‘Ordinary’ Pressure Sensors
Differential pressure sensors are designed to support one specific pressure range. Traditional sensors are factory calibrated to perform optimally at that single range. Once this is predetermined in manufacturing, there is no flexibility. If you need to support multiple ranges within your product line, you need to buy separate sensors for each distinct pressure range and/or set up your production line to calibrate each of these individual devices.
Not having the intelligence to support multiple ranges presents several economic and design challenges. On the economic front, if a product line requires pressure sensors supporting varying ranges, you lose the economies of scale of purchasing one single item in larger quantities. In manufacturing, you incur additional time and costs to calibrate each of the individual sensors when producing your end product. To further complicate matters, in your factory you will need to carry volumes of multiple parts, thus increasing your inventory costs and obsolescence risk.
The biggest economic impact is having to build several end systems to support various pressure ranges. This adds time and complexity to your build schedule and requires building many end product inventories. Having a sensor that supports multiple ranges enables a manufacturer to build fewer products, significantly lowering working capital requirements and inventory costs.
For the product designer, not being able to rely on one part for many pressure ranges complicates the design effort. Having to design in multiple pressure sensors increases your design work, especially if you are sourcing the sensors from multiple vendors. The designer also loses flexibility during the design process, as the pressure ranges need to be predetermined without the ability to ‘tweak’ the design during the latter stages of development.
Lastly, having a design with sensors that support only one pressure range impacts your ability to quickly introduce product variants. If your systems can be selected to support multiple pressure ranges, you can easily introduce new product versions without having to change any of your hardware. In addition, without this intelligence you lose the ability to easily introduce enhancements on existing hardware.
Superior Sensor Technology’s proprietary NimbleSenseTM architecture combines processing intelligence with signal path integration and intelligent algorithms to create modular building blocks that are easily selectable to support a wide array of applications. One of the most innovative blocks is the company’s Multi-Range technology that enables a single sensor to support a wide range of pressures. This eliminates the complexity and headaches of working with multiple sensors.
Current iterations of our Multi-Range technology can support up to 8 different pressure ranges without sacrificing performance. Each of the pressure ranges is optimized and factory calibrated, ensuring no degradation in a total error band, accuracy or stability regardless of the range selected. 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.
Figure 1: Typical Pressure Sensor vs. Multi-Range Pressure Sensor
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 differential 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!
Summary of Multi-Range Technology Benefits
Throughout this post, we have highlighted the various benefits of Multi-Range technology:
- Design flexibility with ability to ‘tweak’ pressure range throughout development cycle
- Simplified product design with one sensor replacing up to 8 different sensors
- Ability to quickly develop product variants at different pressure ranges without changing hardware design
- Greater economies of scale by purchasing larger quantities of the same product
- Reduced manufacturing complexity and costs due to simplified calibration of sensors
- Up to 8X reduction in sensor inventory costs and product obsolescence
- Allows manufacturers to build fewer product variants, significantly lowering working capital requirements and inventory
Figure 2: 1 Multi-Range Sensor Replaces Up To 8 ‘Ordinary’ Sensors
As a key building block of the NimbleSense architecture, Multi-Range technology is available with all Superior Sensor Technology differential pressure sensors. As of this writing, this includes:
- The HV Series
- HV110 supports 5 pressure ranges – ±125 Pa to ±2.5K Pa (±0.5” H2O to ±10” H2O)
- HV120 supports 4 pressure ranges – ±625 Pa to ±5K Pa (±2.5” H2O to ±20” H2O)
- HV160 supports 7 pressure ranges – ±625 Pa to ±15K Pa (±2.5” H2O to ±60” H2O)
- HV210 supports 8 pressure ranges – ±25Pa to ±2.5K Pa (±0.1” H2O to ±10” H2O)
- The SP Series
- SP110 supports 4 pressure ranges – ±250 Pa to ±2.5K Pa (±1” H2O to ±10” H2O)
- SP160 supports 4 pressure ranges – ±5K Pa to ±40K Pa (±20” H2O to ±160” H2O)
- SP210 supports 4 pressure ranges – ±250 Pa to ±2.5K Pa (±1” H2O to ±10” H2O)