Sensor Supplier Focus: Solutions from Honeywell Sensing and Control



Hotenda offers a wealth of sensor solutions across a number of target applications. From the most sensitive, tiny, and low-power device to highly rugged sensors that can withstand any hazardous environment, engineers will find solutions abound. Continuing our series of articles discussing the sensor technologies, parts, and solutions of key suppliers, this article focuses on Honeywell Sensing and Control (S&C).

Honeywell can trace its products back to the invention of the furnace regulator over 120 years ago. Honeywell S&C, a business unit within Honeywell Automation & Control Solutions (ACS), delivers a large mix of high-quality sensor and switch products for manufacturers in industries including aerospace, medical, industrial, and test and measurement applications.

Honeywell sensor families include position, pressure, temperature, humidity, and more. Honeywell maintains differentiating sensor characteristic and technology advances involving packaging, feature integration, and specification consistency. Examining just a few of Honeywell’s sensor types will show how, across the company’s product breadth, this differentiation is visible.

Pressure sensors

The TruStability pressure sensor family combines high sensitivity with high overpressure and burst pressure, providing a valuable degree of implementation flexibility. Long-term stability minimizes system calibration needs and maximizes system performance.

Total error band provides the sensor’s true accuracy over a compensated temperature range of 0° to 50°C. Understanding true accuracy eliminates individual sensor testing and calibration and provides for sensor interchangeability. The level of accuracy reduces the software required to correct system inaccuracies so that design time is minimized while device up time is dramatically improved.

Honeywell notes that Total Error Band should not be confused with standard “accuracy,” which is actually a component of Total Error Band. Many sensor suppliers simply specify the accuracy of their device; however, the specification may exclude hysteresis and temperature effects and may be calculated over a very narrow range, at only one point in the range, or at their absolute best accuracy level. It is then up to the customer to calibrate the device to make sure it has the accuracy needed for the life of the application.

Honeywell’s TruStability HSC Series (Figure 1), features high working pressure range, high burst pressures, onboard signal conditioning, flexibility, repeatability, and a wide variety of pressure ranges. It meets IPC/JEDEC J-STD-020D.1 and moisture sensitivity Level 1 requirements. It is insensitive to mounting orientation and vibration, and features internal diagnostic functions that extend battery life. There are many package styles, pressure ports and options available with the modular design that simplifies integration into applications. Onboard signal conditioning and custom calibration typically allow for the removal of signal-conditioning components from the PCB design, reducing costs and form-factor, and speeding and simplifying production.


Figure 1: Honeywell’s TruStability HSC is used in medical, industrial, HVAC, and robotics applications.

TruStability benefits customers in that there is no need to calibrate after soldering. TruStability silicon pressure sensors are put through three consecutive process solders at 250°C (482°F) with very negligible or no-shift m the null point of the sensors. This reduces many of the calibration steps in future processes. This also reduces or eliminates calibration in the end product. The digital ASIC's I²C or SPI protocols allow communication directly from the microprocessor.

Applications include dialysis equipment, blood analysis and oxygen and nitrogen gas distribution, HVAC devices, data storage, process controls, industrial machinery, pumps, and robotics.

Position sensors

Honeywell’s SMART position sensors (an acronym for superior measurement accurate reliable thinking), such as the SPS-L075-HALS, combine accuracy and durability in applications where accurate motion control, operations efficiency, and safety are paramount. The noncontact solution is self-calibrating and self-diagnosing, which eliminates system and equipment downtime. Said to think for itself, the small sensor combines an ASIC and a magnetoresistive sensor array that, when used together, accurately and reliably determine a magnet’s position when the magnet is attached to a moving object such as an elevator, valve or machinery. The position sensor is used in such harsh applications as aerospace, medical, and industrial and meets IP67 and IP69K.

Humidity

Honeywell is also well known for its humidity sensors. Its HIH6100 series Humidicon Digital Humidity/Temperature Sensors combine digital output-type relative humidity (RH) and temperature sensors in the same package. These sensors provide an accuracy level of ±4.0 %RH as well as additional accuracy options. Parts H1H6130/31 are not only Honeywell's first digital humidity/temperature sensors, but are also the smallest surface-mount sensor in Honeywell's thermal sensors portfolio. Not only is this a combined digital output-type relative humidity and temperature sensor, but it offers competitive advantages that lead to a low total cost solution for design engineers. Principal features include:
  • Industry-leading long-term stability
  • True temperature-compensated digital I²C or SPI output
  • Industry-leading Total Error Band
  • Energy efficiency
  • Industry-leading reliability
  • Lowest total cost solution
  • Ultra-small package size
The HumidIcon digital humidity/temperature sensors feature advanced packaging techniques that ease the integration of multiple functions such as temperature and humidity in a single small package.

Temperature sensors

Honeywell’s thermal solutions include a variety of commercial snap-action thermostats for use in small and major appliances, office copy machines, medical equipment, heat detectors, and HVAC equipment. Snap-action thermostats include reset options, phenolic or ceramic housings and a variety of mounting brackets and terminal options. Each thermostat design can be customized for temperature tolerance and mechanical configurations, providing accuracy. The thermostats can be integrated in cable assemblies, incorporating wire harness and connectors.

A device such as the 2455R series is a single pole, single throw, snap-acting, nonadjustable thermostat used in power supplies, general appliances and medical equipment. Due to the small size of this unit and the inherently low mass of the bimetal snap-action disc, response of this thermostat to temperature changes is extremely rapid, compared to other commercially available thermostatic devices. A variety of mounting brackets and terminals are available. Potential applications include power supplies, appliances, medical equipment, water heaters, office automation, and industrial and HVAC equipment.

Heavy-duty pressure sensors

Heavy-duty sensors are common, but rarer are those that combine the ability to work in a variety of tough environments with a long list of reliability and ease-of-use features. An example of a Honeywell workhorse sensor with these attributes is the PX2 Series Heavy Duty Pressure Transducer.

The PX2 series (Figure 2) is fully calibrated and compensated for transducer offset, sensitivity, temperature effects, and nonlinearity. The sensor features a Total Error Band of ±2% over the operating temperature range of –40° to 125°C.


Figure 2: The PX2 transducer series combines ruggedness and a wealth of features.

The series is compatible with such harsh media as brake fluid, refrigerants, engine oil, tap water, hydraulic fluids, and compressed air. There is a wide operating temperature range, up to IP69K protection, and the transducer delivers reliable performance in tough environments.

These transducers measure absolute or sealed-gage pressure. Absolute transducers have an internal vacuum reference and an output value proportional to absolute pressure. Sealed-gage versions have an internal pressure reference of one atmosphere at sea level.

Standard or custom connectors, ports, pressure types and ranges, and output options are available for the PX2 so that the devices can be configured to address specific applications.

Competitive position

Honeywell has more than 50,000 products, ranging from snap action, limit, toggle, and pushbutton switches to sensors for position, speed, pressure, torque, temperature, humidity, and airflow. The company is known for its portfolio of high-quality and reliable sensors, plus engineering expertise and support. The company can also deliver global one-stop sensor capability.

Honeywell faces active competition in all sensor segments it participates in and in all geographic regions. The level of competition varies across product lines, but, generally speaking, Honeywell is competitive with regard to (alphabetically) applied technology, customer service, delivery, performance, price, product innovation, product recognition, quality, and reliability.

For more information on the parts mentioned in this article, use the links provided to access product information pages on the Hotenda website.

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