EducationMost In-Demand Sensors For Manufacturing Of Household Devices

Most In-Demand Sensors For Manufacturing Of Household Devices

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Home appliance manufacturers integrate innovative technology into many consumer electronic devices, from measuring electrical consumption to turning the lights off via remote control. Sensors play an essential role in how consumers engage with smart appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, and refrigerators in the household appliance industry.

Temperature detection and control are two of the most fundamental and well-known sensor functions in technologically advanced home appliances. The emergence of MPU control systems in instruments, among other things, has aided in implementing sensing innovations within these smart electronic objects.

Large mechanical switches, contactors, and relays are no longer mandatory for switching applications that previously ran on 120 volts alternating current. MPU controls now enable low-power, non-contact sensing technologies such as reed switches and Hall effect sensors.

Here is a list of the most in-demand sensors for manufacturing smart home appliances.

Temperature Controllers

Temperature sensors use a Negative Temperature Coefficient (NTC) element to measure the air or water temperature and relay the information to the controlling unit of a washing machine, dryer, or dishwasher. Experts have significantly improved response time by modifying the internal architecture, specifically by improving the positioning of the NTC.

This is a list of some appliances that have temperature controllers and their functions:

a. Clothes Dryer and Washing Machine: The temperature sensor in a washing machine and clothes dryer quantifies water temperature and regulates heating elements.

b. Household Oven or Cooktop: Temperature sensor detects glass thermal gradient for cooking control and “hot” indication lights for user safety, monitors the pyrolytic cleanup temperature, and limits door latch on a cooktop or household oven.

c. Refrigerator: A temperature sensor measures the temperature of the water and controls the heating elements.

d. Microwave and Small Appliances: Temperature sensors in popcorn poppers, toaster ovens, coffee makers, and other small appliances measure fluid and heating element temperatures.

Proximity Sensors

Proximity sensors are non-contact sensing devices that detect an object’s presence (also known as the “target”) when it enters the sensor’s field. Depending on the form of the proximity sensor, the sensor may detect a target using sound, infrared radiation (IR), light, or electromagnetic fields.

Phones, recycling facilities, anti-aircraft systems, self-driving cars, and assembly lines all use proximity sensors. There are numerous types of proximity sensors, and each uniquely detects targets. The capacitive proximity and the inductive proximity sensor are the two most common types of proximity sensors.

The following are some features of a proximity sensor.

a. Proximity Sensors identify an entity without touching it, causing no abrasion or injury to the object.

b. Because the sensor uses no output contact, it has a longer service life.

c. Proximity Sensors, unlike optical identification techniques, can be used in areas where water or oil is present.

d. When compared to switches that necessitate physical contact, proximity sensors provide a faster response.

e. Proximity Sensors are suitable for a wide range of temperatures varying from -40 to 200°C 

f. Colors do not affect proximity sensors.

g. Proximity Sensors are influenced by surrounding objects, ambient temperatures, and other sensor systems, as opposed to switches, which depend on physical contact.

Light Curtain Sensors

There are ‘keep-out’ zones in manufacturing environments such as fabrication and heavy equipment handling. These zones are specially marked with bright colors to indicate boundaries and keep people out. They may contain hazardous substances and require the movement of heavy machinery and other potentially dangerous equipment.

safety light curtain sensor creates a virtual barrier around potentially hazardous areas. They are powered by electricity and can be used to alert authorities and initiate emergency shut-off action scenes to protect personnel. This can also be used inside your home, like if there are hot objects in the kitchen where kids should not be. 

Here are some benefits of having light curtain sensors in your house.

a. The majority of sensors have built-in self-diagnostics. They regulate the internal system for faults, and the sensor sends an immediate stop frequency to the guarded device if one is detected. When locked, you can only unlock the lock by repairing the sensor, resolving the issue, or conducting a manual override reset.

b. Safety light curtains supply additional security features such as emergency shut-off and activation. This dramatically improves operator safety and takes traditional methods, such as tagging the area with potentially dangerous signs, to the next tier.

c. To withstand harmful emissions and vibration in extreme conditions, safety light curtains are designed for maximum dependability and environmental resistance.

d. Safety light curtains are designed to be highly reliable and conform to very high industrial health and safety regulations such as SIL3, PLe, and Type4. As a result, unlike a simple photoelectric sensor, a safety light curtain can significantly improve the integrated system’s safety compliance.

Four factors are driving the growth of appliance sensor applications:

1. MPU-based control and sensing systems have reduced the need for giant robotic contactors or relays and switching technologies, previously used to change several amps and tungsten filament light bulbs.

Smart sensing necessitates low-current and low-voltage switching or sensing devices, according to current technology demand. Mechanical units can be replaced with non-contact (touchless) sensing devices. Low-cost technology options with both electronic and ratio-metric results are also preferred.

2. Consumer convenience and home automation boost the need for smart sensing technologies in household equipment. Smart appliances with non-contact detection will be in the most significant position to enable future intelligent home structures, allowing coordinated communication and control, as modern houses increasingly rely on smart technology.

3. Worldwide demand for new appliances with increased efficiency and energy savings – at affordable prices – continues to develop in Asia, South America, and other continents.

4. Increasing energy costs and regulatory requirements necessitate using energy-efficient equipment. The employment of sensors in various applications, such as smart electricity grids, smart buildings, and digital industrial process management, aids in resource efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

OMCH is a manufacturer that offers a wide range of sensors, and their website provides a detailed explanation of each type. Technological appliances with built-in optimizations from modern sensors drastically reduce the amount of energy and water used and reduce the number of waste fluids to be disposed of.

Michal Pukala
Electronics and Telecommunications engineer with Electro-energetics Master degree graduation. Lightning designer experienced engineer. Currently working in IT industry.