It can be relatively easy to introduce a board mount pressure sensor to the market. In fact, over the last few years, several companies have introduced low-performance, unamplified sensors to address high volume opportunities.
However, modern applications demand so much more than a cheap low-performance sensor. Design cycles don’t allow for designers to do all of the extra work needed to make a useful measurement starting from a low accuracy, extremely variable, unamplified sensor. What they really need is a complete, accurate and reliable pressure measurement. However, it can be an expensive and lengthy process to develop a fully amplified sensor that brings value to the market.
To justify the investment, a sensor must address multiple applications. Of course, fully meeting the needs of multiple applications adds further complexity to the development of a new sensor. Thankfully the designers at Honeywell were able to draw on decades of experience in developing state of the art sensors and production techniques to develop the MicroPressure board mount pressure sensor. Honeywell’s other recent pressure sensor families are designed to address the needs of high end industrial and medical applications such as Ventilators, Diagnostic and analytical equipment, Chromatography and alcohol breathalysers to name but a few. However, the MicroPressure is developed specifically to address very high volume applications such as white goods, small appliances, Non-invasive blood pressure machines and other home-based medical equipment.
Driving the need for a pressure sensor tailored for these markets are megatrends like energy efficiency, the move towards smarter machines, IoT, wearables and the need to differentiate products in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Smaller – Better – Low Price
The first thing you notice about MicroPressure is that it is small. At 5mm x 5mm, we believe it is the smallest ported general purpose sensor around. There is no doubt that board space ends up being a precious commodity in any design so having a small sensor that does not need any external amplification and can communicate digitally directly with the procession is always an advantage. Size can become a critical design consideration in some applications. For example, devices are increasingly worn by the user. Imagine the benefit of a much smaller pressure sensor in a negative pressure wound therapy machine. Where previously the sensor might have to be connected to the patch via tubing, MicroPressure is small enough to mount directly in the patch. When you consider the availability of small piezo-based vacuum pumps and the ability to put a processor virtually anywhere, it is easy to imagine a totally self-contained single-use wound therapy patch.