Sensors, Transducers and Detectors

Sensors, transducers and detectors are all very similar devices. The terms sensor and transducer are both related to the conversion of one type of energy into another. The main difference is that a sensor is a device that can detect (hence the term ‘detector’) a physical quantity and recognise a change in its environment. The sensor then converts the data into an electrical signal, either an analogue or digital output. However, transducers can actually convert an energy source from one form to another, using actuators. An actuator is a device that can convert one form of energy into motion. Types of sensors and transducers exist for all types of energy and many material qualities. Sensors can detect current, fluid levels, temperature and weight to name just a few. Because of their versatility and wide range of types, sensors, transducers and detectors are used in countless domestic and industrial settings, mainly to ensure safety and smooth running of applications.

  1. Encoders
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    Encoders, commonly also referred to as shaft encoders and rotary encoders, are electro-mechanical devices that provide information about the position or the motion of a shaft. Absolute encoders are angle transducers that indicate position, whilst incremental encoders record details about motion – often converted into speed and distance data.

  2. Sensors
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    Sensors are available in vast range of types for different settings and applications. However, essentially all sensors serve the same purpose. They are used to detect, record or measure levels or changes in the sensor’s environment. For example, electrical current, air quality or temperature.

  3. Transducers
    - 31 Suppliers 342 Products

    Transducers are devices that are capable of converting a form of energy into a different form of energy. This can be used as a means of control within an application, or simply as a display. Transducers are widely used in automation, control and measurement systems.

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