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
XCore architecture attracts Bosch investment
July 22, 2014
British fabless semiconductor maker XMOS Ltd, provider of multicore microcontrollers, has successfully completed a series ...
Steep growth for thermoelectric energy harvesting, says Infinergia Consulting
AMS, Dialog merger talks fail
MIT wrist-robot adds extra fingers
Li-ion batteries market for EVs to quadruple in a decade
Monolithic Power Systems signs with Avnet Memec
July 22, 2014
Monolithic Power Systems (MPS) and Avnet Memec have agreed on a Pan-European value-added distribution partnership.
Thoughts on energy harvesting for wearable equipment
Will laser ignition replace the venerable spark plug?
Merger creates powerhouse in micro imaging software
- Testing GPS with a Simulator
- DSM presents: Select the best plastic for DDR4
- Dual 13A μModule Regulator with Digital Interface for Remote Monitoring & Control of Power
- Exploring the Business Model Evolution of High-Tech Equipment Manufacturers
InterviewCEO interview: China, not Apple, is way to go, says mCube CEO
Ben Lee, CEO of MEMS startup mCube, explains why he wants to spend $37 million on being a supplier of sensors to Chinese ODMs and avoiding a design win with Apple or Samsung.
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, Altium Ltd is offering EETimes Europe's readers the chance to win one TASKING VX-Toolset for ARM Cortex-M Premium Edition, normally licensed for 2.395 Euros, for ultra-rapid prototyping and code development around ARM Cortex-M based microcontrollers.
The VX-toolset for ARM is the first TASKING compiler suite to receive the Software Platform technology, which is seamlessly...Read more
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.