What Are the Applications of a PCB Sensor and How Can You Choose the Right One?

A board sensor is mounted on a PCB (printed circuit board) and used to measure the pressure of liquids or gasses. PCB is an acronym for PicoCoulomB; it is a technical terminology that defines an electrical charge generated by piezoelectric sensors.

It is a registered trademark of PCB Piezotronics, the company and manufacturer of piezoelectric sensors. These sensors, like a temperature sensor, are small electromechanical instruments used in measuring acceleration, strain, vibration, force, acoustics, dynamic pressure, torque, load, shock, and sound.

What Are PCB Vibration Sensors Used For?

PCB Piezotronics’ precision accelerometers or vibration sensors are used to measure vibration, acceleration, and shock. It is used in measuring the motion for monitoring, controlling, and testing applications. A wide variety of measurement requirements are fulfilled through the use of ICP, MEMS, PE, and capacitance sensing technologies.

Additionally, vibration sensors are used by field tests for factory design and production and also in acquiring critical data along a measurement range in research and development. From this measurement range, new and better inferences can be made.

What Technology is Most Commonly Used in Accelerometers?

The most commonly used technology in accelerometers is ICB; these vibration sensors require ICP power. ICP sensor power is acquired from most modern data acquisition, portable data systems, and digital control. ICP sensors are sometimes referred to as voltage mode output sensors or charge mode output sensors.

MTS systems corporation and other product groups in similar industries use this technology to achieve long-term stability and calibration for their solutions or equipment ranging from those needed for a short-term solution or to detect a n output or control issue with a particular equipment.

What Are the General Applications of PCB Sensors?

PCB sensors are used in a wide range of applications, including balancing, bearing analysis, biomechanics, building vibration monitoring, and bridge monitoring. They are also used in component durability testing, crash testing, drop testing, ESS, HALT, and HASS, fatigue testing, and gearbox monitoring.

PCB accelerometers are also used in environmental testing, ground vibration tests, impact measurements, machinery vibration, and NVH studies. These are only a few applications of PCB sensors; the list is without limits as you can always have any addition to it depending on what you want to search for by size or what is to be designed.

How to Choose the Right PCB Sensors

Choosing a sensor or connected products goes beyond simply considering what you want to measure. Apart from the phenomena to be measured, the environment where the sensor is deployed and its intended use are also important. The first two factors to consider when choosing PCB sensors are the design and functionality requirements of your device. You must be able to balance your device’s mechanical footprint and enclosure with the required sensor capabilities.

How Do You Ensure Signal Integrity When Using Sensors?

PCB sensors interface with the analog world; therefore, they collect signals outputted as analog data. However, for this data to be processed and transferred to a base station, the sensor’s analog output must be converted to a digital signal. As such, you need to utilize standard mixed signal design and routing techniques if you want signal integrity throughout your device.

What Are the Uses of Infrared Sensors?

Photodiodes are the simplest types of sensors; they are used for detecting infrared light. Including this sensor in any PCB is very easy; avalanche photodiodes can provide some gain in weak optical signals. These types of sensors are more reliable in detecting infrared or visible light. In thermal imaging, you need a CCD because the discrete photosensitive pixels offer the spatial resolution needed to form images.

What Sensors Are Best for Vibration Monitoring?

In manufacturing industries, for instance, there are vibrations, which can affect the quality of products produced. Piezoelectric sensors and transducers are the best sensors for monitoring these vibrations, especially those over a range of frequencies. Compared to most consumer-grade devices, piezoelectric sensors are better suited for the more stringent demands that exist in a manufacturing environment. These sensors are very useful in monitoring biological or chemical agents when driven near any of their resonance frequencies.

What Sensors Are Used in Monitoring Safety in Factories?

Wireless sensor networks are ideal for monitoring safety, environmental, and infrastructure in factories. Wireless sensor networks are small embedded devices with a small number of sensors and wireless connectivity over wireless protocols such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. A small microcontroller is used to gather and process data, which is then passed to a base station wirelessly. This enables real-time monitoring of important environmental data or information over a large area.

What Are Embedded Automotive Sensors Used For?

Embedded automotive sensors are a large group of internal sensors inside a vehicle to keep it operating at peak performance. As cars, especially autonomous cars, connect more to each other and the internet, designers will expand the range of their sensing capabilities.

With these sensors, they can gather a large quantity of information from other vehicles and nearby environments to operate safely. Moreover, the infotainment systems and performance data vehicles can gather require wireless connectivity to MANs (metropolitan area networks). When embedded, they can make the control of certain tools function better and can also aid better research and precision of output.

Sensors Used in Designing PCBs for Medical IoT Devices

PCB designs for medical devices come with their own standards and requirements, depending on the sensors to be used. Apart from the devices’ safety, you will have limited options for sensors in these devices due to signal integrity and form factor.

Connectivity is very important in these devices as data gathered within them will need processing and storing in a patient’s file. With these sensors, some things that may not be detected manually can be done quickly and information obtained can be provided to the patient on the medical facility’s official website.


There is a growing connectivity between users, devices, and the environment. This has led PCB designers to come up with creative ways using different PCB sensors to design new products that can enable connectivity. You only need the right choice of sensors to create new products that will interface with the analog world. Undoubtedly, PCB sensors have a wide usage range giving you or any user absolute access to great features when incorporating it to your tools.

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