Sensors and metrology as the driving force for digitalization

Sensors and metrology as the driving force for digitalization

Many digitalized processes depend on data collected by increasingly powerful sensors and other test and measurement technology. When this data is processed, it provides precise and reliable information about the operating environment. Nine Fraunhofer Institutes will be presenting the results of their research into sensor technology and its applications in the field of testing and measurement at Sensor+Test 2019 in Nürnberg from June 25 to 27 (Booth 248 in Hall 5).

A great many innovations in today’s digital era rely on the ability to transfer information from the real world to the digital universe—examples include advances in gesture recognition, non-contact materials testing and artificial respiration. In applications like these, sensors and other test and measurement systems can be equated to enabling technologies because many new developments are based on them. At this year’s edition of Sensor+Test, the leading forum in this field worldwide, Fraunhofer will once again be presenting examples of its research in the many areas that make up its wide-ranging technology portfolio.

Wider-spectrum contact-free materials testing

Terahertz imaging is one of the new technologies that is being used increasingly to monitor  and test new materials. This non-contact method can be used to measure coating thickness, analyze the structure of polymer composites, or detect defects in non-conductive materials. The Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute, HHI, will be presenting the next generation of fiber-coupled terahertz transceivers. The integrated sensor probe permits reflection measurements orthogonal to the surface of the test sample and can be used without modification in combination with commercially available terahertz measuring systems.

Reducing machine downtime, manufacturing defects and reject rates

The Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT will demonstrate how the quality of workpieces and components can be assured using a non-contact, non-destructive test method based on audio sensing of product and process parameters combined with machine learning. Visitors can learn more about this method, which can be used both to monitor production processes and to perform end-of-line product testing, in a series of interactive exhibits.

Supplying sensors with energy created by tiny vibrations

One of the challenges in the Internet of Things (IoT) is how to supply power to wireless sensors—a question that Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS is tackling by developing energy harvesting solutions. Even the slightest vibrations generating a pressure of 100 mg at a frequency of 60 hertz are sufficient for a vibration transformer to produce the electrical energy needed to operate several sensors and transmit data once per second. The Maximum Power Point Tracker provides an effective means of controlling the charge converter so as to guarantee a maximum power yield. The energy harvesting solution recharges the battery while the device is in operation and enables the design of IoT sensors with an unlimited service life, without power cable or swapping batteries.

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