Thin-film sensors to integrate process monitoring
March 18, 2014 // Christoph Hammerschmidt
In modern production processes, sensing is a critical issue since more and more processes are becoming integrated into a closed control loop. In order to place the sensors closely enough to relevant locations in the production line they have to be as slim and compact as possible. At the Hannover fair, the Fraunhofer Adaptronics Alliance has found an innovative solution.
Information directly from the main stress zone of a manufacturing process are crucial for modern process control systems. Pressure and temperature data along with their associated spatial data make steady process control. To achieve exact data, the sensors must be attached to the workpieces - but this is exactly where typically there is no room available for any sensors. For this reason the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films (Braunschweig, Germany) has devised an innovative solution: The scientists are coating the machine tools with non-wearing thin-film sensors.
To withstand the abrasive forces in the main stress zones, the piezo and temperature sensors are enclosed into robust hydrocarbon layers. This makes it possible to integrate the sensors directly into tools for injection moulding, sheet metal filling and punching. The basis for these layered sensory systems is a multi-functional hydrocarbon layer, baptized DiaForce which unites abrasive resistance with wear resistance and piezo-resistive behaviour.
To achieve measurements with spatial information, the researchers deposited electrode structures made from chromium o top of the sensors. To prevent wear, these chromium layers are covered with an electrical insulator layer of SiCON, a material made of silicon and oxygen. Optional, an additional meander structure is can be applied to this SiCON layer which would result in local temperature measurement devices. These devices again are protected by a SiCON cover. The entire system represents a layered sensor at an overall thickness of some 9 to 12 micrometres. These layered sensors are attached to carriers shaped according to the respective application; afterwards they are integrated to the machine tool where they measure relevant parameter and transmit the results to a control unit. Thus they provide a significant contribution to understanding and monitoring the process. The measurement provides a significant contribution to process optimisation and can checked against numeric simulation.
The sensor module for use in injection moulding processes is a result of the "Wechselwirkungen" project funded by the German ministry for Economy and Technology. The sensors will be on display at Fraunhofer stand, H2, Stand D13.
For more information visit www.adaptronik.fraunhofer.de
Read alsoCustomer-specific torque measurement on vehicle drive shafts All news
Lemoptix pico-projector excels
September 17, 2014
The microelectromechanical system (MEMS) market for pico-projectors is heating up with the entry of Lemoptix SA.
Building ARM-based Bluetooth-enabled wearables
Asia-Pacific IC usage domination growing
Webinar: Insight into the WiFi-offload technology and lab testing
Belgium spin-off takes photonic IC design to the mainstream
Tablets to provide growth over flat PC market
September 16, 2014
The market for conventional desktop and notebook computers has peaked according to market research firm IC Insights but tablet ...
Android One debuts in India, ignites next 5 billion battle
ZF swallows TRW Automotive
Is rapid charging batteries really so damaging?
- Flexible and Low Power Driving of Solenoid Coils
- How to Protect & Monetize Android Apps
- Power Modules: The New Super Power
- Flexible Performance for Network Security Appliances
InterviewCEO interview: AMS' Laney on driving a sensor-driven business
Kirk Laney, CEO of Austrian mixed-signal chip and sensor company AMS, wants to leverage the opportunity that technology affords to create new markets for sensors and sensor interfaces.
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
This month, Trinamic Motion Control is offering you to win one of four TMCM-1043 development kits for its highly integrated, NEMA 17-compatible TMCM-1043 stepDancer stepper motor module.
Offering designers an easy-to-use PC-based GUI that allows one-click modification of motor drive current, micro-stepping and other key parameters, the intuitive kits are custom designed and developed for...MORE INFO AND LAST MONTH' WINNERS...
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.