SIL – stands for “Safety Integration Level” and occupies the application developers across industries. However, in the various industries there are different standards for which applications must be designed so that they fulfill a certain functional certainty. The most important standards in the industry are IEC 62061 and IEC 61501. These standards outline how electronic controls must be designed to meet the requirements of functional safety.
The complexity of implementing these standards depends on whether it is a component or an entire system. System developers and OEMs are therefore interested in only adding components to their systems that are already certified with a specific SIL rating. The higher the SIL rating of the individual components, the less effort must be made on the system side. Some application developers assume that in the future there will be very few applications that can do without a SIL classification of the sensors. The sensor manufacturers are therefore faced with the challenge of looking closely at the fail-safety of their modules at a very early stage of development and using FMEA to discover special failure mechanisms as well as prevent them with targeted design measures. This new challenge makes it more difficult to develop new sensors, which means that development times and therefore also development costs are taken on a different dimension.
The sensors vapor-deposited on a polymer are usually glued directly to the measuring point with special adhesives. The adhesives are designed to ensure as hard a mechanical coupling as possible and not degenerate over time. The problem with this type of implementation is that this method usually cannot be applied to existing applications in the field, since the adhesive often has to cure under defined conditions in order to develop its properties. Another problem exists in the way in which this measuring bridge is contacted and read out. A strain gauge itself does not yet form a sensor system. The measured value must still be recorded and processed before it is available to the user. Many suppliers of force sensors use the strain gauge strip (DMS) as described above and thus produce products that the end user can later integrate holistically.
However, that also represents an opportunity for the emergence of new requirements and new applications in the industry. For example, a new guideline is being discussed in the area of crane systems. This directive requires counterweight detection during crane operation. The counterweights on a crane are needed to prevent tilting of the crane with an attached load. The approved transport weights of the cranes depend on the number of counterweights. The counterweight detection is intended to prevent an excessive load being attached to the boom of the crane during operation. This is intended to minimize the risk of the crane tipping over and thus protect people and the environment. Guidelines in the industry that lead to increased safety are usually intended for new devices that come into application. However, there is often the case that the end customer, in this case, the crane operator is interested in incorporating this into existing equipment. The suppliers of such systems must therefore always think about how this guideline can be implemented in new devices and also how existing devices can be retrofitted.
With the Magnetic Inductive Force Sensor from Magnetic Sense it is possible to enable a force measurement on already existing mechanical abutments by a relatively simple retrofit. Conventional force measuring techniques require a good mechanical coupling to the measuring point, which is often realized by gluing or mechanical machining. The mechanical processing has the disadvantage that thus the load-carrying capacity of the component is changed. Splices have the disadvantage that they have a correspondingly poor long-term stability due to temperature and weathering. The magnetic inductive force gauge from Magnetic Sense can be parameterized to the measuring point and fixed by clamping. The force measurement is made inductively, i. by the coupling of a magnetic field and the evaluation of resulting magnetic fields. This new technology makes it possible to meet the requirement of the new directive not only for new devices, but also for the retrofitting of existing systems in the field.