The specifications of the application would normally have called for a conventional mass flow sensor. Instead, First Sensor presented their newly developed differential pressure sensors of the LDE/LME series to the development team.
The LDE/LME series is based on MEMS sensor technology. The sensors feature a very small flow channel integrated in the semiconductor chip that measures only 2 x 2 mm. In this micro flow channel a heating element is located between two temperature sensitive resistors. Even the smallest gas flow changes the temperature profile and produces a voltage signal proportional to the mass flow.
The success and the benefits
The LDE/LME differential pressure sensors are small, highly precise and insensitive to ambient conditions – decisive advantages especially with this mobile application. Due to the high sensitivity of the LDE/LME sensors, EVE measures so accurately that it can reliably detect even the often minute respiratory flows of newborn and premature infants.
The offset of the LDE/LME sensors is fixed by measurement technology. Therefore the signal does not need to be zeroed for calibration every four seconds, as with conventional sensors. This not only ensures precise long-term stability. Fritz Stephan could also save production costs by leaving out the components required for calibration and zeroing, including four valves.
And: First Sensor is certified according to ISO 13485 for medical devices which helps customers like Fritz Stephan to get their own devices certified
How was the cooperation?
"From a supply chain point of view, we depend on partners who tune in to our market. Most medical technology products are sold in small to moderate quantities, but for a very long period. Even small changes in design and components result in elaborate approval processes. First Sensor also supplies smaller quantities in line with requirements, and provides long-term availability for the installed sensors."
"As soon as our developers have specified the product idea and the requirements for the sensor system, we contact our development partner First Sensor. Then we discuss as a team how we can meet these requirements and which sensors we should use. Of course it helps if the partner company and their experts know our processes and requirements, have professional experience and really use their own mind. This way we quickly find out if a standard sensor is adequate, or if adjustments or even a new development are required"
Jens Amberg, Project Manager Development, Fritz Stephan GmbH, Germany
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