Top 5 sensor products in April

30th April 2021
Lanna Deamer

Electronic Specifier takes a look at the top five sensors products released in April.

1) ScioSense has announced the availability of a new tool suite which accelerates the development of utility meters and other applications for its latest AS6031 and AS6040 Ultrasonic Flow Converters (UFCs). The new development tools include general-purpose or microcontroller-specific boards, and evaluation software which provides an intuitive GUI for sensor configuration and for the display of measurement outputs.

In a system consisting of ultrasonic transducers and spool piece (tube), both the AS6031 and the AS6040 UFCs provide precise measurements of time-of-flight that convert into flow rate of gas or water. The UFC Evaluation Software supplied with the ScioSense evaluation kits provides an easy-to-use framework for configuring transducer and spool piece settings, enabling developers to start acquiring flow rate data from the sensors quickly after powering up the sensor board. The software displays the measurement results in either a graphical or numerical format.

Developers can also choose to use a wizard to guide them through the settings. Data can be exported for subsequent data analysis in other tools.

Norbert Breyer, Product Marketing Manager for ultrasonic flow converters at ScioSense, said: “The combination of evaluation boards and evaluation software provide a convenient platform for users to integrate an AS6031 or AS6040 ultrasonic flow sensor instantly into their measurement set-up. This means that, instead of wasting time on basic system configuration, they can focus on characterising the operation of their application over the range of flow rates and ambient temperatures.”

2) OMRON Electronic Components Europe has announced a new addition to the B5W series of optical sensors. The new B5W-DB diffuse reflector sensor has a longer sensing distance of 550mm, longer than light convergent resistance sensors of the same size making it well suited for COVID safe user interfaces.

The OMRON B5W-DB features enhanced disturbance light resistance, making the product less susceptible to ambient light such as sunlight. The sensor can be mounted from four directions and it operates on an low current consumption of 20mA maximum.

The new diffuse reflector sensor opens itself up to applications in washroom equipment, sterilisation equipment and entry control systems. Touchless sensors have a lower infection risk, making them COVID-secure and giving peace of mind to patrons using facilities in washrooms and other public spaces. They can also be used to activate security and door entry systems when an individual is seeking admission, and to operate sterilisation equipment reducing the risk of cross-infection.

OMRON B5W sensors are particularly effective at identifying black, transparent, reflective and other hard to detect surfaces, and the new range also features enhanced performance in this area.

In addition to the B5W-DB, the miniature B5W-LB2101 and LB2112 are still available with analogue or digital outputs with a sensing range of ten to 55mm for white paper, falling to ten to 40mm for black. These devices are sized at 40x8.4x15.9mm.

For applications requiring an even and more compact solution, the super-miniature B5W-LB1112 is just 26x8.4x13mm. It offers a sensing distance of two to ten millimetres for white paper and three to eight millimetres for black. All digital devices are offered in light-on and light-off form and are sealed to IP50.

3) The range of high-quality sensor products at Farnell has been expanded with the introduction of the SN-GCJA5, a new particulate matter (PM) laser sensor from Panasonic Industry Europe.

Designed in response to the increasing worldwide concern for indoor air quality, the SN-GCJA5 targets air quality monitoring, air conditioners, building automation, smart homes, HVAC, air purifiers, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, test and measurement and environmental monitoring applications.

The sensor features an innovative optical sensor assembly to provide reliable operation over a long lifetime while accurately detecting particles as small as 0.3µm.

Laser scattering technology enables the sensor to provide a fast response when detecting smoke, environmental dust and other unwanted dangerous pollutants. With dimensions of just 37x37x12mm, the SN-GCJA5 can be easily integrated into a wide range of air quality monitoring devices.

Panasonic Industry Europe is part of the global Panasonic Group and specialises in the development of automotive and industrial products. The company’s diverse portfolio includes electronic components, devices and modules through to complete solutions and production equipment for manufacturing lines across a broad range of industries.

Farnell provides specialist 24/5 technical support in local language and offers access to a range of free online resources, data sheets, applications notes, videos and webinars on the Farnell website.

4) Sensirion has announced that Tive’s multi-sensor tracker Solo 5G relies on its ISO 17025-certified humidity and temperature sensor SHT33. The Solo 5G offers high reliability and flexibility in usage.

Supply chain management in a large variety of sectors relies on on-time and uncompromised delivery of goods. Increasingly, efficient supply chains require tracking of shipment conditions in real time. Next to handling of perishable goods, high-tech electronics and specialty foods, the distribution of pharmaceutical products, such as vaccines, is particularly highly regulated.

Therefore, manufacturers are obligated to cover distribution in their overall quality system and must often adapt to adhere to current Good Distribution Practices as in the pharmaceutical or perishable goods supply chain (also see PDA Technical Report #52). One of the most regulated parameters in supply chain management is temperature, which determines not only the lifetime, but the usability of a product, often requiring a product lifetime temperature profile within a narrow band.

“Tive helps customers and LSPs manage critical shipments and take actions to eliminate preventable delays and damage,” said Martin Forest, VP, Technology & Operations at Tive. “Condition monitoring is key – it must be real-time, hyper-accurate and compliant. With Sensirion, we are confident that our products have the very best components available so we can focus on improving our solutions and delivering even more to our customers.”

The SHT33 integrates Sensirion’s established digital humidity sensing capabilities and new high-accuracy ISO 17025-certified digital temperature sensing, optimised for cold and frozen chain applications, on a single chip. Relying on the industry-proven CMOSens Technology, the sensor offers computational power combined with highest reliability and accuracy specifications. Its functionality includes fast and energy-saving signal processing, two distinct and user-selectable I2C addresses and communication speeds of up to 1 MHz.

5) NevadaNano has announced its Molecular Property Spectrometer (MPS) R-290 Propane sensor. The new device is the most accurate on the market, making it an ideal solution for residential and commercial R-290 propane applications including air conditioning, vending machines, commercial refrigeration racks, and clothes dryers.

“Nearly 200 countries around the world have resolved to eliminate ozone-depleting hydrofluorocarbons refrigerants with high Global Warming Potential,” said Bob Christensen, Senior Director of Business Development, NevadaNano. “R-290, a high-performance natural refrigerant with very low-GWP, is an alternative that is quickly gaining widespread acceptance and use in Asia, Europe and the United States. And, when used with accurate leak detection systems, it is a safe alternative.”

According to Reports and Data, the Global Natural Refrigerants Market, which includes propane, is projected to reach USD 2.88 billion by 2027, and R-290 propane is emerging as a leading alternative. Growing populations and global warming have led to a continuous rise in demand for air conditioning and refrigeration, which results in higher greenhouse gas emissions.

The industry is transitioning away from high Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerants and moving towards alternatives such as R-290 (propane) with a GWP of three versus R410 with a GWP of over 3900. Many nations and corporations are making this change now, ahead of the current HFC phase-down schedule as stipulated in the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

Under normal operation, R-290 units are fully sealed and self-contained, however leaks can occur. If leaks occur and they are exposed to an ignition source they can cause a fire. Even smaller, non-explosive leaks need detection since the reduction in the quantity of refrigerant causes the unit to work harder, consuming excessive electrical power, driving up costs and subsequent impact on the environment.  With unparalleled reliability and accuracy NevadaNano’s sensors help detect even the smallest leaks and send instant alerts.

The MPS Propane Sensor accurately reports zero to 100% LEL and requires no field maintenance over their expected lifetime of ten to 15 years. The MPS sensors feature integrated, real-time measurements and built-in environmental compensation for temperature, pressure, and humidity. In addition, they are inherently immune to drift, decay, or poison from contaminants.

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