Alicat releases new flow calibrator for air quality samplers

 by Shaina Shay

Satisfy air quality monitoring standards and ensure good data with ease and accuracy using the FP-25 flow calibration kit.

Alicat FP-25 Calibrator

Tucson, September 26, 2019 – Today Alicat’s Environmental Monitoring division released their new and improved FP-25 flow calibration kit.  This calibration kit includes everything needed for auditing, calibrating, and leak checking air quality sampling instruments.

What’s included:

  • Portable FP-25 flow calibrator – with rechargeable battery
  • External temperature probe
  • Bluetooth antenna
  • Micro-USB to USB cable and adapter for charging and communications
  • 1/4″ NPT barb adapter (1/4″ barb) with face seal
  • 1/4″ NPT fittings with face seals for pass-through connection to 1-1/4″ OD air sampler downtubes
  • NIST-traceable calibration certificate
  • Operating Manual
  • Custom-fit hard case

The FP-25 flow calibrator uses advanced laminar flow technology that provides accurate measurements at a wider range of flow rates and temperatures when compared to DryCal technology.

“Alicat recognizes that new and emerging air quality challenges require improved technologies. That is why we are proud to introduce our upgraded FP-25 flow calibrator. It’s time to update your tech and expect more of your calibrator.”

Designed for the field.

The FP-25 is durable, reliable, and accurate. With an IP67 rating this device can be used in any weather and any temperature, from -30C to +60C. This FP-25 uses drop resistant laminar flow technology which means no glass, no pistons, and no problems.

This is the first calibrator with Bluetooth capabilities. Alicat has designed a tailored app that is available for IOS or Android devices. The Alicat Connect app now features a data logging function so you can capture your flow data in real time.

Technicians can now complete audits remotely, reducing the time needed for air quality sampler calibration. Improve work safety by reducing the number of trips up and down ladders.

“The FP-25 calibrator is everything you need to comply with government regulations and ensure good data in one, easy to use device.”

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

Correcting for temperature and pressure effects on sensors

 by Alicat Scientific

Alicat recently rolled out a major update to the main circuit board and sensors on our mass flow devices. Improvements in our sensors and advanced our understanding of flow physics have brought about changes in our circuitry to ensure you’re getting the maximum performance out of every part of your Alicat mass flow device.

The high resolution information we get from our new circuit board gives us a better picture of what’s happening in the flow path of our devices than ever before. One thing this lets us see very clearly is how tiny changes in operating conditions alter the behavior of our sensors. Compensating for these changes lets us build devices which give more repeatable measurements and are less prone to drift.

Separating the signal from the sensor

A perfect sensor would map to external physical properties 1:1 with its output signal under any conditions.  But sensors and circuits are made of matter and their behavior changes as their physical state changes. Alicat sensors are no exception, as our electronics warm up and our sensors are compressed by process gas the signal we are interested in changes.

Alicat compensates for this variation in sensor behavior using the one of the strengths of our measurement technique: multiple independent sensors. In each of our flow instruments a differential pressure sensor provides our main tool to measure flow while absolute pressure and temperature sensors allow us to correct this volumetric flow rate to a mass flow rate. Read more on our theory of operation of laminar differential pressure flow measurement. As long we characterize the response of each sensor to pressure and temperature shifts beforehand we can use software to correct sensor output based on operating conditions.

From straight lines to curves

The previous generation of Alicat instruments used a linear compensation technique for temperature and pressure. Each device had its sensor offset measured at ambient and high temperature/pressure. We interpolated these two points to make a straight calibration line. In our new release, we’ve improved our modeling to more effectively model the physical systems we’re dealing with to create a non-linear interpolation of sensor state changes.

On a new Alicat device each sensor and circuit board combination is characterized in an environmental chamber at the full range of the device’s expected operating temperatures and pressures. This produces smooth compensation curves which better account for real sensor behavior.  The improvement is profound and especially noticeable at low temperature:

Shift in absolute pressure reading with varying temperature. Current generation in blue and previous generation in red.

By pairing better hardware with this software compensation the newest generation of Alicat devices is more capable than ever before. We’re now running into the limits of flow physics instead of sensor noise. Ongoing research into gas behavior and improvements to our flow channel will help us unlock the full potential of our devices moving forward.

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

NEW HOLLOW SHAFT MULTI-TURN KIT ENCODERS FOR POSITION CONTROL APPLICATIONS

NEW HOLLOW SHAFT MULTI-TURN KIT ENCODERS
FOR POSITION CONTROL APPLICATIONS

through_holllow_kit_composing_4

Slim Form Factor for Motor and Machine Manufacturers

POSITAL is introducing a new family of absolute rotary encoders for servomotors, stepper motors, robot joints and anywhere else a hollow center design is needed to achieve an optimal mechanical layout. Both single and multi-turn variants are available; for multi-turn models, the rotation counter is self-powered, using POSITAL’s Wiegand energy-harvesting technology. This eliminates the need for backup batteries and lowers maintenance costs.

  • Hollow Center Design for Optimal Mechanical Layout on Robotic Joints and Drives Shafts
  • 30 mm or 50 mm Internal Diameter Sizes Available
  • Battery-less Rotation Counter Based on Energy-Harvesting Technology
  • Capacitive Measurement System Allows for High Accuracy Even in Harsh Environments
  • Non-Proprietary Interfaces of SSI and BiSS C Standards

Capacitive Measurement Technology

These new products make use of a capacitive measurement system. Each encoder has two principle components, a stator and rotor, both containing specially shaped conductive surfaces. These surfaces, which function as capacitor plates, are positioned in close proximity. As the rotor turns, the patterns of the conductive surfaces change their relative position, causing changes to capacitive coupling in the system. This in turn causes changes to the amplitude and phase angle of a high-frequency electrical signal generated by exciter circuits in the stator. Special ASIC devices capture and decode these signal variations to determine the rotor’s angular position to a high level of precision.

Read more on the technology here.

The new POSITAL hollow shaft kit encoders offer excellent accuracy (+/- 0.02°) and dynamic response (up to 6000 RPM), making them suitable for use in critical motion control systems. However, what makes them especially useful in many applications is their shape. Both stator and rotor elements are in the form of disks with large central openings. This makes them an ideal choice in space-limited situations, such as servomotors, stepper motors or the joints in robotic arms , where it is desirable to have an embedded position sensor fitting around a central shaft or axle.

POSITAL hollow shaft kit encoders will be available in two sizes, with 30 mm or 50 mm internal diameters. Non-proprietary SSI and BiSS C communications interfaces are supported. 

Energy Harvesting – No Battery

battery_icon

The energy harvesting system is based on the Wiegand effect and eliminates the need for backup batteries or complex gear systems. 

Read More about the Wiegand Effect

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

Theory of Operation: FP-25 Field Flow Calibrator for PM Air Samplers

by Shruti Thakur

Alicat’s FP-25 and FP-25BT flow devices can be used to calibrate any low-volume particulate air sampler on your deck. These NIST- traceable field flow calibration devices are multi-parameter mass flow meters that display pressure and temperature. The FP-25 uses multiple pressure sensors to capture both ambient barometric pressure and internal flow stream pressure, resulting in all-weather accuracy.

These flow standards operate on the principle of differential pressure-based laminar flow measurement. The barometric pressure sensor monitors ambient atmospheric pressure and is housed within the instrument casing above the display.  The internal flow stream pressure sensor monitors pressure inside the FP-25’s flow body work in concert to generate flow and pressure readings. This sensor package monitors both differential pressure and absolute pressure within the flow stream directly. The FP-25 also uses two fast-responding temperature sensors, one mounted directly in the flow stream and one located at the tip of the external temperature probe. The FP-25 uses this raw data from the multiple pressure, temperature and humidity sensors to calculate both actual (volumetric) and standardized (mass) flow readings a thousand times every second.

Poiseuille’s equation for laminar flow measurement

Q=K∆P/Ƞ

At its heart, the FP-25’s flow measurement is based on laminar flow differential pressure technology. The FP-25 measures differential pressure, similar to Venturi products.  A stack of plates and spacers, called a laminar flow element, is used to laminarize the flow and create a pressure drop. A sensor measures the differential pressure across a section of the laminar flow element with known pressure drop, another measures the absolute pressure of the fluid and the flow stream temperature sensor measures the temperature of ambient air in the flow stream. By laminarizing flow, the Poiseuille equation can be used to determine the raw volumetric flow.

To the first order, the Hagen-Poiseuille equation can be used to determine the raw internal volumetric flow rate as follows:

Where:

Q = Volumetric flow rate

K = A constant factor determined by the internal geometry of the restriction

∆P = Differential pressure across the LFE

Ƞ = Absolute viscosity of air

Equation (i) demonstrated the dependence of flow rate on the gas viscosity. Because the actual viscosity of a gas varies with changes in temperature and relative humidity, the FP-25 continuously updates the viscosity value with live readings of flow stream temperature, relative humidity, and pressure to provide accurate flow readings all the way to 100% RH, at temperatures as high as 60°C.

Standardized Flow Measurement

M=Q(Ts/Ta)(Pa/Ps)

Once the raw internal volumetric flow rate has been determined, the FP-25 references the raw internal volumetric flow readings to standard temperature and pressure conditions (STP). The FP-25 ships with a default STP of 25°C and 1 atm for standardized (mass) flow readings, which matches the US EPA’s standard. Since the FP-25 is a laminar flow device, additional measurements have to be incorporated to determine the actual standardized flow measurement. To determine the standardized mass flow rate (M), two correction factors must be applied to the volumetric flow rate (Q): the effects of temperature and absolute pressure on density.
Together, the conversion to mass flow can be written as:

Where:

Ts = Absolute temperature (°K) at standard conditions (STP) in Kelvin

Ta = Absolute temperature (°K) at flow conditions in Kelvin

Pa = Absolute pressure at flow conditions

Ps = Absolute pressure at standard conditions (STP)

In the Alicat FP-25, discrete absolute pressure and temperature sensors are placed in the laminar region of the flow stream. This information is sent to the microprocessor to make the appropriate calculations to determine standardized mass flow.

Actual volumetric flow using the external temperature probe

Once the standardized flow rate has been determined, the FP-25 device references the standardized flow readings to ambient temperature using the temperature probe, and to ambient pressure using the barometer. This actual volumetric flow rate reflects the actual volume of air that passes into the air sampler (at the local barometric pressure and at the probe temperature) per unit time. Whenever the FP-25 is displaying volumetric flow referenced to the temperature reading of the external probe, the word Probe will flash on the right side of the display, alternating with the relative humidity value. Actual volumetric flow always appears at the bottom left of the FP-25 screen in Standard Mode.

Technology that works for you

The Alicat FP-25 flow device was developed in coordination with air monitor technicians and has resulted in a durable, accurate and easy to use device. The FP-25 comes in a kit complete with all the equipment required to complete calibration of any EPA approved air monitor.See the Alicat FP25 Device here

Shruti Thakur, MS Applications Engineer | India Liaison
Shruti holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Technology. She specializes in process improvement and design for environmental engineering applications including water treatment, air quality, and EPA regulated interests.

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

The FP-25: Fast, Accurate, Reliable

by Shaina Shay

Alicat is proud to be part of the Halma family. Halma companies work to create a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day. Alicat’s air monitoring products contribute to the environmental and public health component of this mission.

Saving the world, one calibration at a time

Our low-pressure drop Whisper mass flow meters are used by municipalities, cities, states, and countries to calibrate ambient air quality monitoring devices. Our mass flow meters are used to calibrate particulate monitoring (PM) machines, air sampling canisters, pesticide monitoring machines, and other analyzers. Calibration is important to ensure good data. Bad data can have political, legislative, and/or societal impacts. Because calibration takes time and skill, we worked with air quality technicians to specially design a product that is both compliant with the regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and meet the demands of air quality technicians.

The FP-25: Fast, Accurate, Reliable

The FP-25 is a highly precise, NIST-traceable device that can measure mass flow to an accuracy of +/-1% of reading. To make calibration faster and safer, there is a Bluetooth function which allows technicians to complete calibration from a distance. The device itself is built to be used in the field and can withstand being dropped from rooftops.

Learning from our Future Leaders

Alicat has been engaged in the air monitoring market for years, but we had the opportunity to view the FP-25 from a fresh perspective when Halma’s Future Leader Program came to visit. The Future Leaders program is comprised of intelligent, driven, and enthusiastic recent graduates. To encourage well-rounded growth, participants are exposed to a range of business related trainings through the program.

On May 17th 2019, 15 future leaders came to Tucson, Arizona to participate in a marketing training day at Alicat.

In just one day, future leaders paired off to develop a marketing content. The young leaders learned about Alicat’s history, products, and culture in the morning, and then had the afternoon to come-up with a plan.

We were astonished

Two teams took on the environmental market and focused on developing content tailored for the FP-25 product. The results were one full blown campaign plan and this video about why customers love the FP-25.

The proof is in the pudding

At the end of this day we were so impressed with the results. We never expected that there would be time to develop useable content, but we were wrong. This experience validated the how Halma is making their mission come true, by investing in people and companies that make things happen.

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

WIEGAND WIRE ENERGY HARVESTING COMPONENTS

posital_wiegand_sensoren_590

POSITAL’s Wiegand assemblies offer a compact and efficient way of harvesting power for electronic circuits in electromechanical devices, eliminating the need for backup batteries. 

The operating principle of POSITAL’s Wiegand modules is simple. A “Wiegand wire” is a short length of specially prepared Vicalloy (vanadium-iron-cobalt) wire. When exposed to a changing external magnetic field (e.g. a nearby permanent magnet mounted on a rotating shaft) the Wiegand wire will initially retain its original magnetic polarity, and then abruptly ‘flip’ its polarity when the change to the external magnetic field reaches a certain threshold. This sudden change in the magnetic state of the core induces a current pulse in a copper coil wound around the Vicalloy core. This current pulse is very short-lived, but the energy harvested from the mechanical movement of the magnet can be captured and used to activate a low-power electronic circuit. An important feature of the Wiegand effect is that the amount of electric power generated with each reversal of the magnetic polarization is constant and completely independent of the rate of change of the external magnetic field, even if this happens very slowly. POSITAL Wiegand modules have been used to reliably power rotation counters in tens of millions of devices, including multi-turn rotary encoders, gas and water meters.

  • Production Since 1974 – Started by John R. Wiegand
  • Proven In Encoders & Water Meters Since > 10 Years
  • Used In Access Cards For > 30 Years
  • Power Supply For Future IoT Applications
  • High Energy Output of ~170 nJ

“The process for making Wiegand wire from raw Vicalloy wire was invented by John Wiegand in the 1970’s” comments Christian Fell, Chief of Technology Development for POSITAL-FRABA. “It involves a complex set of steps, including cold-working the wire through a combination of stretching and twisting, then heat-treating the product to lock in the desired characteristics.” POSITAL acquired the original wire-conditioning machinery and intellectual property from the Wiegand estate in 2013. Fell continues: “This acquisition has meant that we have reliable supply of Wiegand wire. It also gave us an opportunity to refine the manufacturing process for improved product quality. Thanks to our research, we can now produce wires that reliably generate 190 nanojoules of energy at 7 volts with each polarity flip”.

Wiegand assemblies are a core component in POSITAL’s IXARC multiturn absolute rotary encoders, providing a maintenance-free method for powering the counter that records the number of complete rotations that the device experiences. POSITAL also offers Wigand assemblies to other manufacturers. These consist of a 15mm length of Wiegand wire surrounded by a copper coil, all contained in an SMD-mountable plastic structure. Wiegand wire production is carried out at locations in the U.S. and Europe, ensuring a stable, reliable supply chain. These assemblies can be used wherever low-cost, zero-maintenance, battery-free energy harvesting systems are needed to energize electronic counters and other low-power electronic devices.

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

Accurate simplified testing for small volumes and differing configurations

 by Mic Chaudoir

Accurate simplified testing for small volumes and differing configurations 

A revolution in bioprocessing is underway in the form of single-use technologies.  Single-use offers the promise of lower costs, improved flexibility and shorter cycle times.  But what happens when a single-use bag or component fails ? It’s obvious that system integrity is critical for any bioprocess, but how can you know that your system is free of leaks before use ? Integrity testing can now be accomplished easily and quickly with an Alicat Scientific Whisper series mass flow meter or controller.

Fast and accurate leak checking can be a complicated process requiring a rather complex setup. When the Device Under Test (DUT) is subjected to a constant pressure within a closed system, any resulting flow is a direct measure of the leak rate. This test requires both stable pressure control at the DUT and accurate flow measurement to test for leakage. Leakages are most easily revealed and measured when the meter generates minimal pressure drop, the frictional resistance that the device introduces into the gas line.

For years, Alicat Scientific has provided a two-unit leak checking systems using a PC3-Series remote sensing pressure controller to maintain the required test pressure at the DUT and an M-Series mass flow meter to measure the leak rate.

More recently, Alicat has pioneered the simplified testing for leaks using a single Whisper series mass flow controller. This simplified process makes testing the myriad bags and containers used in single-use bioprocessing easier and more flexible. With full-scale pressure drops as low as 3.6 mbar (0.052 psid) and turned-down pressure drops as low as 0.018 mbar, the Whisper allows precise and responsive control with minimal frictional resistance.

For leak checking smaller test volumes, such as valves or sensors, a single MCW-Series mass flow controller that is set to control for pressure will maintain a constant pressure at the DUT while providing accurate mass and volumetric flow readings in real time. Configured this way, the Whisper serves the functions of both a pressure controller and a mass flow meter in one device. Alicat’s Whisper now makes leak checking for the small volumes needed for single-use technologies even faster…and simpler. This configuration also makes changing the configuration to test different devices, or testing infrequently, very achievable. From Alicat: The fastest flow controller company in the world.

Fast Leak Testing for Single-Use Bioprocessing

A revolution in bioprocessing is underway in the form of single-use technologies. But what happens when a single-use bag or component fails? How do you know that your bioprocessing is free from costly leaks or integrity failures? Leak testing of single use systems can now be accomplished easily and quickly with an Alicat Scientific Whisper series mass flow meter.

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

LOW-COST KIT ENCODERS FOR STEPPER MOTORS

stepper_kits_update

POSITAL has expanded its line of kit-style encoders for feedback for servo and stepper motors with new models that utilize the same mounting form factor as incremental kit encoders from US Digital, Broadcom and other manufacturers.

  • Mechanical Drop In Replacement for Easy Upgrade to Absolute Position Control
  • Same Footprints as US Digital’s E5 Models and Broadcom’s (Avago) HEDS-5500 Models
  • Now Available with SSI and BiSS C Communication Interfaces
  • Identical Assembly Procedure – No Training Required
  • Various Hub Diameters from 4 mm to 10 mm (and 1/4 to 3/8 inch)
  • Magnetic Technology Which Is Generally More Robust Than Optical
  • Improved Connectivity via M12 Connector Additionally Available

See our Cross Reference Guide

POSITAL kit encoders provide absolute position feedback so that the control system always has complete information on the physical position of the mechanical components that it is directing. “Absolute position feedback is a natural way of providing accurate position control” comments Jim Stevens, market specialist for robotics at POSITAL. “Almost any position feedback application could be absolute-based. Many current systems were designed around incremental encoders because incremental feedback devices were historically much less expensive than their absolute counterparts.” However, with the introduction of POSITAL’s absolute kit encoders at prices much more in line with incremental devices, system designers no longer have to work around the shortcomings of incremental feedback in an absolute position world.

prq_exp

Multiturn Absolute Kit Encoders Provide Robust Solution

Multiturn Absolute Kit Encoders from POSITAL are based on magnetic sensing technology which provides a very robust encoder solution. The multiturn counting system is powered by Wiegand wire energy harvesting technology, which enables the absolute encoder to maintain true absolute position over power cycles and rotation of the encoder during power off conditions.

With 17 bits (131072 positions) of single turn resolution and 16 bits (65536 turns) of multiturn range, KCD Absolute kit encoders from POSITAL are ideal for position control applications.

FAQ Kit Encoders

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

Using technology to reduce health and safety risks

 by Shaina Shay

Technological advancements have improved humans’ ability to monitor, assess, and protect societies from environmental health and safety hazards. When it comes to the air that we breathe, particulate matter (PM) monitoring machines are one piece of technology used to keep society safe by measuring the presence of potentially harmful particulates. The smaller the particulate in the air, the more likely that it can be absorbed into the body via the lungs.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates industry and enforces compliance based on the readings of PM monitors (epa.gov). Air standards have been established to minimize human exposure to particulate matter that may have adverse health effects.

To understand exposure over space and time, a national network of PM monitors has been established. These PM monitors are located in a variety of places, ranging from national parks, to suburban parks, to the skyscrapers in city centers.

The accuracy of data acquired through this network is critical because it could have legal, political or social impacts. To ensure good data, the flow, pressure, and temperature of PM monitors are calibrated on a regular basis.

Air quality technicians climb roofs, visit remote locations, and endure inclement weather to complete calibrations and document data.

Climb ladders 50% less with Bluetooth connectivity

Alicat believes that technology should reduce health and safety risks as well as increasing efficiency. That’s why we worked with air quality technicians to develop the FP-25 Flow Meter. Our FP-25BT with Bluetooth features reduce the number of trips technicians to on ladders by 50%.

Bluetooth connectivity also reduces your exposure to severe weather conditions. Even when ambient temperatures drop or humidity increases, these instruments provide fast and accurate measurements. Rain or shine the FP-25 has you covered.

If you’re in an industry that has you measuring flow in adverse environmental conditions, let us know. We strive to help the people who are helping our communities breathe clean air.

Ready to find out how we can help ?

Contact one of our applications engineers at 1.888.290.6060 or info@alicat.com to discuss your application.

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com

FRABA GROUP GROWS WORLDWIDE BY 12.4%

Fresh ideas and innovative products continue to pay off for the international FRABA Group. With a 12.4% increase in sales for Fiscal 2018 (year-end: Dec 31), the corporation, which includes the POSITAL (position and motion control sensors) and VITECTOR (safety technology for industrial doors) brands, posted another year of double-digit growth. Global sales reached € 35 million (US$ 39 million), while the number of employees in Europe, Asia and the USA rose by 4.5%, to 230.

New ideas and innovation lead to strong numbers

Key factors for the increase in personnel were the opening of a new sales office in Shanghai, in response to strong demand from China, and a further increase in the size of the development team at the group’s central R&D center. This research unit, located in Aachen, Germany, works closely with its neighbor, the highly regarded North-Rhein Westphalia Technical University, and other national and international partners in the fields of engineering and applied electronics. Currently there are 40 researchers and developers on board – from 28 countries. Physicists, mathematicians, computer scientists and engineers collaborate on interdisciplinary projects. “Our R&D staff work closely with our sales engineers in the field to drive the innovation that is at the core of our brand,” says Christian Leeser, CEO of the FRABA Group. “This is why we are committed to invest around 10% of our global sales in R&D –– year after year.”

Over the past 15 years, FRABA has established itself as a trendsetter, leading the transition from complex optical encoders to robust and less expensive precision magnetic encoders. These products are offered in both stand-alone versions and as integrated motor feedback kits. Throughout 2018, several significant milestones were achieved. To meet the growing demand in the ‘energy harvesting’ market, the global production capacity for SMD Wiegand sensors was doubled to one million units per annum. Following the successful rollout of magnetic kit encoders for servomotors, last fall saw the addition of magnetic kits specially tailored for stepper motors. This US-driven initiative has added absolute position feedback to low-cost stepper motors, significantly improving their performance levels. The latest breakthrough is the world’s first battery-free, Wiegand-based multiturn hollow shaft kit encoder . Pre-launched at the global SPS show In Nuremberg last November, sales of this innovative device – geared at robot manufacturers and the motor sector – started this month. “With all these initiatives lined up, we are confident to achieve further growth in 2019,” says Leeser.

D&D Engineering – “W’ere YOUR Sensor Guys”
3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 464 Westlake Village, CA 91362  – Voice: (818) 772-8720 Fax: (818) 772-2477 Toll Free: (888) 333-6474
Email: sales@sensorguys.com Website: www.sensorguys.com