Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Marketing White Paper on Membrane Potentiometer Technology

Membrane Potentiometer Technology: Improving On Traditional Potentiometers

When an engineer says, “linear potentiometer,” what do you think?  A century-old technology, a contact wiper sensor that eventually wears out, a sensor that provides only analog output.  These things are true.  However, Spectra Symbol developed the Membrane Potentiometer to answer some critical questions in the design community on the usability of the potentiometer.

The key principle of the Membrane Potentiometer is the “membrane”, wherein the traditional wiper becomes obsolete.  This is accomplished by building a top layer membrane over the top of the conductive element, which then acts as a sealed layer and wiper at the same time.  Suddenly, the traditional linear potentiometer became a thin, elegant solution that could fit almost anywhere and had an IP rating of 65 against dust or water.

The longevity and stability of the Membrane Potentiometer increased dramatically over the traditional model, allowing for over 10 million cycles for the HotPot brand.High vibration applications make sense for this technology also, as the “dithering” with motion or large G jolts doesn’t impact the wiper system, or give error readings.  Two examples are aerospace and automotive.

Recently, the R&D team at Spectra Symbol has developed the DigitalPot, which converts the potentiometer’s analog signal to Digital.  This A-D transition offers OEM’s many options, from 8-bit to 16-bit processing for tighter stepped and pre-calibrated linear output.  This allows for absolute linearity and the attendant distance measurement benefits.

Spectra Symbol’s membrane potentiometer has given linear potentiometer technology much needed innovation and usability.

For further details, please contact Spectra Symbol directly, at 888-795-2283, or email support@spectrasymbol.com

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