What are sensors?



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    Welcome to TheSensorsGuide
     Sensors, as we all know, are devices used to sense or measure parameters of any process under consideration. Any process requires at-least one sensor of some kind, natural or artificial. Earlier, humans used to be employed to monitor a process, wherever possible. However, these days, they are being replaced by sensors. This not only reduces expenditure, but saves time and boosts the quality of the product or the process. Research & Development has lead to invention of sensors having higher capabilities.
Automation has become a core part of industries, and as result, understanding sensors is the need of the day.
To understand what are sensors and transducers, we first need to know what exactly we mean by an industrial process.



Process

A process is a systematic set of tasks involving manufacturing or measurement and control of a certain parameter. Manufacturing of Automobile parts is a process. Even controlling  the fluid flowing through a pipe is a process. We require to measure various parameters in order to complete a process. Even manufacturing processes require measurement of parameters in order to keep them in the specified range. Measurement of these process parameters is important in many walks of life. We are going to go through various sensors for measuring these parameters, one by one. Different processes which generally require sensors and transducers for measurement are as follows:


Sensors

Sensors are devices that convert a physical parameter into an electrical quantity. Generally, the electrical signal has an output of 4-20 mA. This makes it easier to transfer the signal to other instruments or to a digital display.
e.g. Piezoelectric crystal, Strain Gauge, LVDT, Proximity sensors, etc.




Transducers

Transducers are devices that convert a physical parameter into an another physical parameter. The physical parameter to be measured is converted into a parameter that can be marked on a scale or converted into digital format for display. 
e.g. Diaphragm & Bellows (Pressure to Displacement),
      Flapper Nozzle system (Displacement to Pressure),
      Bimetallic strip (Temperature change to Displacement),
      Mercury thermometer, etc.
We can conclude that all sensors are transducers; but not all transducers can be sensors.


      At Sensorsguide, we will discuss all types of sensors required for different processes. There are a lot of parameters which we need to consider before selecting a sensor that completes our demands.
     Let us go through all the sensors and the parameters that we need to consider for selecting the final one!