Pressure Sensor Selection: Weighing Value vs. Price

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Choosing Best Pressure Sensor for a New Product Design

With hundreds—if not thousands—of different models of pressure sensors, transducers, and transmitters available, engineers face significant challenges in selecting the right instrument for the application and sometimes serious consequences if they don’t.
 
Today’s control systems and machines are more advanced, and while the hunger for more data from more measuring points has increased, budgets have not. Therefore, an engineer needs to assess value along with costs. And, striking the appropriate balance rests on understanding the pressure sensor technology and functionality as well as the application and various the parameters required for proper functioning.

What to Know About the Application 

Virtually every feature and function of a pressure sensor requires a compromise in other areas. But, the better you understand the application; the better you’ll know what concessions can be made without impacting the instrument’s performance in a particular application.
 
Here is a sample of application requirements to consider when selecting pressure sensors.

  • Is tight control of a specific pressure setpoint needed?
  • Is linearity important in the application?
  • Is the pressure expected to vary from very low to very high?
  • Does the application require a high degree of repeatability?
  • What temperature error is relevant for the application?
  • What level of ingress protection is needed?
  • What happens if the pressure sensor fails?
  • How can you tell if the pressure sensor has failed?

Resources for making a financially sound choice

The cost of pressure sensor technology ranges from $10 to more than $1,000 for basically the same function: converting pressure into a standard output signal.  Choosing the cheapest option can leave you with a completely useless device or it may end up costing you much more in the future, but the feature-rich smart transmitters are not always the smartest choice, either.
 
Therefore, it pays to spend the extra time to determine exactly what is required for the task at hand, discussing your options with manufacturers, and reading their literature carefully. If you are diligent in identifying the tasks and conditions for which you are selecting instruments, it will be much easier to make a technically and  financially sound choice—without overspending on something you don’t need or under spending on an inferior or inappropriate device.
 
For additional resources, consult this recently published article for information on pressure sensor fundamentals and guidance on instrument selection. 

Or, contact info@wika.com for assistance with your pressure sensor needs.



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