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Sensing Success: Designing in the Right Sensor

Tue, 07/16/2013 - 3:21pm
A.J. Smith, Director of Product Marketing, Honeywell Sensing and Control

The biggest challenge for many medical device designers is selecting sensors that can help them optimize designs for size, cost, and complexity. A modular sensor design provides a single device that can be optimized for a variety of markets or customers, enabling a designer to select the right sensor with the appropriate functionality. This eliminates the need for a costly custom device.

As part of a modular approach, a sensor can integrate the calibration, amplification, and compensation circuitry, which eliminates the need for additional components and reduces cost. Temperature and humidity sensors may also be housed in a single package, reducing design-in complexity and saving board space.

For further size reductions, it is possible to minimize the need for tubing and wires by selecting the right physical architecture. For example, a sensor with a manifold mounting option eliminates the need for tubing, thus achieving a more compact design.

Medical devices also require a variety of supply voltages and interfaces, depending on the design and application. A modular platform can help ease design complexity across a product portfolio by providing a single sensor that offers several power and I/O options to match a wide range of design specs.

Finally, the sensor should meet worldwide standards and local regional requirements without additional circuitry or tweaking. This makes it easier to re-design a medical device with the same sensor for use in different regions of the world.

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