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Top 10 questions to consider when selecting a measurement sensor

01 April 2021

Why do sensor suppliers ask detailed questions when it comes to solving a measurement task? With different measurement technologies and thousands of sensor variants from which to choose, the answers to these questions help suppliers to decide which sensor is best for the application, says Glenn Wedgbrow, Business Development Manager at Micro-Epsilon UK.

When it comes to solving a measurement task, sensor suppliers will often need to ask detailed questions about the application. Whether you need to measure distance, deflection, position, gaps, edges, temperature, surface profile or colour, there will be different measurement technologies and thousands of different sensor variants available from which to choose. By asking detailed questions about the measurement task, a supplier can use these answers to work out which technology and sensor are most appropriate for their application.

Here are the top 10 questions you should consider when enquiring about a sensor to solve your measurement task. Micro-Epsilon always asks customers these questions because it wants them to receive the right solution. Perhaps you should check whether your suppliers are doing the same?

1. What are you trying to measure? Can you describe the application? Do you have a drawing?

When you call a supplier, it can often be difficult to imagine exactly what you want to do, especially over the phone. Pictures, drawings and photos can help the supplier to understand the requirement you have.

2. Why is it important to make this measurement? What is the benefit of acquiring the measurement?

Understanding the need for the measurement is crucial. It could be that the supplier ends up recommending a sensor or system over and above what you first imagined. However, if the implementation of a solution leads to your company saving thousands of pounds or tens of thousands of pounds per year, then surely it would still be worth considering?

3. What are the technical requirements? How far can the target move, how fast does it travel and what tolerance needs to be achieved?

As a supplier, Micro-Epsilon’s sensors measure displacement – changes in position, thickness, etc. It also measures temperature and detects/monitors colour. Understanding the boundaries of the measurement helps to identify possible sensor technologies. Tolerances are probably the most important information you can provide to the supplier, as these ultimately define the real accuracy required in the application.

Read the full article in the April issue of DPA

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