Precise and Reliable Measurement, Optimization and Control.

The goal is to reap the greatest benefit and eliminate waste. This is the only way to meet the growing demands of tomorrow’s world without destroying it. Precise control is the key. And the key to control is precise data.

The legal requirements regarding environmental protection are steadily increasing. Examples include the reduction of emissions and of energy consumption – whether in cars, heating systems or industrial facilities. In many processes, temperature control is a critical parameter for efficiency and conservation of resources.

Market requirements are another factor. The demand is rapidly growing for new solutions, such as smart household appliances and modern driver assistance systems. For the topics of the future, manufacturers must follow completely different paths than in the past. In particular, the growing use of electronics and sensor technologies in all areas of life is the foundation for greater functionality, reliability, safety, comfort and environmental friendliness.

Precise and reliable control is also the key to efficient processes and entirely new technologies. One example is the conversion from fossil fuels to renewable energies. Applications such as fuel cells, electromobility and other alternative fuels are often still at the limits of feasibility, or are not sufficiently cost-effective to be competitive. Precise sensors, accurate data and reliable control are essential requirements for high-performance products. Examples include temperature monitoring in charging sockets, electronic power boards, or fuel cells and lithium ion batteries.

Another keyword is networking. The Internet of Things is becoming increasingly important. When tomorrow’s appliances exchange information with each other, with building technology or with a smartphone, it is sensors that make this possible. The car of the future, with its highly developed, partially autonomous driver assistance systems, will be highly networked. This development will require skills and expertise for the forward integration of components in the big picture.

Platinum – the Foundation for Precise Data

Precise temperature data is the key to controlling many processes. Only when the baseline situation is accurately known can it be usefully controlled and optimized.

Precise data

The challenge generally lies in determining the situation under the conditions of actual use, which are often demanding. In some cases, the temperature must be measured with particular accuracy; in some cases, the temperatures are especially high or low. Sometimes both are true in the same application. Sensors may be required to withstand aggressive substances or constant stress during continuous operation.
If the environmental conditions change rapidly and markedly, the sensors must function reliably under a wide range of conditions while still delivering data of uniformly high quality. Platinum temperature sensors are generally the best choice, because they provide especially precise measurements over a broad temperature range, even under difficult conditions, and they are reliable and long-lasting.

Exact Measurement Over a Broad Temperature Range

Situations often arise that require precise measurements over a relatively wide temperature range. One good example is measuring the temperature in the exhaust line of modern vehicles to reduce emission levels. A more efficient emission control system requires very precise temperature data with a low error tolerance if the cleaning process is to yield the desired result.

Measuring temperatures ©djama - Fotolia

Meanwhile, the required measurement range is particularly broad, from approximately −40°C to 1,000°C, because of course the system must function reliably both during a cold midwinter start and during operation when the exhaust line is quite hot. Other examples include modern self-cleaning pyrolitic ovens and high-temperature industrial processes.

Specially developed platinum sensors cover a measurement range from −40°C to 1000°C. They are the best choice wherever high temperatures and a wide range of temperatures must be precisely measured.

Exact Measurement in Continuous Operation and Under Extreme Conditions

Processes in continuous operation always pose special challenges for an application and the material used, and not every sensor is appropriate. The sensor must have high mechanical strength, high resistance to corrosion and often the ability to withstand intense vibrations. If the situation also involves high temperatures or extreme temperature fluctuations, it is important for the materials used in the sensor to be perfectly coordinated.

Platinum thin-film sensors are particularly well suited for these conditions, because sensor elements with coordinated materials systems are optimized for longevity under extreme temperature variations. As a result, they measure with the utmost precision, have minimal drift, and offer precision and safety even under extreme requirements. They provide for smooth operation, which helps minimize costly downtimes and maintenance times.

Longevity and Reliability for Cost-Effective Operation

Platinum is an extremely durable and high-quality material. Furthermore, the reliability of the sensor is often crucial for the longevity and hence for the economic success of a device. This means meeting the customer’s expectations regarding function, especially because quality defects lead to costly service issues and dissatisfaction. Reliable quality also ensures that the device won’t be discarded after a short time – not only wasting a society’s resources, but becoming a burden in the form of trash.

Electronics ©Henrik5000 - istock

On the one hand, reliable temperature measurement can be essential to the implementation of an application, such as a baking oven, a heat meter, or the exhaust line of an automobile. But that is only one aspect of the issue. Even more common is protecting a component, especially where measurements are taken in locations subject to high stress, as in the turbocharger of a car or in particularly sensitive electronic components. The proliferation of electronics in general is making this more and more important.

Furthermore, in many applications the electrical capacity is on the rise. Examples include electric cars, elevators and air conditioning systems. As soon as high power and currents are involved, electronic components heat up. They must be monitored so that critical operating temperatures are not exceeded and damage or fire caused by overheating is avoided. Here too, sensors in the SMD format are the component of choice, because of their precision across wide temperature ranges.

Protecting components is not only important for longevity as such, but also an aspect of overall system performance. For example, a wind turbine can be operated safely at close to capacity if the fine line between operating at the maximum possible power and the threat of overheating is monitored and a balance is maintained.

Standardization of Characteristic Curve for Flexibility and Cost Efficiency

For more complex facilities that entail a considerable investment, and also for top-quality devices that come with high end-user expectations, replacement parts must be available even after several years.

The standardized characteristic curve of platinum sensors is a decisive advantage for the sustainability of the entire control system. Because of standardization, they can be used through many series and flexibly exchanged for alternatives without any need to modify the electronic device itself.

Even if an NTC sensor would be adequate for the actual function, it can be worthwhile to use a platinum sensor, because it helps to keep development and adaptation costs low. It is definitely an advantage if the manufacturer must offer a guarantee and possibly also provide service for several years.

Automated Production and Cost Efficiency

Production ©Nataliya Hora -

Especially in the electronics sector, but also in other industries, cost efficiency is a significant factor. If the application permits it, the sensor technology is ideally part of the electronics and can be automatically integrated like other electronic components. For this to happen, the sensors must meet industry standards (e.g., automotive and electronics industries) so that they fit in the automatic pick-and-place machines and can be processed by them at low cost.

Innovative Strength, Reliability and Ramp-Up Capabilities for Mass Production

For the next generation of complex development projects, sensors must be specifically adapted to the requirements and perform exactly as needed. To achieve this, you need qualified partners who will accompany you from the product idea to cost-optimized mass production and can respond quickly to your needs.

This requires deep expertise in platinum thin-layer technology and mounting technologies. This combination and a wide selection of various solutions are what make a top partner for the development of new sensor solutions. Also required are good ideas and the ability to take these into mass production. Ultimately, a prototype should end up as a product that can be manufactured in series.

Experience, technical support and a solid background, along with the resulting innovative strength, are important factors for success.

Platinum thin-layer sensors from Heraeus offer the precision, reliability and opportunities you need to turn your ideas into products and solutions for the world of today and tomorrow. We value safety, reliability and conservation of resources. Put your trust in our special expertise and talk with us today.