Making Sense of Sensors

Ally Winning, European Editor, PSD



Ally Winning, European Editor, PSD

November is electronica month. It has been four years since the last show and it is looking like things will be picking up where they left off. According to the organizers, over 2,000 exhibitors have already booked up for this year’s event, which will take place in Munich from November 15th to 18th in 14 of the Messe’s halls. There will also be a packed conference, with speakers from a broad range of companies. The show will be co-located with SEMICON Europa, which covers everything related to the semiconductor supply chain. It is shaping up to be a great few days. I’ll be there along with others from the PSD team. I’m currently looking at my diary now, so if your company is presenting innovation in any power or related subject, drop me an email on and we can hopefully set up a meeting, or time permitting, I can attend the presentation.  

One of the main topics at the exhibition will be the IIoT. In Europe, the biggest section of the electronics industry is production for the industrial market. Most manufacturers are looking to improve their workplaces by incorporating automation and using the IoT to make processes more efficient, accurate and reliable. To accomplish this, the system needs data it can process. That data normally comes from a multitude of sensors in the machinery and around the workplace. The better the information the system gets, the better control it can have over the process. We look at sensors in our Special Report on Motor Drives, Robotics, and Controls this month, where two of the articles focus on sensors.

The first article in the Special Report is from Swiss company Senis and the faculty and students from The Robotic Systems Lab in ETH Zurich. In the article, the authors talk about how robots are becoming popular in the inspection field. These robots use magnets on their feet to climb structures. Accurate measurement of the grip is required, and that means measuring the magnetic force, which is not an easy task considering the small feet on the robot that have to incorporate both magnets and sensors. The article then goes on to describe the details of the measurements required and how different metrics affect those measurements. The second Special Report article this month comes from Analog Devices. This article talks about the requirements of multiturn positional sensors and how they need true power-on capabilities with zero power in the industrial and transport markets. It then describes how the company’s ADMT400 device meets those needs.


Best Regards,

Ally Winning,

European Editor, PSD