New Sensor Solutions for the Internet of Things Seen From Hoffmann + Krippner

By Joe Rizzo June 11, 2015

In 1972, Max Hoffmann and Fritz Krippner founded a company in Germany for technical screen printing and painting for industrial applications. A few years later in 1979 they created the first membrane keyboard by printing on foil. Currently, Hoffmann + Krippner, Inc. has partnered with Altmann GmbH, a manufacturer of high-precision potentiometers, Inelta GmbH, manufacturer of LVDT and load cells and PIL GmbH, manufacturer of ultrasonic sensors.

As the times have changed and new technology evolved, Hoffmann + Krippner have kept up with the times and earlier this week demonstrated how their unique SensoInk and SensoFoil intelligent sensing technologies can be used for IoT applications, as well as M2M technology.

SensoInk is an innovative technology designed to considerably simplify the production of open potentiometers. SensoInk offers new and interesting ways to realize individual specification while offering major cost savings, without compromising quality. With its polymer thick film technology, SensoInk offers a new way for printing potentiometers, resistors, switches or keyboard contacts on circuit boards or electronic components.

A potentiometer is an adjustable, three-terminal resistor which consists of a wiper that slides or rotates across a resistive strip to deliver an increase or decrease in resistance. The level of resistance will determine output of current to the circuit. Potentiometers are commonly used to control electrical devices such as volume controls on audio equipment. Potentiometers operated by a mechanism can be used as position transducers, for example, in a joystick.

SensoInk potentiometers combine the technical features of Sensofoil membrane potentiometers with the new generation of printable polymer pastes. Sensofoil thin-film membrane potentiometers from Hoffmann + Krippner are considered to be the world's most reliable membrane position sensors. They offer a flat designed between 0.5 and 2.1 mm with both linear and radial designs. In addition, it is a 5V analog solution with low power requirements operating at 5V.

Every day we are seeing the world becoming more connected. The Internet of Things has made it possible to track the smallest piece of equipment from the manufacture process up to and through its installation process. From this point on, monitors and sensors will be able to tell when it needs to replaced or upgraded.

Jens Kautzor, CEO, Hoffman + Krippner, said, “To detect how the state of the internet-connected "thing" changes, an electronic evaluation of the initial state must be conducted. With our sensors you can very affordably and accurately measure changes, detect positions, or count objects.”

This technology will make it almost impossible to take that item from your hotel minibar. There was always that brief period that if you checked out before the physical count was taken, you might have been able to get away with it. However, if a drink or any other item is taken out of the minibar, the SensoFoil sensor will immediately detect the missing item and combined with the software, guarantee that the correct products and quantities will be reflected on the hotel bill.

SensoInk and SensoFoil intelligent sensing technologies can be used for a wide range of IoT and M2M applications, which include process automation, position tracking and real time supply chain support in pharmacies and hospitals, grocery stores, warehousing, industrial and manufacturing applications. These types of sensors have made a major impact in the healthcare field since every aspect of a patient’s care can be monitored.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Contributing Writer

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