I recently had the opportunity to attend two events—the Made in Elk Grove Manufacturing & Technology Expo in Elk Grove in Elk Grove Village, Ill., and Sensors Midwest in Rosemont, Ill.—that were focused on the IoT (Internet of Things), emerging technology, and sensors for multiple vertical markets. Still, there are a few key takeaways specifically for the construction market.

Naturally, one of the big ones from Sensors Midwest is that the IoT is here and that sensors are getting smaller and more accurate. DunAn Sensing, for instance, announced the availability of its MP Series of harsh media compatible pressure transducers, which eliminates the unreliable “o-ring” used to seal the sensing element from its measured media. Ideal applications are for HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), heat pumps, compressors, hydraulics, off-road vehicles, and industrial equipment.

Gary Winzeler, VP of marketing and sales, DunAn Sensing, says there are three key benefits: reliability in the field, affordability, and accuracy. For the construction industry, having machines either in the field or in the building operate reliably is critical.

As another example, sensors are becoming more precise. This was perhaps one of the biggest trends at Sensors Midwest. TT Electronics released its PHS family of rotary position sensors that provide precision sensing in harsh environments and critical applications where repair costs would be high in the case of failure.

Tom Sward, field applications engineer, sensors and specialist components, TT Electronics, adds that one of the biggest differentiators is the size.

Still, precision and accuracy were some of the most talked about topics. As an example, InterSense offers inertial tracking and sensor fusion technology. Its NFT (natural feature tracking) is now available as part of the IS-1500 motion tracking product line. This allows users to access the natural world as a reference for motion tracking.

Perhaps one of the bigger takeaways from my time spent at these two expos last week is the fact that we need to venture out and look at the companies that exist just down the street. Sometimes there is a gem just next door that we may not even know about.

At the Made in Elk Grove Manufacturing & Technology Expo, there were dozens and dozens of companies that were headquartered right there in Elk Grove Village—construction companies, manufacturing companies, and technology companies. The aisles were filled with companies that I wasn’t aware existed just next door. Perhaps your next partner is just down the street as well. It is just a matter of venturing out.

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Laura Black
Laura Blackeditor