Industrial applications are supported with in-process radio telemetry components, industrial heating, surge protection for data, AC Power and SCADA. Design applications cross with those of WiFi and industrial as increased use of non-wired connections is established. Technology is helping companies manage delivery timing and stock control with development of sensors using wireless; enabling miniaturisation and lower power consumption.

Industrial applications of Programmable logic controller (PLCs ) provide boolean logic operations, timers and continuous control. PLCs are used extensively in process-based industries. PLCs are computer-based solid-state devices that control industrial equipment and processes. While PLCs can control system components used throughout SCADA and DCS systems, they are often the primary components in smaller control system configurations. They are used to provide regulatory control of discrete processes such as automobile assembly lines and power plant soot blower controls and are used extensively in almost all industrial processes.

Industrial automation needs both wired and wireless control methodologies and these environments can be subjected to external risk from internally generated surges and externally generated lightning. Mitigation of this risk enables smooth running of processes 365 days and 24 hours a day.

Industrial applications will also grow to utilise machine to machine interfacing with advances in network monitoring and IoT,  companies such as SigFox have been established. Sigfox builds wireless networks to connect low-energy objects such as electricity meters, smartwatches, and washing machines, which need to be continuously on and emitting small amounts of data. Its technology is aimed at the Internet of Things (IoT).

Sigfox devices cannot carry heavy amounts of data, being able to handle approximately 12 bytes per message, and at the same time no more than 140 messages per device per day. However, this enables the transmission of simple messages. This is due to the fact that with 12 bytes one can represent any number between 1 and 79 octillion, which translates as a myriad control codes, used for applications such as geolocation and tracking; monitoring a public defibrillator station to know when someone uses it; or parking space monitoring and billing. Sigfox devices can work up to 20 years off two AA batteries, due to the fact it “wakes up whenever it sends a message, and then it goes back to sleep.

Industrial Heating is also an emerging use of Microwave technology with Ignition systems for vehicles and industrial lighting, advances in Medical imaging and power sources for Microwave ovens. Solid state devices are starting to offer alternatives to Magnetron tubes for energy generation. Solid-state RF energy offers benefits of low-voltage drive, semiconductor-type reliability & smaller form factor. Perhaps its most compelling attributes are fast frequency-, phase- and power-agility complemented by hyper-precision. The technology attributes improvements in process control range, even energy distribution, and fast adaption to changing load conditions. GaN-on-Si technology offers the unique benefit of GaN efficiency at silicon cost structures, enabling market-wide magnetron replacement to become a reality, meeting both the technical challenge with 70% efficiency at 2.45GHz. GaN-based microwave oven lifetimes should improve 10X from current magnetron models.

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Wireless Sensing

Sensor Engines are unique sensor solutions designed and manufactured based on Vectron International’s world–class Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) and Bulk Acoustic Wave (BAW) technologies.

SenGenuity Sensor Engines are optimized for specific sensing applications and offer key advantages such as Small Size, Quick and accurate measurement capability, Robust and Reliable Performance in very harsh environments & Adaptable to application specific requirements
Current Products applications include In–line, continuous viscosity sensing solutions, Passive (batteryless) and wireless Temperature sensing solutions & Passive (batteryless) and wireless Pressure sensing solutions
SenGenuity’s ViSmart® solid-state viscosity sensor is based on Bulk Acoustic Wave (BAW) technology. It uses a piezoelectric sensing element (crystal) which is excited by a high-frequency oscillator and operates in the thickness shear mode (TSM) of vibration. In this mode, shear displacement occurs on the crystal faces in the plane of the crystal plate. Thus, the acoustic wave resonator supports a standing wave through its thickness. The wave pattern interacts with electrodes on the lower surface (hermetically sealed from the liquid) and with the fluid on the upper surface (top electrode). When placing a TSM BAW device into a liquid, a layer of fluid couples to the cyclical shear displacement of the vibrating surface. This displacement is atomic scale and at a frequency of 5.25 million cycles per second. Increases in viscosity and loading increase the damping of the TSM BAW and therefore, reduces the BAW sensor’s frequency. The bulk of the liquid is unaffected by the acoustic signal as only a thin layer (in the order of microns) is moved by the vibrating surface. The penetration depth into the fluid is ideal for measuring the viscosity of homogeneous fluids like lubricants and inks. The viscosity measurement will not be susceptible to large particles or debris because the small penetration depth makes them virtually unnoticeable.
SenGenuity’s TempTrackr® temperature sensor modules are using a crystal sensing element which is based on Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology and makes use of the piezoelectricity. Piezoelectricity describes the linear electromechanical interaction between the mechanical and the electrical state in crystalline materials, which is known as piezoelectric effect. The piezoelectric effect is a reversible process.

Industrial Applications

Printing Inks: Ideally suited for monitoring of water-based and solvent based inks in the flexographic and rotogravure printing industries. Proper ink viscosity is critical to producing quality printed material. Too thin ink may result in colour inconsistencies, mottling and weak colour print. Too thick colour may lead to adhesion issues, feathering and smearing.
Lubricant Monitoring: The ViSmart® Sensor System is ideally suited for oil and lubricant condition monitoring in power generation equipment, marine applications, and on & off road vehicles, including power plant engines, diesel generators, marine propulsion engines, wind turbines, oil filtration systems, long haul trucks, agriculture and construction equipment as well as jet turbines. Constant temperature cycling, contamination and aging of lubricants without appropriate condition monitoring may result in an increase in fuel consumption and wear, reduced output power or even worse, a catastrophic event such as the seizing of the engine or turbine.