Sagentia has drawn on twenty years’ expertise in sensor technology to develop a novel solution for its client WIKA that allows the display from an analogue measuring device to be converted into electrical signals.
For some time German-based pressure gauge manufacturer WIKA had been keen to incorporate electronic functionality into its range of mechanical gauges, by directly sensing the deflection of the needle pointer. The company approached Sagentia – a world leading international technology consulting and IP licensing organisation – because of its track record in sensor technology and its ability to provide a full development service from initial product concept through to manufacturing support.
Sagentia’s approach, involving a contactless sensor technology (patent pending), has been incorporated into the company’s recently launched LIG10 INTELLIGAUGE analogue pressure gauge.
An analogue display with electrical output signal
Sagentia’s first task was to review a range of potential approaches from which it determined that the use of a novel magnetic sensing technology based on the Hall effect would be the most efficient and cost-effective solution.
A Hall effect sensor is a transducer that varies its output voltage in response to changes in magnetic field. Hall sensors are used for proximity switching, positioning, speed detection, and current sensing applications.
Sagentia has devised an approach whereby the angle of rotation of the mechanical pressure gauge pointer is detected by the sensor and converted into a proportional electrical output signal depending on the angular position of the magnetic field parallel to the sensor surface. This has been achieved with no physical contact between the gauge pointer and sensor.
Sagentia first undertook initial feasibility work to establish the most appropriate technology approach. This was followed by a rapid development and prototyping stage that integrated the pre-existing mechanical gauge with pcb and case work. Sagentia also added valuable insights and input into the development of a calibration rig which was subsequently used for full-scale automated production.
INTELLIGAUGE LIG10 is now commercially available from WIKA. The non contact sensor prevents any interference with the mechanism, maintaining the inherent high accuracy of the gauge and leading to maximum reliability and robustness. The unit is available with a 0.5 to 4.5 Volt output signal commonly associated with wall-type boilers and can measure pressures up to 25 bar.
Sagentia’s Dr Euan Morrison, manager of the INTELLIGAUGE project, comments: “Sagentia’s extensive knowledge and expertise of sensor technologies enabled us to work closely with WIKA’s development team to quickly identify the most appropriate technology which met with their requirements. The breakthrough INTELLIGAUGE product gives WIKA’s customers a unique solution which bridges the gap between the traditional analogue mechanical pressure gauge and solid state electronic sensors.”
Sagentia has a history of successfully commercialising position sensing technology. In recent years, the company has developed a number of non-contact inductive sensing technologies including SPIRAL TM and SENSOPAD TM which are currently being deployed in a wide range of applications from automotive through to industrial and aerospace. Sagentia also designed and developed a breakthrough water meter system for Master Meter, which uses patented Gray Wheels technology, also invented by Sagentia.
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Notes for Editors:
Sagentia creates, develops and delivers business opportunities, products and services for its clients.
Established in 1986, Sagentia operates in six global market sectors – medical, industrial products, consumer products, chemicals, materials & energy, telecoms & media and public sector - developing new technologies, products and services that change the basis of competition. The company also assists business leaders to create strategies for technology, innovation and growth.
Sagentia’s resources are situated in state-of-the-art facilities in Europe, the USA, and China.
Sagentia is a Sagentia Group company. The Group is listed on AIM (ti: SAG) and has more than 200 employees.
WIKA is a world market leader in the pressure and temperature metrology. It develops comprehensive solutions with customers and integrates them into their production processes.
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