MEMS Pressure Sensor Applications

October 26, 2015
By Dan Ackermann

In today's white goods and appliance markets, the need to precisely measure air and liquid pressure is growing. And as MEMS technology advances, small and accurate pressure sensors are allowing engineers to do more with less. 

Pressure sensors output an analog signal proportionate to an applied pressure.  Often times, pressure readings guide specific operations and tasks for greater automation. For example, pressure thresholds can trigger other tasks, such as bleeding off excess pressure or stopping a vacuum pump. But with a wide subset of applications, it's important to choose a sensor with the proper range and accuracy.  

These sensors may not be as noticeable as other sensors, but they are vital nonetheless. Typical applications for pressure sensors include white goods and appliances, but pressure sensors have many uses in factories as well. Measuring air and liquid pressure are critical in many manufacturing processes. And speed and accuracy will dictate if the sensor finds success in these cases. 

Let's take a look at a few applications in more detail.

Washing Machines (<0.87 PSI)

During the filling and draining process, sensors track the fluctuation of air pressure caused by changing water levels. When the water in the tub reaches the desired level, the supply shuts off. Precision detection of water level helps ensure greater water savings. 

Industrial Machinery (< 145 PSI)

Pressure sensors used in factories and other production sites monitor air pressure and control line source pressure. This is vital in pick-and-place machines, where suction confirmation is critical to the machine's operation. Sensors are also used to check for leaks in a pressure line and to verify level in liquid filling applications. 

Beverage Machines (< 145 PSI)

In some beverage equipment, pressure values are used for over-pressure control. Pressure sensors monitor the line pressure and trigger an alert if an abnormality is detected.

With a growing number of uses and applications, it's more important than ever so select the right pressure sensor for the job.

Visit our Pressure Sensor page to learn more about Panasonic MEMS pressure sensors.