Schneider Electric buys Hyde Park Electronics

Palatine, IL—To add to its expanding portfolio of sensor solutions, Schneider Electric announced May 15 that it has acquired Hyde Park Electronics Inc. (Dayton, OH), which is a family business and a North American leader in ultrasonic sensor technology.


Palatine, IL— To add to its expanding portfolio of sensor solutions, Schneider Electric

Founded in 1963, Hyde Park is family business and a North American leader in ultrasonic sensor technology. It employs 46 people and generates sales of approximately 6 million euros.

In the late 1980s, Hyde Park developed ultrasonic sensor technology. These components are designed to capture and transmit electrical data concerning motion or the positioning of products on a machine. They incorporate a microprocessor and pushbuttons to allow users to select a "window in space," in which objects may be detected through ultrasound. Small and economical, ultrasonic sensors were rapidly successful, and moved into applications in food and beverage, automotive, microelectronics, and paper manufacturing industries.

"The acquisition of Hyde Park Electronics is a means for Schneider Electric to complete its wide range of sensors (photoelectric sensors, inductive and capacitive sensors) to offer a greater response to the needs of its customers and significantly strengthen its presence in the US industry market," says Mike Harley, Schneider's North American operating division industry leader. "Parallel to this, we're stepping up the launch of new automation products in order to speed up our organic growth."

Through its worldwide network, Schneider will distribute Hyde Park's technology by selling these sensors under its Telemecanique brand name for automation and control products.

Schneider reports that its latest acquisition underscores its intention to expand its product offering in the industrial sector, and is in line with its external growth strategy.

Ultrasonic sensing technology applications are nearly universal, unlike inductive sensors that work only with ferrous and nonferrous metals. Although photoelectric and ultrasonic technologies have similar capabilities, photoelectric sensors have more difficulty sensing glass and other transparent objects.

In addition, ultrasonic sensors also keep operating in dusty environments and other surroundings where photoelectric sensors become obscured. Ultrasonics are also unaffected by changing colors, clear objects or changing light conditions.

Hyde Park's sensors operate with piezoelectric technology to generate high frequency sound waves from 75 to 500 kilohertz, far above the range of hearing for humans and animals and unaffected by other ambient noise within manufacturing locations. Piezoelectric sensors offer greater accuracy and ruggedness versus ultrasonic sensors that generate sound waves with electrostatic transducers.

The company also leads in miniaturization. In 2000, Hyde Park introduced the world's first commercially available ultrasonic proximity sensor in a 12 mm-diameter housing. In 2002, Hyde Park introduced a flat profile design, aimed at improving on and replacing many current inductive sensor applications. The size of a large postage stamp and only 3/8 in. thick, it is reported to be the world's smallest commercially available ultrasonic proximity sensor.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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