How Sensors Are Enabling Next Industrial Revolution


We are living through another industrial revolution as a result of technological breakthrough happening at a breakneck pace. The first industrial revolution happened between 1760 and 1820 and resulted in significant productivity improvement as a result of moving from hand production methods to machines. It gave rise to innovations and efficiency improvement in many industries. It also gave rise to entirely new industries as well.

The current industrial revolution is about incorporating advanced technologies in the existing industrial processes and machines. Many of these improvements are enabled by the tiny devices called sensors. So, what are sensors are how are they helping this industrial revolution? Read on to learn more.

What are sensors?

A sensor is a device that detects and responds to some type of input from the physical environment. The specific input could be light, heat, motion, moisture, pressure, or any one of a great number of other environmental phenomena. The output is generally a signal that is converted to human or machine-readable display at the sensor location or transmitted electronically over a network for reading or further processing. You can find sensors in all types of devices you use everyday without even realizing their presence. Your automobile typically contains hundreds of sensors that detect everything from speed, temperature, fluid level and so on. These sensors are responsible for improving your driving experience. You can find a supplier for physical, chemical and biological sensors who can provide sensors to meet your specific needs in industrial application.

Types of sensors

There are large varieties of sensors that convert many types of physical sensory inputs into electronic signals which can then be processed to take different actions based on the application. Below are some of the sensor types used in industrial applications.

  • Temperature sensors – These sensors convert the temperature inputs into signals. They are used to display the temperature or take appropriate action such as shut of the device based on the rules set up.
  • Flow sensors – Flow sensors are used to measure the quantity of gas or liquid. Examples of the flow sensors can be found in gas meters or water meters that are installed to measure the amount of gas or fluid used.
  • Humidity sensors – These sensors are used to measure the humidity in the environment. Typical applications of humidity sensors include soil moisture level measurement, weather reporting and so on.
  • Conductivity sensors – Electrical conductivity is the ability of a material to build an electric current in the presence of an electric field. Conductivity measurements are widely used in industrial and environmental applications as a simple and inexpensive way to control the ionic content in a solution.
  • Bio sensors – Biosensors are used in the analysis of complex biological media. You can find these sensors in pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. For example, they are used to measure the amount of glucose, lactose glutamine and other biological compounds.

These and many other types of sensors have allowed engineers and scientists to develop devices and applications that can automate processes, perform predictive maintenance and take many other actions to improve the machines and in turn improve the lives of human beings.


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