Sensors Expo Excites Senses

Too much of a good thing, even if it's relatively small, can be tough to organize. With this in mind, organizers of Sensors Expo have arranged this year's 35 technical sessions and presentations into four industry-specific tracks and set up a new German pavilion.Now in its 13th year, Sensors Expo will occupy 45,000 ft2 of exhibit space in Hall A at the Rosemont Convention Center (Rosemo...




  • Sensors

  • Monitoring

  • Sensor/actuator-level networks

  • Data acquisition

  • Pressure sensing/measurements

  • Device-level networks

Too much of a good thing, even if it's relatively small, can be tough to organize. With this in mind, organizers of Sensors Expo have arranged this year's 35 technical sessions and presentations into four industry-specific tracks and set up a new German pavilion.

Now in its 13th year, Sensors Expo will occupy 45,000 ft2of exhibit space in Hall A at the Rosemont Convention Center (Rosemont, Ill.), located near Chicago's O' Hare International Airport. More than 4,500 visitors, including about 10% internationally based, are expected during the Oct. 6-8 event. Launched in 1986, Sensors Expo has averaged between 3,300 and 4,500 visitors at each of its two annual shows since 1987.

The new German pavilion will include about 20 companies in 1,500 ft2of exhibit space. The pavilion is the result of a recent agreement between Sensors Expo's sponsors and VDI/VDE-IT Technology Center for Information Technology, a nonprofit company set up by two of Germany's largest professional associations.

Information technology

"The German pavilion will allow Sensors Expo attendees to see the latest sensor technology from Germany and gives German manufacturers the audience they're seeking to help penetrate U.S. markets," says Joel Dunkel, Sensors Expo's show director.

To create new tracks for their sessions, Sensor Expo's organizers used demographic data that indicated which categories might be most interesting to Midwestern sensor engineering professionals. Also for the first time this year, each session has been assigned an education level rating.

Sensors Expo's applications-based tracks are:

  • Automotive;

  • Electrical/Electronics;

  • Factory Automation; and

  • Process Automation.

Recommended individual sessions include:

  • Smart Sensors and Smart Sensor Communication;

  • MEMS/MST/Micromachines: A Global Perspective on Applications and Commercialization Issues;

  • Capacitive and Electric Field Sensors: Design and Applications;

  • Modern Communications Systems for Sensor Applications (two parts); and

  • Digital Data Acquisition and Analysis.

"The conference program is all new because we're trying to be very user friendly. So we took what we had in the past, defined it, gave it some more direction, and tailored the sessions to fit. This will help the engineers decide which sessions to attend," says Mr. Dunkel.

Product highlights

Sensors Expo's more than 325 exhibitors will feature thousands of sensors, sensor-based systems, hardware, software and other products. Here are some notable items that will be showcased at this year's event:

  • To better detect minute objects and provide high-precision positioning, E3X-NH fiber-optic sensor amplifier from Omron Electronics (Schaumburg, Ill.) uses its "digital sensing algorithm" to recognize changes in target object conditions and operating environment and adjust to the proper sensitivity level automatically. This allows the 16-bit sensor amplifier to stably detect, for example, a 0.1-mm diameter lead wire moving at 2.2 m/sec.

  • Part of the Uprox sensors family, the new Q14 proximity sensor from Turck Inc. (Minneapolis, Minn.) has a depth of only 14 mm, which allows it to function in very confined spaces. Q14 also has an extended sensing range of 10 mm relative to its small size, which means it offers the same range as standard barrel-style proximity sensors in a package only 1/4 as large.

  • Class II Selcom Laser Sensor (SLS) 2000 from LMI Selcom (Southfield, Mich.) is a series of self-contained, high-speed, noncontact, laser-based gaging sensors developed for on- or off-line applications. Class II SLS 2000s are suited for distance or thickness measurement, positioning, profiling, and material deformation. Their dynamic feedback loop allows accurate measurement up to 16,000/sec within a small spot regardless of color, ambient light changes, object reflectivity, speed variations, material temperature, and other plant conditions.

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