter is a multi-order filter that utilizes advanced filtering capabilities on the front-end of the sub-system to eliminate critical noise created by fans, blowers or other dry air/gas sources prior to reaching the pressure sensing sub-system. The NimbleSense advanced filtering capability removes sensor induced mechanical noise before it becomes an error signal that can adversely impact overall system performance. In customer deployments where our sensor replaced a competing component, we have seen greater than 10x reduction in sensor induced noise, thus greatly improving the SNR of the sensor output. In very low pressure systems, the improvement is even more significant.
Incorporating both standard and optional digital filters, this feature provides significantly better noise reduction and eliminates the need to design an external filtering system, resulting in more efficient, more reliable and less costly products. Our advanced digital filtering is optimized for each application to ensure mixed sampling noise is kept well below the noise floor. By removing the mechanical noise, we maximize overall system performance.
The example below is of a 4th order FIR filter customized to block pump noise above 50 Hz, which has noise of equal magnitude as the signal of interest. The lower graphs show the resulting impact of the advanced digital filtering.
Benefits of the advanced digital filtering technology include:
A pressure switch is a mechanical or electronic device that is activated when a certain pressure threshold or set point is reached. These failsafe response components instruct the system to perform an action if a certain pressure threshold is met.
Types of Pressure Switches
Fixed Pressure Switches
As their name implies, fixed pressure switches have pre-set, non-changeable pressure thresholds that are set by the pressure switch manufacturer. The device maker receives the pressure switch already configured and cannot change values. Examples where fixed pressure switches are common are certain types of medical devices, such as ventilators.
Variable Pressure Switches
With variable pressure switches, the threshold value can be set either by the device maker or dynamically in the field. If it is controlled by the device maker, when they build their product they select certain resistor pairs that control the voltage input that determines the threshold. Once they build the product, the threshold value cannot be changed.
In cases where the threshold can be set in the field, this is typically done via software or a mechanical knob/switch. In this scenario, the pressure switch is usually not implemented as a safety feature. A good example is with air filters – where depending on the system implementation, the threshold value needs to be adjusted to account for any head loss in the flow stream.
Superior Sensor’s pressure switch changes state depending on the measured pressure being above or below a certain threshold. This can be used as a fast response failsafe feature for overpressure conditions, and to provide other simplified on/off system feedback. However, unlike other more common pressure switches, the Superior Sensor pressure switch includes three modes for setting threshold pressure, one fixed and two variable:
Benefits of Superior’s integrated pressure switch include:
Let us know about your Self Aware application requirements
With such a high demand for ventilators, it is critical that they continue to work without interruption. Eliminating failures before they become system alarms is a must. Implemented in close collaboration with partners, Superior Sensor’s proprietary Self Aware technology offers a capability that ensures maximum uptime and overall reliability.
Self Aware sensor technology tracks changes in error levels. By being part of a redundant system, the technology both eliminates a single point of failure service interruption and reduces false positives with respect to error notifications. Self Aware can reduce pressure sensor related alarm rates by up to 1000x.
If Self Aware technology is beneficial for your application, please contact us to discuss how we can implement this innovative feature to help differentiate your product.
Let us know about your Self Aware application requirements